How to Keep a Chromebook Secure

Introduction

Your Chromebook is controlled completely from your Google account. The security rests entirely on how well-secured your Google account is. This guide will take you through options to keep your Google account as safe as possible.

Picture of a Chromebook.

1 Manage Account

  1. Select the Chrome Browser. The icon is on the bottom, near the left.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Select the profile button in the top-right corner.
    Profile button.
  3. Select My Account.
    Profile menu with My Account button highlighted.
  4. From here, you'll be able to make changes to your entire Google account.
    Google Account page.

? What part of your account do you wish to manage?

  1. Change Password
  2. Perform Security Check-Up
  3. Check Account Activity
  4. Enable 2-Step Verification

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Your Chromebook is controlled completely from your Google account. The security rests entirely on how well-secured your Google account is. This guide will take you through options to keep your Google account as safe as possible.

Picture of a Chromebook.

  1. Select the Chrome Browser. The icon is on the bottom, near the left.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Select the profile button in the top-right corner.
    Profile button.
  3. Select My Account.
    Profile menu with My Account button highlighted.
  4. From here, you'll be able to make changes to your entire Google account.
    Google Account page.

Wherever possible, you should pick a password that is impossible to guess and is also resistant to brute-force attacks.

Some devices or systems do not allow special characters or they may have their own requirements.

Password Dos and Don'ts

Dos
Green Check
  • Passwords should be long, 8-12 characters or more.
  • Passwords should be something easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess or lookup.
  • Passwords should have lots of different character types: upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Replacing letters with symbols is a simple way to achieve this: use @ for a, and ( for c, as example.
  • Passwords are personal, most services have a way to create a 'linked' account or share services with trusted friends and family.
  • Change passwords regularly. Every 90 to 180 days; this helps keep your accounts from being compromised long-term.
  • If you must write down a password or make note of it, do so only in specially designed programs, or keep and hold the physical copies with the same care and respect you would a social security card or birth certificate. Remember; anyone with your password "is you".
Example of a good password
Don'ts
Red X
  • Don't use short passwords; computers can guess them very easily.
  • Don't use a common word you can find in a dictionary.
  • Don't use information that can be looked up or guessed, such as a birthday, anniversary, or pet's name.
  • Don't use the same password for everything. If one password is compromised, all of the same ones are compromised across all your accounts.
  • Don't share passwords. People with your password "are you" to a computer system, or a service.
  • Don't keep the same password forever. Assume that, at some point, it will be guessed, seen, or otherwise compromised, and it must be changed.
  • Don't write down passwords in the open, or save them in non-encrypted files on your computer.
Example of a bad password
Password Resources
  1. Scroll down, and select Signing in to Google.
    Google Accounts page, highlighting the text Signing Into Google.
  2. Scroll down, and select Password.
    Google Accounts signing in page with password option highlighted.
  3. Enter your current password, then select Next.
    Prompt to enter your Google password.
  4. Enter your new password twice for verification, then select Change Password.
    New password entry screen with 2 prompts for your new password and the change password button.

Some precautions should be taken in order to keep your password secure.

Best practices:

  • Do not use a master password that you use everywhere (such as email, work, school, home, network)
  • If possible, do not share your password with anybody.
  • Passwords that are shared with others, like for a home network, should only be shared if necessary.
  • Be aware when typing your password in public, or that in no way anyone is watching.
  • Some types of electronic devices like computers and smartphones can remember passwords, so beware of devices that are not yours.
  • Make a schedule of when to change your password. For example, every 180 days.
  • It is not recommended to write down passwords. But if you have to, make sure that it is neither physically nor visually accessible by others.

Built-in help for your Chromebook is never more than 2 clicks away.

  1. Select your profile picture in the lower-right corner.
    Screenshot showing the location of the Chromebook user menu
  2. Select the question mark ? icon.
    Screenshot showing the location of the help question mark inside the Chromebook user menu

Google's Security Checkup is a great way to go over your settings automatically, and verify everything is secure on your Google account.

  1. Scroll down, and select Security Checkup.
    Google account page with security checkup highlighted.
  2. The next page, you'll see any security alerts for your account.
    Google security checkup results with one item highlighted by a yellow circle with an exclamation mark in it.
  3. Focus on any items that have a yellow or red symbol next to them. Just click the item, and follow the directions.
  1. Scroll down, and select My Activity.
    Google Accounts page highlighting the My activity link.
  2. Here, you'll see a timeline of all the activity on your account. This can help you determine if someone else is using your account.
    Google my activity page.
  3. Select the Menu for further details, or to delete the activity from your timeline.
    Menu for an item in the activity page detailing the delete option.

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