Sunday, October 5, 2014

Data Security for Teachers - Setting Up Chrome Profiles

Google Chrome has become the browser of choice for the majority of computers users. Chrome is a great browser. One of the best features is the ability to "sign-in" to the browser and sync your settings, bookmarks, apps, extensions, and more across all of your devices that are running the Chrome browser. Here are all of the things that you can sync through Chrome:
Chrome Sync Settings: Chrome Menu --> Settings --> Advanced Sync Settings
Chrome Sync is incredibly useful, but also has the potential to cause a few issues.

If you log in to Chrome using your school provided Google Apps for Education account, all of your data will be connected to this managed account. Need to check your bank account during your planning period? Your bank username/password is now saved to your school account. Casually browsing the web in the evening on your laptop? Your "off the clock" browsing history is now saved to your school account. 

First of all, just because your bank password or personal browsing history is saved into your school GAFE account doesn't mean that your administrator or IT Director is sitting around sifting through your data. It is very safe and secure. The only way someone would be able to access this data would be to log into YOUR account by obtaining your password or resetting your existing password. 

The bigger issue/concern about your private/personal information ending up in your school account would be a FOIA (freedom of information request) that would force your school to search for information on a person or topic. 

To avoid this risk, you should setup multiple profiles in Chrome to keep your personal and professional data separate. This is also a good idea to do for each member of your family (if you have a shared computer).  With multiple profiles. each person can have their own bookmarks, settings, apps, and extensions. 

Watch the video below for instructions on setting up multiple Chrome profiles. The steps are the same regardless of whether you are using a Mac or PC. 

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