Google Chrome is currently the most popular browser. Thanks to the prevalence of portable mobile devices and the polarity of the Android platform, it is now number one internet browser across all devices.
The browser also offers interesting features that allow users to customize their browsing experience. Many users hail the browser for its performance.
Not everyone likes Chrome’s customizable features. Some of its features may be unnecessary, especially for people not using Chrome OS (Google Chrome’s operating system). Its operation and performance often affect other computer resources. Here are some of the reasons to think twice about using the browser:
According to Chrome users, one of the biggest drawbacks of the browser is that it is resource hungry. The browser often runs many background processes to support extensions and boost performance.
Unfortunately, the result is that Chrome uses a significant amount of your computer’s RAM (random access memory). Using either Google Hangouts or Adobe Flash on the browser significantly depletes your computer’s resources. This can be a nightmare for those who use these applications for day-to-day online tasks.
Battery Issues for Portable Devices
Chrome may not be the best browser for those using portable devices. It is a resource hungry application with more than 11,000 add-ons and extensions. This means that it will use a considerable amount of battery power while running multiple applications in the background.
Close to one-quarter of U.S. internet users access the internet primarily through their mobile devices. People may have to keep recharging their mobile devices while on the move. According to The Verge, using Chrome consumed more battery power than Safari, another browser.
Some users are not happy about Google’s ability to track virtually all your activity through browser searches. When you search the internet, Google tracks your activity through cookies stored on your computer. The platform can track these cookies when you search or use YouTube, Gmail, and Google Photos.
Fingerprints used for identification
Since the platform can track your activity across its system, your fingerprint input from a mobile device can be used to identify you later. Even when you turn off cookies, your fingerprints can be used to retrieve partial or full information regarding your identity. This information may be stored on Google Chrome and different applications may retrieve it.
Data collected using incognito mode
Another problem with the browser is its incognito mode. Most people use this mode for adding privacy and restricting the storage of information on their devices. While in this mode, Google Chrome does not store your data and cookies on your device. But, Chrome can still allow websites to collect data while you are online using this mode.
Flash application issues
If you enjoy playing Adobe Flash games or using Flash applications, Chrome has limitations. You can’t control how the browser updates Flash. Google Chrome does not allow you to issue direct commands to check for Flash updates.
On its tenth anniversary, Google announced that it will tighten its restrictions on Flash. This was in anticipation of Adobe’s announcement that it will end its Flash updates by 2020. Chrome is thus not the best browser for fans of Flash applications.
Problems with malware
Chrome may not be a good browser for stopping social engineering malware, either. Malware refers to malicious applications that use links to infect users’ computers. Social engineering malware also sends links to users’ devices through hijacked email accounts.
According to a report from NSS Labs on browser security, Chrome blocked 95% of malware attacks compared to Microsoft Edge’s success at blocking 99.3% of such threats. More than 200,000 URLs were tested and the report found more than 5,000 of them to be malicious.
Another browser, Firefox, is owned by Mozilla, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase Internet accessibility in a safer environment. The company reflects the browser’s goals regarding privacy and handling of private data.
Browsers such as Firefox are open source and their priority is to uphold privacy-first principles. For-profit organizations are driven by the need to find the most profitable business models. Sharing your data is the business model for organizations such as Google and Facebook.
Unnecessary HTML5 Features
People have ranked Chrome as one of the best browsers for implementing HTML5 features. But, the features add extra weight that may slow down the resource hungry browser. Again, users should explore Chrome to see if they can add or delete options to improve their experience with the browser.
Despite its shortcomings, surveys indicate that Google Chrome is still the most popular browser. People who use Gmail, Google, and YouTube on a daily basis may find that using Chrome is convenient.
One strategy that internet users can adapt to enhance security and privacy is to use multiple browsers for different tasks. Consider using one browser for visiting secure websites for cryptocurrency trading, banking, and conducting other business that may involve sensitive information.
You can use another browser for visiting social media sites and more casual browsing. Determine whether your computer’s resources can handle multiple browsers. Otherwise, you can end up slowing down your computer, a result you were trying to avoid in the first place.