Many computer systems are not overly well protected when someone else manages to get physical access to the computer. This can be a family member, a colleague at work, your boss, or a thief who just stole your laptop at Starbucks.
While user accounts are usually secured by a password, the computer may not always be locked which in turn means that a third-party can access most programs, files and information on it unhindered.
If you take web browsers for example, they are not protected by passwords. The only thing that you can do in most is to add password protection to authentication information, but that is about it.
Chrome just like Firefox supports profiles that you can create. They can be used by the same person, for instance to separate work and entertainment from one another, but also by different family members or work colleagues on the same system.
Google has added a feature to Chrome recently that allows you to lock down the browser using your Google password. While that may sound like a good idea, it has implications which you need to know about:
Set it up
You will see a profile menu at the top right corner of the screen on restart.
Another interesting option that is provided by this new user management feature is the option to make available a guest browsing mode to others.
This is excellent news if you don't want third-parties to use your browser profile -- see open tabs, bookmarks, visited websites and more -- without switching to a different browser to provide them with that option.
Cut the link
You can cut the link at any time by open chrome://settings/ in the browser and clicking on the "disconnect your Google Account" option there.
To go back to the old profile manager, open the chrome://flags/#enable-new-profile-management preference again and set it to disabled. Restart the browser afterwards and the profile menu is gone from Chrome once again.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.