Are Chromebooks really virus free?

Chromebooks are known for many things. They are fast, light, simple and have great battery life (or at least used to). But there is one specific thing Google has always been able to say: Chrome OS is a virus-free ecosystem.

Yes, the video is hilarious, and mostly true. Due to its web-based nature, Chrome OS is mostly immune to viruses (at least so far). Does this mean it is completely safe, though? Not exactly. There are still some precautions to be taken, though not as many as with other computers (including Macs). The only risk Chrome OS users have to keep in mind is phishing.

Phishing is when companies are impersonated by a separate entity in order to obtain your private information. Many of these criminals mask themselves as banks or government agencies, for example. Their sites will look very similar to the legitimate one, fooling the user into thinking he/she is in the clear to enter any info. This allows hackers to obtain user names, passwords and other sensitive information. Sometimes even details as delicate as addresses and social security numbers.

Chrome is very good at sandboxing and protecting you from such threats, but don’t ever trust your devices to fully take care of you. Your most important protection is your ability to make smart decisions while navigating the internet. Make sure you only visit legitimate sites. Don’t give out your information to any random or suspicious website. Do your research. These are all tactics we should apply to browsing… and life, really.

Since we are all Chromies here, I will introduce you to a nifty extension I use often – Avast! WebRep. This extension is community driven and let’s you know if other users have reported the site to be malicious or contain spam. Another extension I like to use is Alexa Traffic Rank. This is not exactly aimed at security, but it helps you make rational decisions.

For example, if I try to go to my bank account and see that it has a bad Alexa ranking, I will know it is pretty much not the real one. Major banks are more than likely to have very high Alexa ranks, as they get substantial amounts of traffic. This is not exactly a set solution, but it helps me browse responsibly many times.

With this in mind, enjoy your Chromebooks, guys! You just need to realize there is no such thing as being too safe. Even if Chrome OS is essentially virus-free, you are still at risk of being attacked. Be careful! Do you guys have any other tips for keeping your Chromebooks and info secure?

  • aaronjw

    For example, if I try to go to my bank account and see that it has a bad Alexa ranking, I will know it is pretty much not the real one. – Cool where can I get some of those not-real bank accounts??? lmao just messing with ur semantics I get it im a tool lmao.

  • shadowguy14

    Ah yes phishing, something you must get through with common sense…
    I love my Chromebook and even my Linux computers, no virus’s!

  • Alan

    I’ve never heard of a Mac getting a virus before. I’ve heard of apps from the Google store having viruses built in though.

  • topnetkiller

    Never had that happen and I have over a thousand apps on my SIII and have gone through thousands and thousands

  • Alan

    I hope you never do get one.

  • Joan Tvedt

    I have a virus~I keep getting kicked off the internet~does not happen with my phone

  • LufiaGuy2000

    Try rebooting your Chromebook. Works for my school wifi.

  • david a.

    I just got the malicious federal bureau of investigations 300.00 money pack scam virus on my chromebook. It is not virus free folks!

  • prinhap

    i’m readying this chromebook is not virus free. so how can i prevent it?

  • Racist

    Mine frequently drops the connection to the network, and I just have to open the network settings, disable wifi and then re-enable it… (ie. click the wi-fi icon in the bottom corner, Twice) , and then it re-locates and reconnects to your network and voila! You’re back on in seconds! I don’t think it’s a “virus” though. I think the wireless adapter just loses the signal when there’s a huge drain on the network… like perhaps a 16 yr old boy playing one of his MMORPGs that stream vast amounts of game data in almost real time, basically sucking up ALL the bandwidth it can commandeer …

  • Sandy

    I have LOUD intrusive invisible audio adware plus more pop ups than you can imagine on my chromebook. It constantly freezes from Spyware alerts & it doesn’t run right at all anymore. I haven’t been successful in eliminating Spyware/ Adware, & I definitely know I have it. So, Chromebook is definitely not free from malware.

  • Diego Deleon

    My chromebook has some malware affecting the operating system. There have been many instances when I click a link and another window opens asking to install something. I don’t know how to get rid of it. It was also happening in my MacBook Air and I was able to remove it with an Antivirus software for Mac. I don’t know how to resolve this issue in the chromebook.

  • britdeee

    Need help. Have a virus or malware on my chromebook, Can’t get rid of it. Can’t fond any help. Cant download or scan. What can I do? Is there any support for this?

  • Dan The Man

    you really can’t, from what i can tell, but since your personal information is stored on the internet, if you get a virus, do a reset on your machine.