I’m sitting in a local Starbucks working on a couple of blog entries and other computer related tasks I had scheduled for today. At the moment there are 26 laptops or tablets in use through this rather large location. I casually glanced at each of the screens as I walked to my table in the corner and I noticed a solid trend.

Every user is using Google Chrome. It didn’t matter if they were on an iPad, a Mac, or a Windows computer. Google Chrome is front and center. Everyone is on the web and they’re using Chrome to get there.

I’ve expressed my concern with Google and their ad based model in the past. There’s a part of me that doesn’t like the idea of personal data being scraped for ad sensing purposes (and who knows what else). But the fact of the matter is, if you follow my “Technological Golden Rule” of never typing anything into a computer that you wouldn’t want to appear on the front page of the New York Times, you shouldn’t have a problem, right?

The thing about privacy is not what Google is going to sense through my interaction with the Chrome browser. It’s what’s being picked up on webcams and other IoT (Internet of Things) devices like Alexa powered smoke detectors and Android powered refrigerators. Google Home devices or Alexa? They can muted with a hardware switch or unplugged. And honestly, I know where they are in my home. It’s the incredible number of webcams I see on neighborhood streets. I just figure I’m being watched at all times. It’s like being chipped without the shot.

As a software developer currently focused on web applications, I have to use Google Chrome. That browser is the standard for users today. Microsoft is getting ready to move their Microsoft Edge browser to the Chromium base. (Chromium being the base Google Chrome is built on). And let’s face it, Apple’s Safari may be fast on Macs, but there are times when it struggles with rendering web pages properly.

Go ahead, join me and use Google Chrome. Just please continue to be safe in your browsing habits and always be mindful of the information you’re sharing online and how you’re sharing it. Read up on VPN services for public access (personally I use Private Tunnel when I’m surfing in public).

Be a smart Internet citizen.