Can Chromebooks Get Spyware? Can They Be Hacked Easily?

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Chromebooks have emerged as a popular choice for both educational and professional purposes recently. However, as we entrust these devices with our personal and sensitive information, a pressing question arises, Can you get spyware on a Chromebook? Can Chromebooks get hacked and so on?

In this article, I delve into the world of Chromebooks to understand the potential vulnerabilities, security measures, and best practices to safeguard against spyware threats. So without wasting any more time, let’s find out can Chromebooks get viruses/malware or if they are safe to use.

Table Of Contents

Quick Summary
Chromebooks are the safest PC out there, they don’t easily get spyware, malware, or virus. However, that does not guarantee 100% protection. There are various ways through which you can still get your Chromebook infected with spyware. However, you can detect and remove malware from your Chromebook with a good antivirus program and by following the right security measures.

Do Chromebooks Get Viruses Easily?

can Chromebooks get spyware

No, Chromebooks don’t get viruses easily. In fact, Chromebooks are known for their resilience against traditional viruses due to the design of Chrome OS, which isolates each application in its own sandboxed environment, making system-wide infections less likely.

However, they are not entirely immune to security threats. Chromebooks can still fall victim to adware, malware, and phishing attacks, which can compromise online security and privacy.

Can Chromebook Get Spyware?

As I said, Chromebooks are less susceptible to any type of spyware, malware, or viruses. However, that does not mean that there’s no chance of getting spyware on Chromebooks.

Chromebooks, while generally secure, can still be vulnerable to certain threats. Malicious browser extensions pose a risk, potentially spying on your online activities or stealing data. Phishing attacks are another concern. Moreover, users may inadvertently download harmful software, so exercise caution with suspicious links and downloads.  Overall, despite Chrome OS’s security reputation, Chromebooks can be tracked.

Do Chromebooks Need Antivirus?

Due to its built-in security features, Chromebooks are generally less prone to traditional viruses and malware, and many users find that they don’t need third-party antivirus software.

However, it’s essential to note that no system is entirely immune to security threats, and new types of threats can emerge anytime. Hence, it is good practice to have an antivirus program installed on your Chromebook, it will enhance the security of your device even more.

How To Check For Malware On Chromebook?

To check for malware on a Chromebook, watch for the following signs:

Slow Performance: When your Chromebook becomes exceptionally slow for routine tasks, it may suggest a malware issue. Although other factors can also affect performance, persistent sluggishness might signal a problem.

Unauthorized App Installations: Spyware may silently install applications or Chrome extensions without your consent. Check the “Manage extensions” page in Chrome settings for suspicious add-ons and the Chromebook Launcher for unexplained app installations.

Excessive Data Usage: If your internet data usage surges unexpectedly then it might be due to spyware sending data. Verify your data usage with your provider to identify potential issues.

Camera Activation: Malware can turn a laptop webcam into a spycam. If your Chromebook’s webcam is turning on and off without your command is suspicious behavior. This can indicate potential spyware or unauthorized access.

Antivirus Alerts: If you’ve installed antivirus software on your Chromebook, pay attention to alerts about suspicious activity. However, you must be aware of fake Trojan alert scams.

How To Remove Spyware From Chromebooks?

To remove spyware from your Chromebook, follow these steps:

Remove Suspicious Extensions

  • Open the Chrome browser.
  • Click on the three-dot menu icon in the upper-right corner.
  • Go to “Extensions.”
  • Review the list of installed extensions and remove any suspicious or unfamiliar ones.

Check Installed Apps

  • Open the Chromebook Launcher.
  • Look for any installed apps that you didn’t install intentionally or that seem suspicious.
  • If you find any, right-click on them and select Uninstall.

Run The Chrome Cleanup Tool

  • Open the Chrome browser.
  • Click on the three-dot menu icon in the upper-right corner.
  • Go to “Settings.”
  • Scroll down to the “Advanced” section and click on “Clean up computer” under “Reset and clean up.”
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to scan and remove any remaining harmful software.

Install and Run an Antivirus App

While Chrome OS is designed to be secure, you can install a trusted antivirus app from the Chrome Web Store, such as Avast Online Security or Malwarebytes. Run a full system scan to detect and remove any lingering spyware or malware.

Perform a Powerwash

A Powerwash is a complete reset of your Chromebook, which removes all data and applications. Before proceeding, make sure to back up essential data to Google Drive or an external storage device.

  • Open the Settings menu by clicking on the system tray, then the gear icon.
  • Scroll down and select Advanced.
  • Under “Powerwash,” click “Powerwash” and follow the on-screen instructions to reset your Chromebook to factory settings.

Can A Chromebook Get Hacked? Final Verdict

It is hard to hack a Chromebook when compared to Windows or even MacBook. However, it is not impossible to do that. You need to be careful and always look for signs of malware, spyware, or viruses on your device. You can make use of a good Chromebook antivirus program to detect and remove hidden spyware from your Chromebook.


Can Chromebook Get Trojan Viruses?

Yes, Chromebooks can potentially get Trojan viruses, although the risk is lower compared to other operating systems.

Can Chromebook Get Viruses From Website?

Yes, Chromebooks can get viruses from malicious websites, although their security measures make it less likely than on other platforms.

How To Check For Virus On Chromebook?

To detect spyware on a Chromebook, monitor unusual behavior, check performance, inspect installed apps, run the Chrome Cleanup Tool, and consider antivirus scans.

About the Author

Ankit Prasad, an engineer driven by a passion for digital safety, founded SpyDrill to simplify cybersecurity. With a modest approach, Ankit shares insights on parental control and monitoring apps and effective protection measures. His aim is to empower users with practical knowledge, bridging the gap between technology and everyday understanding. An advocate for digital literacy, Ankit's commitment to demystifying cyber threats underscores his dedication to creating a safer online environment for all.

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