Image: iStock/stefanamer

You take your Chromebook everywhere. It’s your go-to, on-the-go mobile tool. To that end, you need to ensure you’re using it as securely as possible—use strong passwords, two-factor authentication and just about every other security measure you can.

What about those entries in your clipboard?

Did you know Chrome OS stored clipboard entries? That’s right, out of the box, Chrome OS will save the last five strings you’ve copied to the clipboard. Chrome OS doesn’t just save text to the clipboard—that would be too easy. Chrome OS also saves your screenshots to the clipboard, so it’s not just text you have to worry about, but those images you’ve grabbed from your screen.

What does that mean? Anyone who has access to your Chromebook could view your clipboard and reveal what could be passwords. Of course, the strings shown don’t indicate what they’re used for, so it would be up to the ne’er-do-well to put those pieces together. Even so, you do not want to make their job easier for them.

What do you do? You delete the entries from the clipboard you don’t want anyone to see. Believe it or not, the developers have made it incredibly simple for you to do this, so it’s just a matter of you getting into the habit of doing so.

Let me show you how this is done.

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What you’ll need

The only thing you’ll need to make this work is a Chromebook. Of course, you should also make sure to update Chrome OS (for security’s sake), but this feature has been around for a while.

How to view the clipboard

The first thing you need to do is open the clipboard for viewing. Google has made this task simple with the help of a keyboard shortcut. To find out what you’ve recently copied to the clipboard, hit the Search+v key combination. The last saved entries will appear (Figure A).

Figure A

These are the last five strings I copied to my clipboard.

If you’ve taken screenshots, those entries will appear as well (Figure B).

Figure B

We now see screenshots listed in the clipboard.

Now, imagine you’ve copied a password (or two) from your password manager, to paste it into a login form. If you were to hit the same key combination. that password would be available for anyone to see—that’s not terribly secure.

How to purge entries from your Chromebook clipboard

What do you do? You remember to purge those entries. Every time you copy a password to the Chrome OS clipboard, you should get in the habit of purging. Fortunately, the devs have made it just as easy to delete entries as they have for viewing them.

After you open the clipboard popup, hover your cursor over the entry you want to delete and an X will appear (Figure C).

Figure C

Selecting the entry to delete from the clipboard.

Click the X associated with the entry you want to delete and, presto! It’s gone. If you get into a habit of checking your clipboard and deleting any entry that could lead to trouble, your Chromebook experience will be a bit more secure.

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