Google's Password Checkup aims to protect you against data breaches

Google's Password Checkup aims to protect you against data breaches

Of course, some security-conscious users may not be thrilled with the idea of entrusting Google with their passwords at all.

The upcoming Chrome Password Checkup feature won't work unless users have chosen to use a Google account as a Chrome profile. Other third-party password manager like LastPass and 1Password can be used for a more elaborate password organization, but for the average person the Google password manager is more than sufficient.

[Screenshot: Google]"Password reuse is by far the larger problem than weak passwords", said Mark Risher, a senior director of product management for identity and security at Google. Google plans to roll out Password Checkup to users of the popular Chrome web browser in late 2019, although it hasn't specified exactly when. If it determines they were, it will advise you to change the password. It'll tell you whether your passwords have been compromised on other sites or services, warn against phrases that have been reused and prompt for weaker passwords to be strengthened. Moreover, the extension's core functionality appears to be a strong reminder about using different passwords for each website that demands a login credential. As the first title implies, the former section presents users with any accounts stored in Google that have the same password.

The Password Checkup extension is still available-it has been downloaded more than 1 million times to date, with almost half of those users having received a warning-but now users can run the tool without installing it.

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Google greets users with a welcome message that outlines the goal of the page and at the top of the page, there's a card that reads "Password Checkup".

Online accounts are all interconnected through thin wires - namely usernames and passwords.

This update will also add the ability to scan for reused and weak passwords, not just those logins already compromised by data breaches.

Asked by Gizmodo how Google pulls together its database of more than 4 billion unique password pairs, Risher said that most of that information is collected by crawling the open web and its own search engine. In other words, Google Chrome users had the option to download and install the extension to check if their passwords or log-in credentials have been compromised on websites in the past. The passwords were encrypted, but in a way that was trivially easy to break. Only 37 per cent of users used multi-factor authentication, the poll found, and a mere 15 per cent used a password manager - two security measures that are imperative to good password hygiene.

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