Are Your Passwords Secure? Google's Password Checkup Knows

Online security

On Safer Internet Day, Google gives you three tips to keep your device and data safe

The company has announced the release of a new Password Checkup tool, a free extension to the firm's Chrome web browser which automatically warns users if their account details are detected to have been compromised in a cyber attack or data breach.

If the password is involved in a breach that Google is aware of, the extension issues a warning to let you know that resetting the password is recommended, thus making sure that hackers wouldn't get access to your data.

Only 24% of survey respondents said they use a password manager, with those who are older than 50 being less likely to use a password management tool, though the 50-plus group is more likely to use a different password for each account. "At the same time, we need to ensure that no information about other unsafe usernames or passwords leaks in the process, and that brute force guessing is not an option", they wrote in a blog post. On Tuesday, Google published a Chrome plugin that will report if the login info you use in say, Yahoo, has been stolen. However nearly half only change their password either less than every 6 months or never, effectively undoing most of this good work.

It's all too easy to find out your email and passwords have been included in a breach, so if your browser can tell you, wouldn't it be useful?

The tech giant plans to further refine the technology over the coming months, for example by improving site compatibility and username and password field detection. In a nutshell, if your account is hacked, Google says it will send that information to the apps and websites you've logged into with your Google account.

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Again Google claims that it will share only the basic information with the apps in such events. "We'll never stop improving our defences to keep you safe online", Thomas said.

The new Password Checkup Chrome extension was developed to expand Google's data breach protections to cover all other accounts a user might use to log into other websites and apps.

"Helping people manage their privacy and security is integral to everything we do".

- Set up a recovery phone number or email address and keep it updated: Adding recovery information-such as a phone number or back up email address-to your account can help you more quickly get back into your account if you ever lose access or can't sign in.

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