Google on Wednesday announced new tools meant to enhance user privacy across its products, such as Google Maps incognito mode, YouTube history deletion, and privacy management via Google Assistant. But Google also announced a feature that should enhance your security online by telling you which passwords may have been compromised during security breaches targeting various sites, and advising immediate action.
The feature is hardly new, and Google Chrome isn’t the only browser that can help you with password security by offering information about past data breaches that may have affected a certain account. But Google will now include the feature in its password manager app. That means, of course, you’d have to use Google’s password manager to save your passwords in order to take advantage of the feature, rather than going for dedicated password managers like 1Password or LastPass.
In addition to informing you about breaches, the password manager will also prevent you from using bad passwords, like “password,” or “123456,” which is something that people are still doing:
Today we’re launching the Password Checkup—a new feature built into our password manager that checks the strength and security of all of your saved passwords, tells you if we find they’ve been compromised (for example, in a breach), and gives you personalized, actionable recommendations when needed.
The password manager is built-into your Google account, and the Password Checkup feature will tell you whether any of your passwords were compromised. If it determines they were, it will advise you to change the password.
The tool also tells you if your password is being used on multiple sites — although that’s something you should already know, because if they are, you’re the one that set them up that way. It’s a good idea not to reuse passwords. You should create strong, unique passwords for each account you have, and then store those passwords inside password managers like Google’s, which is available at this link.
Google also says that later this year it will build the Password Checkup technology right into Chrome, so you get real-time protection as you type a password, without the need to install a separate extension.