A new feature that Google is baking directly into its Chrome browser will ostensibly help all of us stay much safer when surfing the web. As explained in a new company blog post today penned by Google senior product manager AbdelKarim Mardini, the search giant is adding a feature to Chrome similar to one it’s been working on for a while that showed up as an extension earlier this year. The gist is that when you’re logging into a website while running Chrome, Chrome can kick in and alert you if that username and password have been stolen as part of the cavalcade of data breaches we’ve all read about.
“Chrome has safety protections built in, and now we’re expanding those protections further,” AbdelKarim writes. “When you type your credentials into a website, Chrome will now warn you if your username and password have been compromised in a data breach on some site or app. It will suggest that you change them everywhere they were used.”
The post goes on to note that this functionality can be controlled in Chrome Settings under Sync and Google Services. It’s being rolled out, to start with, for everyone signed in to Chrome as a part of “Safe Browsing” protections. The latter refers to Google’s constantly-growing list of sites it deems unsafe — a list that Google says refreshes every 30 minutes and protects 4 billion devices every day against security threats including phishing.
Additional protections coming to Google Chrome, meanwhile, include “predictive phishing protection” which warns users when they use their Google Account password into a site Google suspects of engaging in phishing. Additionally, this feature will now work for all passwords stored in Chrome’s password manager.
These and other new privacy protections are being added to Google Chrome over the next few weeks. “Many of these technologies were developed at the Google Safety Engineering Center, a hub of privacy and security product experts and engineers based in Munich, which opened last May,” today’s Google post reads. “GSEC is home to the engineering teams who build many of the safety features into the Chrome browser.
“We’ll continue to invest in our teams worldwide to deliver the safest personal browser experience to everyone, and we look forward to bringing more new features to strengthen the privacy and security of Chrome in 2020.”