Google's New Chrome Extension Warns You If Your Passwords Have Been Exposed

Google's New Chrome Extension Warns You If Your Passwords Have Been Exposed

Google today announced a Chrome extension called Password Checkup that will help you protect your accounts from third party data breaches.

In times when data breaches and account hacking is on an indefinite rise, Google has come up with some welcome additions to its suite of security offerings for consumers. It's like using the same key to lock your home, auto and office - if someone gains access to one, all of them could be compromised. Reusing passwords means having to change the password for every site that used the now-breached password. Given that many people use the same login credentials for multiple websites and apps, hackers could be able to gain access to more than just the website they stole the login information from.

Improper practices surrounding passwords is a key theme in Google's Safer Internet Day research. In fact, it will only alert the user when they attempt to use a password through Chrome that is part of Google's enormous database of passwords known to have been hacked.

However, Password Checkup will let you know that something's wrong when you try to login to a site with a specific user name and password combination that was compromised. It won't nag you if you're using weak passwords (think "123456" and other such gems) or tell you about other info that may have been compromised along with your username and password, like an address or phone number.

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Google, however, says that it does collect statistics related to breaches and incidents, which should technically help the company improve the service. Only 24 percent of users in the poll said they used a password manager. Sites or apps which choose to implement this will get information from Google about security events, like an account hijacking to help protect user.

Called Password Checkup, the extension is available now, although Google warns that it's still a work in progress.

As Google explains, it hashes and encrypts a copy of compromised usernames and passwords it collects from public credential dumps.

"People have data stored in lots of different places, but it's becoming increasingly hard for them to keep it all locked down and protected", Mark Risher, a director of product management who runs Google's identity team, told BuzzFeed News.

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