Are Your Passwords Secure? Google's Password Checkup Knows

Sheri Evans
February 9, 2019

As the number of compromised and leaked credentials rises inexorably with each passing day, Google has chose to help users choose safe combinations for all their online accounts. Once installed, it will check every time you sign in to an account using a username and password.

Password reuse remains an issue, the poll found: 65% of respondents said they reuse the same password for multiple accounts, creating a security risk. Then, after a certain scan, if it detects that a username and password combination you're using is one of more than 4 billion compromised credentials, the extension will inform you to change your password. The extension enables you to find out which accounts have been compromised and prompts you to change unsafe passwords.

Lastly, Google says that users can do a health checkup of your Google Account, which gives you personalized and actionable security recommendations that help strengthen the security of your Google Account.

The two services are called Password Checkup and Cross Account Protection, and help protect users not just when they're using Google's sites and apps, but beyond that as well. As an example, Google might tell third-parties app partners that due to suspicious account activity, it required a user to sign-in again.

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The second feature is christened "Cross Account Protection". "To do this, we developed privacy-protecting techniques with the help of cryptography researchers at both Google and Stanford University". In the blog, Google says it "won't bother you about outdated passwords you've already reset or merely weak passwords", like the ones topping this abysmal list. When a data breach occurs, the hackers behind the attack often post a large database of the information they stole online, including usernames and passwords.

Google also means to publish a paper with the details about the extension's underlying protocols and cryptographic principles, so that independent experts might evaluate them. The company only shares the fact that a security event has occurred, basic information about the event such as whether an account was hijacked and this information is only shared with apps where a user's Google credentials were used to login.

Meanwhile, people who have Google accounts may easily know the other steps they need to take to improve their online security through the search giant's Security Checkup feature.

"We only share information with apps where you have logged in with Google".

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