Published: Wed, February 06, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Google’s New Chrome Extension Alerts You If Your Passwords Have Been Leaked

Google’s New Chrome Extension Alerts You If Your Passwords Have Been Leaked

Password Checkup is now available in the Chrome Web Store as an extension for Chrome, while more information on how to use it or toggle it on or off is available on the "Protect accounts that have unsafe passwords" Google support page. Finally, Google says it will continue to improve both services from here on out, particularly Password Checkup, which will be refined in the coming months.

When you log into an online service the Password Checkup checks the username and password entered in the login form against a database of over four billion credentials that Google engineers have collected from public breaches in the past few years - basically their own version of the Australian made have I been pwned database. If they have, the extension will warn the user and suggest they change their password. Once installed, it will check every time you sign in to an account using a username and password. Outdated and weak passwords won't generate an alert, Google said. "And we only share information with apps where you have logged in with Google".

Password Checkup is a first-party extension, which begs the question as to why Google doesn't just bake into Chrome natively, and make it opt-in.

Google has partnered with cryptography experts at Stanford University on the development of a new Chrome extension created to help keep your accounts safe from hijacking.

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Google will limit disclosures to only share that these security events have occurred, without sharing personal account info. Password Checkup addresses all of these requirements by using multiple rounds of hashing, k-anonymity, private information retrieval, and a technique called blinding.

In cases where a hacker may get access to your Google account, the new Cross Account Protection feature can help you quickly get back to safety.

To coincide with the launch, the search giant also released new research from YouGov (conducted on its behalf) which found that people in the United Kingdom are security conscious when it comes to their online passwords.

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