Due to the increase in data breaches, with people falling prey to phishing sites, data security has become a top concern for many people worldwide. To protect its users, Google Chrome (Chrome 79) will now issue a warning if your username and password have been compromised in a data breach on some site or app. It will suggest you change them everywhere they have been used.
The newest feature is an expansion of Google’s Password Check-up which it announced in February as a separate extension. Hackers responsible for data breaches on sites like Yahoo and LinkedIn always post the information carelessly online and because many people use the same passwords across sites, hackers could try to use the same information to gain entrance to other accounts.
Google uses this database to crosscheck its user’s login credentials against a regularly updated database of more than four billion usernames to see if they have been compromised. There are many other services with similar capabilities like Dashlane and 1Password which monitor logins and notify people when their details have been compromised.
User’s passwords and usernames are now encrypted so that no third party can see them, even Google. This was originally a browser extension, which meant it had to be downloaded. However, users will now see the notification promptly as they browse the web. Google says it will be rolled out gradually in the settings tab under Sync and Google Services.
Already Google can automatically reset users’ passwords for Google apps and sites when it determines they may have been compromised. With this new feature, it will be impossible for the app to reset passwords for non-Google services, but this is one way to ensure safety for those accounts.
Google Chrome has other safety tools that allows people report sketchy websites commonly used by scammers or phishers.
The innovation by Google follows its promise to protect users’ data. “Our business is built on our customers’ trust: trust in our ability to properly secure their data, our commitment to respect the privacy of the information they place in our systems,” the company said in its blog.