Google boosts password security with Password Checkup Chrome extension

Google's Password Checkup Chrome extension (Image Credit: Google) (Image credit: Image Credit: Google)

In an effort to further secure the data of its users, Google has launched a new Chrome extension called Password Checkup to protect all of a user's accounts from third-party data breaches.

To coincide with the launch, the search giant also released new research from YouGov (conducted on its behalf) which found that people in the UK are security conscious when it comes to their online passwords. Of the 2,000 adults surveyed, the research found that just one percent use the same password for all online services.

However, while some adults are conscious of their online security, YouGov found that 39 percent will “never” review their online security settings and 32 percent do not update their passwords every six months.

Password Checkup is Google's new Chrome extension that detects if a username and password on a site have been compromised. If they have, the extension will warn the user and suggest they change their password.

Cross Account Protection

While the Password Checkup extension can help detect if a user's credentials have been compromised, they could still be vulnerable if a user has signed into other apps and sites with Google. This is why the company has created its new Cross Account Protection feature.

When apps and sites have implemented the new feature, Google is able to tell them an issue that could put a user's information at risk has been detected. The app or site can then take actions to help protect the user such as forcing them to log back in.

Google has designed these security events to be extremely limited in order to protect the privacy of its users. 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.

Security and Anti-Abuse Research Scientist, Kurt Thomas explained how Google is working to protect its users on every site they visit and not just its own in a blog post, saying:

“Your privacy and security is of the utmost importance. With technologies like Password Checkup and Cross Account Protection, we're continuing to improve the security of our users across the internet, not just on Google - and we'll never stop improving our defences to keep you safe online.” 

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.