Keep your accounts more secure with Google's new Password Checkup Chrome extension

Online security

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.

Password Checkup is an extension to the Chrome browser. In other words, the Password Checkup Chrome extension will tell you when you need to change your password and every single person who uses Chrome should install it immediately.

Website and database breaches are becoming a more frequent occurrence these days, which is why it has become even more imperative for users to take stock in the passwords they use [and reuse] on multiple websites. Google, too, has seen such attacks, reporting to have blocked attacks on almost 110 million users in the past with the same database of four billion leaked credentials that it's now using to power the Password Checkup tool. Less than a quarter (23 percent) of respondents indicated that they believe having long passwords is a good best practice for cyber-security.

Improper practices surrounding passwords is a key theme in Google's Safer Internet Day research. In addition, a third of respondents (31%) said they either don't know whether they are using two-factor authentication (2FA) or or intentionally choose not to use it.

When asked to define phishing, password manager and two-step verification, only 32% of respondents correctly defined all three terms. But Baby Boomers (50+-year-olds) are more likely to use a unique password for each of their accounts (40 percent vs. 35 percent overall).

The extension was made by Google and is very easy to use.

It's hardly the most glamorous thing to come out of Google, but heck, it seems to be a sensible and handy one.

While 79% of participants understand that updating security software is a key part of staying safe online, only 67% said they regularly update (or know if they update) their applications.

Your passwords are never seen by Google (the company only stores a hashed, partial code for unsafe passwords in your Chrome browser), and Google claims the extension "never reports any identifying information about your accounts, passwords, or device".

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