Google offers free password checking extension for Chrome

On Safer Internet Day, Google gives you three tips to keep your device and data safe

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. This will trigger an automatic warning and suggest changing your password.

An unusually large group of Google engineers and research scientists are behind Password Checkup, more than 30 of whom are credited for assisting in the creation of the extension.

As of now, Google alerts users of possible security breaches on all Google apps that you are enrolled at. On Tuesday, Google published a Chrome plugin that will report if the login info you use in say, Yahoo, has been stolen.

"After all the recent new breaches there's no better time for users to update all their passwords anyway", Moore advised.

The difference between Google's Password Checkup and Firefox Monitor is that the latter will notify you of a breach that contained your email if the website has been breached during the past 12 months.

However, Jennifer Pullman, Kurt Thomas, and Elie Bursztein, members of Google's security and anti-abuse research team, have assured their users that Google never goes on to 'learn' its usernames or thee passwords associated with them in spite of collecting the same.

If Google knows of a hack where your Google account was compromised, it will quietly send information to those sites, letting them know that your account should be deemed suspicious for the time being.

We designed Password Checkup with privacy-preserving technologies to never reveal this personal information to Google. Examples of second verification steps include: "an SMS text message, a six-digit code generated by an app, a prompt that you receive on a trusted device or the use of a physical security key". To accomplish this, Google says it's using multiple techniques, including hashing, k-anonymity, and blinding to keep your passwords anonymous.

As the number of compromised and leaked credentials rises inexorably with each passing day, Google has made a decision to help users choose safe combinations for all their online accounts. Moreover, the search giant says it will only share basic information regarding the event itself.

- Set up a recovery phone number or email address and keep it updated: Adding recovery information-such as a phone number or back up email address-to your account can help you more quickly get back into your account if you ever lose access or can't sign in.

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