Use Only Secure Passwords Through This Chrome Extension

Published by Lamin Kanteh on

With the recent spikes in platforms being compromised, the need to be vigilant online has never been so important. Cooperate big names like Facebook have been gone through several internal restructuring which includes beefing up security around the most important products, us. 

But, a defense system no matter how sophisticated can be easily compromised if the person accessing it is a little lazy to follow all the security protocols like having a complex and strong password. 

Google, the company that handles nearly half of all the internet traffic has been working tirelessly to have its clientele adopt a more responsible online behavior and this includes cultivating a more responsible attitude and not use passwords that are simple and easily hackable.

This is actually “Strike Two” from the company in its recent push to make our online adventures more secure as the search giant recently added the Fingerprint authentication feature to Android.

To double down on its push for a more secure internet while also getting its ideology adopted across the spectrum, Google recently launched a Chrome Browser addon called Password Checkup that initiates a warning every time a user tries to log into a platform using one of the four billion hacked passwords. 

To make sure you aren’t using an already compromised password combination, Google cross-references your log-in details for different sites with a huge list of hacked log-ins.

Four billion sounds like a large number but all these passwords share one simple treat, they are predictable but according to Google’s Jennifer Pullman, Password Checkup is proving to be a viable defense against fragile passwords.

“In the first month alone, we scanned 21million usernames and passwords and flagged over 316,000 as unsafe – 1.5% of sign-ins scanned by the extension.”

This data was extrapolated from over half a billion participants who agreed to be part of the experimental phase of the platform.  

Constantly changing your passwords is one of the many ways you can avoid falling victim to malicious login attempts but having to remember several passwords across multiple sites can pose a different challenge on its own. This is when password managers come in handy.

Hackers, however, are resilient and they would go to any lengths to get into your account, this includes buying huge lists of compromised passwords from lots of different sites predominately from the dark side of the web because people often re-use them.

Pullman went further to explain that “Hijackers routinely attempt to sign in to sites across the web with every credential exposed by a third-party breach.”

Further instituting that using a strong and unique password makes your an unfavorable target to hackers.

How Password Checkup Extension Works

Using Google’s de facto tool to access your passwords in a bid to avoid using combinations already compromised is easy. Head over to the Chrome web store and search for Password Checkup and then add it to Chrome.

After the installation is complete, the extension works like most Chrome extensions by running in the background and constantly scanning your login credentials primarily passwords.

If your password or username matches a Google database of more than 4billion compromised credentials, the software will flag them.

An alert that pops up on your screen reads: “Password Checkup detected that your password for [website] is no longer safe due to a data breach. You should change your password now.”

Its function doesn’t end there as the platform also notifies you when a breach from any of your sites occurs and gives you a list of compromised credentials that you can click through and change.

According to Google, the tool is built solely to protect people from falling victim to hackers and that any data the user adds to the platform is encrypted.

“Password Checkup was built with privacy in mind. It never reports any identifying information about your accounts, passwords or device.”


Lamin Kanteh

I live, breath, and dream technology. I've only known myself to push the boundaries on what's possible in my mental scope in relation to technology. And having been a writer for the good part of the past three years (covering varying subjects on the major mobile platforms), No place has ever felt more like home than Chrome OS. And as you may know, Chrome OS is ushering us into a future of the unknown and I'm here to help in the process of easing the way into that future via ItsChromeOS.

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