Passwords are the main gateway to our accounts. And for this reason, they are one of the elements most attacked by hackers. Nowadays, if we want to avoid falling into its clutches, it is necessary to use long, complex, random and unique passwords for each website where we register. The problem is that over time we have accumulated weak passwords in many places where we have registered. Even today we still sometimes use bad password practices. And for this reason, Google wants to help us close these security gaps and encourage us to improve the security of all the passwords we use in Chrome .
In the latest versions of Chrome, Google has introduced a function that allows us to know when a password that we use, and we have saved in the browser, is present in one of the many databases of stolen passwords . Like Google, hackers have access to these password databases, which results in a serious security problem.
Thus, when the browser detects that we are using a password present in one of those databases, it warns us of the security breach and invites us to change it. Now, with the arrival of Chrome 88, Google wants to go one step further, and in addition to warning us when we use stolen passwords, it will also warn us when a password is considered “weak” or “not very secure.”
That’s how it works.
How Google Chrome alerts us to weak passwords
This new function was introduced in the Chrome Canary password manager last December, although it is hidden behind the ” Safety check for weak passwords ” flag. Now, with the arrival of the new version of the browser, Chrome 88 , Google has decided to bring this function to all users of it. Of course, this feature will not be activated for everyone from minute zero, but will progressively reach all users over the next few weeks.
To make use of this function, what we must do is go to the Settings> Autocomplete> Passwords> Check passwords> Check again section . Chrome will be in charge of analyzing the passwords that we have saved in the browser to tell us if there is a problem with them. If we are logged in with our Google account, we can check both weak and stolen passwords. If not, it will only mark the weak ones.
Chrome will allow us to change the password from its own password manager. If the website has the URL “/.well-known/change-password” , we will only have to click on the button that appears to go to the page and directly enter our new password. Otherwise, the web will open in a new tab and we will have to change the password by hand ourselves. Chrome allows us to generate secure and random passwords, or we can manually enter the pass we want to use.
When we finish, we must update the password in Chrome. A link called ” Have you changed this password? ” Will allow us to manually change the old password to the new one in case the change is not reflected automatically.
2021: a year to change passwords
Surely, with the passage of time we will have saved tens or hundreds of passwords in the browser. And with these new Chrome features, we may have a lot of security advisories.
Changing your password on more than 700 websites can seem like a very tedious and annoying task, and it can be time consuming. But it is not something that has to be done in one day. We can take advantage of the arrival of the new year and spend a little time each day to strengthen our online security. In a few months we will surely have changed all these vulnerable passwords. And then our online security will appreciate it.