Google is doubling down on its Password Checkup Tool – bringing the important service to its Google dashboard, Android handsets, and Google Chrome browser.
The service currently exists as an optional add-on for Google Chrome. Users need to know about it, seek it out on the Chrome WebStore, and then install it. That limits the reach of this hugely-important service, which could save you from a devastating hack.
We know the Password Checkup Tool is being baked directly into Chrome because it has surfaced in the latest version of Chrome Canary – the beta version of the browser which gets new features and design tweaks ahead of their roll-out to users worldwide using the stable version of Chrome.
Google scans known breaches and repositories of hacked usernames, email addresses and password to see whether any match your logins. The company has an internal database of more than four billion usernames and passwords that have leaked online.
If there’s a match, the Californian company will let you know so that you can change the password as soon as possible. Security experts caution against using the same email address and password combination for multiple online accounts.
That’s because if one of these is compromised in a hack or leak – then multiple accounts are suddenly at risk. This can be especially serious if you use the same login for your email, or an old social media account (remember Bebo, anyone?) as your online banking account, or an account with your credit card details saved for faster purchases, like PayPal.