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How to audit passwords with the Google Password Checkup tool

Passwords are often compromised because they’re weak. Many services will go to great lengths to make sure their users use a good, strong password but users still manage to set weak passwords. A weak password is one that is too short, is a predictable phrase e.g., password123, or that’s used for multiple services. Google has a new password checking tool that checks if your passwords are safe, if they’ve ever been leaked in a data breach, and if they are strong. Here’s how yo use the Google Password Checkup tool.

Chrome saved passwords

The Google Password Checkup tool checks the passwords you’ve saved to Chrome. In order to use the tool to audit your passwords, you must have them saved to Chrome’s password manager. Additionally, you must also be signed into your Google account in Chrome so that the tool has access to the information that’s saved in the browser.

Google Password Checkup tool

Visit this link, and sign in with the Google account that you use to sync data in Chrome. Click the ‘Check Passwords button.

The tool will be able to read all the passwords and it will give you a summary of any problems that might exist. If your password was leaked in a data breach of another service, the tool will tell you and point them out. If you’re reusing the same password, the tool will offer you help creating new and unique passwords and also highlight the recycled passwords as a security problem.

This tool does allow Google to look at your passwords. By default, the passwords in Chrome are stored on your desktop and when the data is synced, it is encrypted. You can view saved passwords by entering the password for your Windows 10 PC or Mac, but you have to jump through a few hoops to to edit a saved password.

The tool itself isn’t bad but you may be apprehensive about allowing Google to scan them. The company hasn’t had its data leaked ever but some third-party apps that connect to your Google account can, and do, turn out to be malicious but that doesn’t have anything to do with Chrome’s password manager. Additionally, Google is very careful with your data so if you’re worried about the password checking tool leaking your passwords, don’t be.

Using the Google Password Checker tool may eventually come down to two things; your willingness to save passwords to Chrome, and how comfortable you are with Google examining them for duplication and strength. If the tool discovers you have a password that was leaked, change it immediately.

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