Google is looking to further enhance users’ security on its Chrome browser with a new update focused on its built-in password manager.
One of the features delivered in the Chrome 88 update is a new system designed to automatically detect weak passwords, and to let users easily change them. Users can access it by clicking ‘Passwords’ under their profile name in the browser, with weak passwords flagged for action.
It could be an important feature for the many users who occasionally find themselves coming up with an easy-to-remember password on the fly when signing up for a new service or platform; Google’s aim is to come in after the fact and fix it so the password is more difficult to crack.
The other new feature is the ability to manage all of one’s passwords in one place, in Chrome Settings. This feature is now available on the desktop and Android versions of Chrome, and will come to Android soon, Google says.
These enhancements build on Chrome security improvements delivered in October that included a notification system for when passwords are compromised, and an ‘Enhanced Safe Browsing’ feature designed to guard against malware and phishing.
All that having been said, password-based authentication is itself a concern for many security experts, with growing calls for multi-factor approaches and the use of biometrics. But as the saying goes, “Start where you are.” Password-based security is extremely common, and Google is evidently doing its best to make sure that it’s as secure as possible.
And Google did introduce a password auto-fill feature that uses biometric authentication on iOS devices last year, which suggests the company is trending toward this kind of post-password security.