In today’s profoundly digital world, people are likely to have many more profiles and accounts on the internet than ever before. This can mean some great things: a social media presence means you get to keep in touch with your friends—especially during a pandemic—and accounts for newspapers, online banking, or educational websites make things accessible for you.
So, what’s the catch?
Each of these accounts that you make requires you to remember a password for security reasons. Remembering these passwords is difficult—unless you’re Sheldon Cooper—and keeping the same password for everything, something many people do, substantially increases the risk of a third party breaching your privacy.
Where does Google come in
Password managers are programmes that allow users to store, generate and manage their passwords online. Most browsers such as Chrome and Safari come with password managers built-in. However, Google is adding a new feature to its Chrome password manager. The feature will warn users about stolen passwords and then fix them as well.
At the ongoing Google I/O event, Google’s Jen Fitzpatrick, announced that the search giant will add four new features to its Password Manager. First, Google will be launching a tool that will import any passwords a user uses stored in third-party managers such as LastPass to Chrome’s Password Manager. This would make for easier switching between Password Managers, making Google’s new tool more attractive to users.
Secondly, Google will further integrate this into PCs and Android devices. This would allow devices that use either the Chrome web browser or the Chrome OS to use the same account passwords on both platforms. Additionally, the Password Manager will launch a notification alert to let users know about any compromised passwords.
One of the main features of Google changed Password Manager is that it will enable Chrome to help users change their passwords with ease. Thus, if a user checks their password and gets an alert for a compromised password, the Assistant will show them a ‘Change Password’ button. Upon tapping this, Google’s AI Assistant will go through the entire process of changing the password for them. This makes it considerably easier to be safe on the internet.
People who are not comfortable with AI fixing their passwords can still use the manual option on the Password Manager. Chrome’s password manager will still help the user by suggesting solid and unique passwords for their accounts—like it currently does.
Google’s Duplex on the Web technology will power this new feature. Duplex was introduced in 2019 to allow Google Assistant to help users complete tasks such as purchasing movie tickets, checking in to flights and ordering food. Duplex on the Web will enable Assistants to take over more monotonous tasks on the internet, such as scrolling and filling out forms. The technology is being used to quickly create a strong password for sites and apps on Chrome, signalling a potential breach alert.
Users can also find such features in some third-party password managers, such as Dashlane. The main objective here is to dissuade users from keeping one or two passwords for every online account whilst making it easier for them to maintain their privacy. So far, this seems like a great idea from Google, and we’ll have to wait until it is properly implemented to see the platform’s workings better. Google says that the feature will be launched gradually, first to American users of its Chrome for Android and then will be more available in other regions in the ‘coming months.’
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I am an economics undergrad who loves drinking coffee and writing about technology and finance. I like to play the ukulele and watch old movies when I'm free.