Google Chrome makes it easier to fix weak passwords

A list of poorly-constructed passwords on a notepad
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google Chrome users will now be able to check which passwords should be updated with stronger combinations using a new tool for Chrome 88.

The feature makes it easier to identify and fix weak passwords by scanning the combinations stored in Chrome's password manager and highlighting the ones which could be easily breached.

Once they are identified, Chrome will allow users to edit the passwords and even facilitate the process by generating a stronger combination.

Commenting on the new feature, Chrome product manager Ali Sarraf said that Google is “excited to announce new updates” that will provide users with “even greater control over your passwords”.

“We’ve all had moments where we’ve rushed to set up a new login, choosing a simple “name-of-your-pet” password to get set up quickly. However, weak passwords expose you to security risks and should be avoided. In Chrome 88, you can now complete a simple check to identify any weak passwords and take action easily,” he added.

According to Sarraf, the new tool will be rolled out over the coming weeks as users upgrade to the Chrome 88 browser version. Once the browser is updated, users can access the tool by going to Settings > Passwords > Check passwords > Check Now to perform a safety check of their passwords. They can then click the "Review" button to replace the saved password with a stronger combination.


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Sarraf also added that Google will continue to introduce additional password features “throughout 2021”.

The new tool is an addition to Chrome’s “Check passwords” feature, which allows users to check whether any of their saved passwords had been compromised.

The feature was rolled out after a similar tool, Firefox Monitor, became available on Mozilla's own browser in September 2018. The system works by scanning users’ email address against a database of information confirmed to have been leaked in security breaches. If it has been marked as potentially stolen by hackers, Mozilla will then notify the user, who can change their username and passwords as a precaution.

In May 2019, the company also released Firefox Lockwise, which uses 256-bit encryption to allow users to access their saved passwords in Firefox from anywhere.

Sabina Weston

Having only graduated from City University in 2019, Sabina has already demonstrated her abilities as a keen writer and effective journalist. Currently a content writer for Drapers, Sabina spent a number of years writing for ITPro, specialising in networking and telecommunications, as well as charting the efforts of technology companies to improve their inclusion and diversity strategies, a topic close to her heart.

Sabina has also held a number of editorial roles at Harper's Bazaar, Cube Collective, and HighClouds.