With more data breaches happening each year—over 2 billion people were affected in 2018 alone—online security is increasingly a high priority for most folks. But given how widespread the problem is, tracking anywhere and everywhere your login information may have been breached feels like an overwhelming task.
That’s where Google Password Checkup, a new Chrome web browser extension, comes in. Password Checkup not only helps re-secure accounts that have been hacked or compromised, but it also alerts you if you’re using an insecure password.
Here’s how it works: Every time you sign into a site, the extension compares your password against an encrypted database of passwords that Google already knows to be compromised. If your password appears on that list, the extension will flag it, urging you to change your credentials immediately.
If you want to take your security even more seriously, consider enabling two-step verification, which requires that you enter a one-time only six-digit code (sent to you in a text, phone call, or through a mobile app) alongside your password.
The next step, creating a new, secure password, is even easier. Google Chrome already has a built-in password management feature that helps you generate a new password—a string of random characters—and then stores it in Chrome, so you don’t even have to remember it. You can access and manage your stored passwords in your Google Chrome password manager.
Although these tools may not be able to stop you from the being the target of data breaches, they’ll greatly increase the chances of your information staying safe.
To learn more about the benefits of Password Checkup, and to install it, head over to the Google Chrome Web Store.