What you need to know
- A new password security feature seems to be coming to Google Chrome.
- The feature will warn you if you've just created an online account using a weak password.
- Chrome's password strength indicator will also show up when you update an old password.
While Google is moving to completely make passwords a thing of the past, it doesn't mean the company is ready to abandon efforts to beef up password security for billions of users. Google seems to be working on a new security feature for Chrome that will alert you if the password you just created is weak.
A new password strength indicator for Google Chrome appears to be in the works, as evidenced by this Chromium Gerrit (opens in new tab) entry discovered by About Chromebooks (opens in new tab). As its name suggests, the feature will alert you to weak passwords you've created when signing up for a new online account or simply updating an old one.
The feature will presumably use visual cues to indicate whether a password is weak or strong. This means you'll probably see a green bar if your new password is strong and a red bar if it's weak, which is similar to what many of the best password managers have been offering for a long time. This begs the question, "Why only now?"
It's surprising that a browser used by billions of people hasn't had a password strength indicator all these years, especially when competitors like 1Password and Dashlane already do. This is not to say that Google's Password Manager has a lax approach to security. In fact, the service already checks for any compromised or weak passwords and warns you which ones you should update.
However, Chrome's long-overdue password strength indicator arrives far too late — at a time when Google is gearing up to introduce password-free sign-in support to Android and Chrome over the next year.
For the time being, it's a welcome addition to Chrome anyway. It's not available to everyone right now, but you should be able to turn on a flag in a future build when the feature's code starts to roll out.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.
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