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What you need to know

  • Google Chrome is getting new tools to keep your online data safe.
  • Chrome will now warn you if your email or password has been compromised in a data breach.
  • The desktop version of Chrome is gaining real-time phishing protection.

Staying safe online is an increasingly important thing that everyone needs to be aware of, and in an effort to make this easier, Google is adding new tools to its Chrome web browser to do just that. There are four new features rolling out to users now, and they're pretty impressive.

First on the list, Chrome can now detect if your email or password has been compromised in a data breach. You'll get a warning after you type in your credentials for an account, along with a suggestion to update your information on any other sites you used these credentials. This technology was previously offered in the Password Checkup extension and in your Google account settings, but it's now baked directly into Chrome — making it more accessible than ever before.

Improvements to phishing detection should warn you about dangerous sites 30% more often.

The second big addition is that of real-time phishing detection. Google's Safe Browsing initiative already checks a list of unsafe websites and shares this info with webmasters, but the list is only updated every 30 minutes. By switching this to real-time checks, Google says it should be able to warn you of these bad sites 30% more often.

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Real-time phishing detection is only currently available for Chrome on desktop, and right now, it is limited to users that have Google's "Make searches and browsing better" setting turned on.

On a related note, Google's also upgrading its predictive phishing protections. Launched in 2017, this gives you a warning if you enter your Google account password into a website that's been suspected of phishing information. This used to require you be logged in to Chrome and have Sync enabled, but with this update, it now works even if Sync is turned off. Furthermore, it's expanding beyond your Google password and for any passwords that are saved in Chrome's built-in password manager. Good stuff.

Last but certainly not least, Google's making it easier to see which account you're currently logged into on Chrome. Per Google:

On desktop, you'll see a new visual representation of the profile you're currently using, so you can be sure you are saving your passwords to the right profile. This is a visual update and won't change your current Sync settings. We've also updated the look of the profile menu itself: it now allows for easier switching and clearly shows if you are signed in to Chrome or not.

Google says all of the above features are being rolled out "gradually over the next few weeks," so it may be a hot minute before you have access to all of them. Even so, this is a very welcome early Christmas present.

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