The master password protection feature that Google recently implemented in Chromium for Mac has now landed on Windows as well. According to Google’s “Happiness Evangelist”, François Beaufort, the feature is now available in the latest Chromium build for Windows, suggesting that it will soon be included in the stable version of Google's Chrome web browser, though no official date has been announced for this.
Just like any other modern web browser, Google Chrome also offers to store user entered usernames and passwords for different websites. Once the credentials for a website are stored, the browser automatically fills them whenever the user visits the same website again.
Previously, users could easily access all the stored passwords in plain text by visiting chrome://settings/passwords or through Settings -> Show Advanced Settings -> Manage Saved Passwords. Many considered this as a major loophole because anyone with physical access to the computer could easily access these passwords.
The new feature asks users to authenticate themselves with their Windows account password before they can access saved credentials. Once the master password is entered, the protection will be lifted only for a minute. Thereafter, the password prompt will reappear and users will have to enter the master password again.
Undoubtedly, this is a welcome move from Google towards enhancing the security of Chrome. The move will definitely please those who have been fairly vocal in criticizing the lack of password-protected passwords in Google's browser.