Previously, Google had a separate Password Checkup browser extension that warned users if they were reusing passwords on different websites. Now, Chrome will be able to do this natively. It will also let users know if their password has been compromised as part of a data breach. The browser will run these checks as you enter your credentials into websites. The password protection feature can be accessed through Chrome’s sync settings.
For users concerned about Google having access to their passwords, the company assures that it does not collect or even see credentials. “Private set intersection with blinding,” as the developers call it, allows the feature to use multiple layers of encryption and strongly hashed and encrypted copies of the passwords to find matches.
Another security feature in Chrome 79 is real-time phishing protection. Google has found that scammers running phishing websites frequently change domains to try to outsmart users and Google’s spider-bots. So Chrome implements a feature that references a list of phishing websites that the search giant updates every 30 minutes. Google claims that it should improve the browser’s phishing detection by about 30 percent.
"[Our] Safe Browsing list has been capturing an increasing number of phishing sites," said Senior Product Manager AbdelKarim Mardini.
Finally, the new Chrome build has improved visibility for users that have more than one profile or share their computers with others. They will now be able to more easily see which account is in use to ensure that credentials are being saved to the proper profile. Essentially all the developers have done is add a name to the profile photo. Previously it was only the picture, which is small and could be difficult to distinguish if the images are similar.
All of these features are available in Chrome 79, but Google has them on a slow rollout. If you don’t see them, be patient. The company expects to have everything fully implemented within a few weeks.
You can check out these and the rest of the features added to Chrome 79 in the release notes.
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