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New version of Chrome warns users if their password was exposed in a data breach

Google says it scans credentials in an encrypted format to protect users’ privacy

Photo (c) fizkes - Getty Images
On Tuesday evening, Google rolled out a new version of its Chrome browser. Version 79 of the browser includes a feature that alerts users if their password was stolen in a data breach. 

The feature was previously available as a browser extension, but Google has made it a default feature in the latest version of Chrome. If a user’s password was stolen, Google will suggest changing their login credentials. 

“When you type your credentials into a website, Chrome will now warn you if your username and password have been compromised in a data breach on some site or app,” the tech giant wrote in a blog post. “It will suggest that you change them everywhere they were used.”

Google sees login information in encrypted format

When Google released the feature as an extension earlier this year, it said it was designed with privacy in mind. The company said it’s able to alert users if their password was stolen by scanning its database of information that has been compromised in data breaches and cross-referencing that information with a users’ login information. 

Google said its Password Checkup feature “never reports any identifying information about your accounts, passwords, or device.” It only reports “anonymous information about the number of lookups that surface an unsafe credential, whether an alert leads to a password change, and the domain involved for improving site coverage.”

Chrome users can control the new feature in Chrome Settings under Sync and Google Services.

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