Google launches Password Checkup and Cross Account Protection

Clare Hopping

6 Feb, 2019

Google is beefing up its Chrome tools to help users ascertain when their data may be at risk.

Password Checkup and Cross Account Protection are the latest efforts from search giant Google to make users feel safe and secure when browsing online.

Password Checkup is a Chrome extension that will detect whether the username and password you’re using to login to an online account or service have been stolen. If either has, an alert will pop up in your browser, advising you of the breach and suggesting you change your password.

Google warns that this is only the first iteration of the tool though and it will be refined in the coming months, suggesting it’s perhaps not as accurate as it should be.

Cross Account Protection has been developed to address security if you use your Google account to login to third-party websites and services. Increasingly, businesses are integrating Google login, meaning you can simply enter your existing Google account username and password (or click a few buttons if you’re already logged in, to gain access to other services.

Although Google can implement protections if you’re using its services and it thinks you’ve been hacked, before the introduction of Cross Account Protection, Google was unable to implement the same security processes. However, now it will share any breach data with the third party, so they can take action, such as forcing you to re-login.

Google said only very limited data is shared with the third party and it’s working with the IETF and Open ID Foundation to allow more services to integrate the extra protection.

“Your privacy and security is of the utmost importance,” said Google spokesperson and security and anti-abuse research scientist Kurt Thomas. “With technologies like Password Checkup and Cross Account Protection, we’re continuing to improve the security of our users across the internet, not just on Google – and we’ll never stop improving our defences to keep you safe online.”