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Google Issues Warning After Passwords Hacked

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Google Issues Warning After Passwords Hacked

Google has created an important tool to allow users to check if their online details have ever been compromised, after billions of passwords for various online accounts have been leaked in recent years.

The handy tool, Password Checkup, can be downloaded on Chrome and scans databases of usernames and passwords that have been leaked online.

Google has created an important tool to allow users to check if their online details have ever been compromised (Credit: Shutterstock)
Google has created an important tool to allow users to check if their online details have ever been compromised (Credit: Shutterstock)

If it detects that your credentials have been leaked, the tool will encourage you to change your usernames and passwords. It also warns you whenever you sign into a site using "one of over 4billion usernames and passwords" that have been leaked.

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Google explains the tool helps you understand if your passwords have been exposed to third party breaches, with Google explaining they've found more than four billion credentials exposed due to these breaches.

It also tells you if your passwords are being reused across different sites. This is particularly dangerous, because if a hacker manages to access a password that you reuse, they can also sign into your other accounts, too.

It even provides a handy list of accounts where you need to change your passwords.

And added to that, the tool will also indicate if your passwords should be strengthened. Weaker passwords make your accounts significantly more at risk of being hacked.

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Weaker passwords make your accounts significantly more at risk (Credit: Shutterstock)
Weaker passwords make your accounts significantly more at risk (Credit: Shutterstock)

"Since our launch, over 650,000 people have participated in our early experiment," Google's Jennifer Pullman explained back in 2019.

"In the first month alone, we scanned 21 million usernames and passwords and flagged over 316,000 as unsafe – 1.5 per cent of sign-ins scanned by the extension.

"Hijackers routinely attempt to sign in to sites across the web with every credential exposed by a third-party breach," said Pullman.

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"If you use strong, unique passwords for all your accounts, this risk disappears."

The handy tool allows you to check your credentials (Credit: Pexels)
The handy tool allows you to check your credentials (Credit: Pexels)

You can find the extension by heading to your Google account and then on to Password Manager.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Life

Lucy Devine
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