I feel like I use pretty good passwords, but I understand that Google just released something called “Password Checkup” to confirm. Cool. How can I have it check my passwords?
Given that it’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the timing of your question is excellent. And there’s no way around it, remembering semi-random sequences of letters, digits and punctuation to ensure your account on a given site stays secure is a pretty weak approach to overall account security. So we humans do some daft things; we pick easy to remember (which means easy to guess) passwords like our dog’s name, and we use the same password or passwords across dozens or even hundreds of Web sites. Bowser might be a great name for your new puppy, but it’s an awful password.
To reiterate what I’ve said many times, longer passwords are better, and your password should have upper and lower case letters, digits and a punctuation mark or two. If you must stick with Bowser, use it as a basis and transform things: I<3myDOGBowser!! is at least an improvement, though it’s not as good as a completely random sequence of characters. Which means it’s hard to remember, and if you have different ones for each of the hundreds of sites you visit, well, good luck.
Instead, password managers. And since Google Chrome does a good job of storing and managing passwords, it means that Google can also analyze your passwords for security. That’s what Google Password Checkup does! You can get to it by going to passwords.google.com. Here’s what you’ll find…
No surprise, click or tap on “Get started“…
Here ya go, right into Google Password Checkup. It’s just a click away!
And that click is “Check passwords“…
The program can’t check passwords you haven’t saved to your Google Chrome password tool, of course, but for those you have, it can not only rate your password, but check it against common exposed passwords from hacker databases and warn you if “Bowser” is already a known choice.
To get started here, finally, click on “Check passwords“. As you’d expect, it’ll ask you to verify access to your account:
Hopefully you won’t see my email address pop up here! 🙂
Verify your password and it will immediately analyze and check each and every one of your passwords. I’m pretty good with my own password usage, so I get an almost completely clean bill of health, as you can see…
Uh oh, what’s a “weak” password? It’s one that lacks upper and lowercase, digits, punctuation and sufficient length to make the password secure. What account has a weak password? A click reveals it:
That link “Change password” will actually take me directly to the site’s change password page, which is super convenient. But notice the three dots piled atop each other on the right too. A click and that reveals there’s more you can identify:
Darn handy, really, and the best thing about Google Password Checkup is that you can identify and fix weak passwords or compromised passwords before you’re hacked, which is fantastic. Now, go click and find out how your passwords score!