Google launched a new Chrome extension Wednesday called Password Alert, which is designed to reduce phishing attacks while also improving your password security practices.
So how does Password Alert work? Basically all you need to do is download the Password Alert extension from the Google Chrome store and install it.
Once installed, the extension will warn you whenever you type your Google account password anywhere but your actual Google Account, while also nudging you to change your Google password in the case you really have been victim to a phishing attack.
OK, so this may not sound like any big deal, but according to the company, the ultimate goal of many phishing attacks is to “trick people into giving up their passwords”, fully aware that people have a bad habit of reusing passwords. If phishers can get you to give up a password like your Google account password, there’s a good chance that you will have used it in other places as well and they can compromise those accounts also.
Since Google sets out to warn you any time you type your Google account password into a site that is not your Google account, the Password Alert tool also serves as a reminder not to reuse passwords, which will ultimately keep you safer from hackers’ attacks.
Releasing tools such as Password Alert is a definite step in the right direction, security expert and IDentity Theft 911 Founder, Adam Levin told iDigitalTimes.
"Many consumers use the same password for their personal and financial accounts and this makes them an easy target for hackers and phishing attacks,” said Levin. “Just like a transactional alert from your bank that alerts you when there is suspicious activity on your account, this will alert you when you are recycling passwords and could save you from becoming a victim of identity theft."
The tool, while newly released to the public has actually been in use for a while within the company, Google’s Director of Security for Google Apps for Work Eran Feigenbaum told TechCrunch.
In addition to releasing the tool, Google also reminded users of other tools the company has made available to keep your data and information safe from hackers.
“We work to protect users from phishing attacks in a variety of ways,” wrote Google Security Engineer, Drew Hintz on the official Google Blog. ”We’re constantly improving our Safe Browsing technology, which protects more than 1 billion people on Chrome, Safari and Firefox from phishing and other dangerous sites via bright, red warnings. We also offer tools like 2-Step Verification and Security Key that people can use to protect their Google Accounts and stay safe online. And of course, you can also take a Security Checkup at any time to make sure the safety and security information associated with your account is current.”
To get started with Password Alert, visit the Chrome Web Store and download Password Alert for your Chrome Browser.