Do you remember all your passwords?
Well, it’s hard. We sure have multiple accounts online on various websites and web apps. However, it isn’t easy to remember the password for each one.
If you use the same password for all your accounts, it is also a risk to privacy. Also, writing them down in a diary can be a threat.
A workaround for this problem is using a password manager. It can store all your passwords and keep them safe for you.
Fortunately, you don’t have to use one if you use Google Chrome on your device. It has an inbuilt password manager that stores all the passwords on your default Google account.
However, the real question is if it’s safe to use the Google Password Manager. We will discuss the good and the bad about it in this article.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What is Google Password Manager?
Google Password Manager is an inbuilt password manager offered by Google Chrome web browser. You can use it to store various passwords you use online in one place. Thus, you don’t have to remember them or insert them each time manually.
Moreover, the password manager would also suggest some unique passwords each time you create a new account. You have the option to skip this step or go forward with the suggested one.
Google Password Manager takes care of your passwords by auto-filling them whenever you try to log in to some website. Moreover, it syncs all your passwords across all your devices with the same Google account.
The inbuilt tool can also check if you have compromised your password elsewhere. The Password checkup section tells you if someone is using your saved password from a different account. Besides, it also informs you if you are using the same password on more than one website.
Google Chrome Password Managers Benefits
There are some cool features Chrome’s in-house password manager has to offer. Here are a few that make it unique when compared to others.
1. It Detects Registration Forms
Have you noticed how Chrome suggests you use previously used information by detecting a registration form? It saves that information to save some of your precious time.
The password manager takes this game to the next level. It detects if there are fields where you need to create a new password. You don’t have to scratch your brain thinking about some unbreakable code. Google has one ready for you each time.
2. Unique Passwords Each Time
You are prone to high risk if you use the same password for multiple accounts. If someone gets hold of one of your account login information, they can snoop into multiple ones. Therefore, cybersecurity experts always suggest you use a different password each time.
That’s what Chrome does for you. It knows what it needs to create unbreakable and unique passwords with numbers and uppercase and lowercase alphabets. Since it can generate a zillion combinations for the passwords, no two pins are ever the same. That saves you from many risks since we often use the same email ID to log in.
3. Strictly Follows the Password Guidelines
Google Password Manager is a charm when it comes to detecting on-page requirements. It can detect if a field requires you to use special characters and add them to your password. It follows the strong password guidelines very carefully.
- At least one uppercase alphabet
- At least one lowercase alphabet
- Use of a digit
- Minimum number of characters required
Besides, it also avoids using visually similar characters like uppercase “I” and lowercase “l” for better readability.
4. Saves Passwords Automatically
It’s hard to imagine if a password manager does not remember your passwords. However, not all save passwords automatically.
Whenever you choose to use the autogenerated password, Chrome would save the credentials without your permission. Since writing it down on a piece of paper would defy the motto of privacy.
Besides, the autogenerated password wouldn’t be easy to remember in one go. However, it would ask specifically to save the login information if you enter the password manually. You can also click on the “key” icon in the URL bar
5. View all Account Information at One Place
You can quickly see your passwords in one place if you need to verify them. Google Password Manager keeps your login information on a cloud server. Therefore, you can access them from anywhere or any device.
If you are using Chrome with your account logged in to the browser, you can follow the below steps to see your passwords.
- Open Chrome Menu
- Go to Settings
- Finally open Passwords
You will find the “Password” option under the “Autofill” section on the desktop browser. The steps are the same for an Android smartphone as well.
Here, you can view or remove the passwords from the database. Click on the “eye” icon in front of the username to view the password. It requires you to verify the device password to view this information.
Alternatively, you can visit passwords.google.com from any browser to access your passwords. It would ask you to log in using your default Google account. That’s all; you will get access to your passwords from anywhere.
6. Export Passwords
One prominent feature in Google Password Manager is the ability to export your password. You can create a .csv file of all saved account passwords to use it with some other app. Try to keep the file in a secure location since it can expose your sensitive information if fallen into the wrong hands.
Risks of Using Google Password Manager
Long story short, Chrome is not meant to be a password manager. Instead, it is a feature provided by Google to increase productivity. Therefore, there are some arenas Google can work in to improve the inbuilt password manager. We are discussing a few of them here.
1. Requires Better Security
If you are fond of online security, Google ranks below many mainstream password managers when compared.
One of the drawbacks of Google Password Manager is the lack of a dedicated encryption system. That means hackers can expose all your data as soon as they get past Google security.
Most password managers protect your data with an AES-256 encryption algorithm for better security. In contrast, Google uses your local device security features to do the same.
2. Doesn’t Work Outside of Browser
This fact is self-explanatory that you can not use the saved passwords out of Google Chrome. Since it is a browser-based manager, it is restricted to work inside the browser. If you want to log into an application outside of Chrome, you must manually enter the credentials.
Other Password Managers usually work for any application or inside a browser as well. Therefore, if you use Chrome as your primary internet browsing tool, there isn’t an issue. However, if you like to use individual apps specific to a platform, you must remember the passwords and manually enter them.
How to Make Google Password Manager More Secure
We mentioned before that Google Password manager does not encrypt your passwords. That raises a high risk of threat from hackers. To overcome this issue, Google allows you to create a personal passphrase to encrypt your passwords. Here’s how to do it.
- Go to Chrome Menu. (Three vertical dots)
- Then, go to “Settings.”
- Look for “Sync and Google services.”
- Here, check the option to add a personal passphrase.
- Now, add and confirm a unique passphrase.
Your data is encrypted with this new passphrase now. You have to enter this passphrase on all devices where you use the account to enable the sync. You can reset the sync option if you want to remove the encryption.
By doing so, Google too can not access your details. You add an extra layer of security to save yourself from hackers. However, it bars you from accessing your passwords from a location other than your signed-in device.
Should I Use Google Password Manager?
If you are confident sticking to Chrome, which most of us do, the inbuilt password manager is good to go. However, if you are looking for privacy and security, we suggest opting for a premium password manager.
In short, it is an individual choice to use or not to use the Google Password Manager. It has a fascinating bright side in ease of access and compatibility with the Google ecosystem. It also has a dark side when it comes to security.
Here is a few better alternative to Google Password Manager if you are having second thoughts about it.