How to Use Google’s Password Checkup

On World Password Day, Google encouraged its search users to run a security checkup. Google’s password checkup is simple and useful.

Google’s Security Checkup

World Password Day is the first Thursday in May. This year, Google used that day to encourage people to check on their security. Click on Take a Security Checkup to show Google’s review of your Google account.

At any time you can reach the Checkup here as well. Here is a good article from PC Magazine about the importance of strong passwords.

This security check only reviews your Google account settings and saved passwords. Even that will give a good idea of where you stand.

The Security Checkup reviews your Google account for devices logged in, recent password changes, and other measures. If passwords are saved in Chrome, you can review those for safety.

Password Checkup

Google compares saved passwords to a list of passwords that have been exposed in data breaches. These compromised passwords may not be your particular use of the password. In this automated age, hackers will run all known passwords against all known emails or user names in order to gain entry to online accounts.

If your neighbor uses Melrose02176 as a password, and it has been compromised, a hacker may use it with your user name or email to try to gain entry on a bank website. If you just happen to have used that as your password, your account could be vulnerable.

Reused passwords are not always bad. Sometimes we choose to reuse a password at low risk websites to make it easier for us to log in. The danger comes when we reuse passwords at higher risk sites. Site with personal or financial information, or payment information are higher risk. This list allows you to see exactly where you have reused passwords.

The danger comes from a password exposed at one website, being used at many others to see if it works.

Finally, the checkup will identify where your saved passwords are weak. Google’s defines weak to means there is not a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Using common words will also cause a password to receive a weak designation. Each website will have its own password requirements.

Summary

This checkup only applies to your Google account and any passwords saved under that account. But as a start, it gives a good idea of areas of concern.

If you would like help with this process, just call or email and we’ll be happy to assist you! If you have specific questions, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

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