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Google Expands Use of Password Checkup Tool, Unveils New Privacy Features

Google on Wednesday announced that its Password Checkup tool has been added to the Account password manager, and the company has unveiled some new security and privacy features for YouTube, Maps and Assistant.

Launched in February 2019 as an extension for Chrome, Password Checkup is designed to display a warning whenever users log in to a website with credentials that are known to have been compromised in a third-party data breach.

Password Checkup has now been added to the password manager in Google Account. This integration will enable Google to warn users not only if their passwords have been compromised in a third-party breach, but also if they are reusing passwords across different websites, and if their passwords are weak.

In the future, Google says, Password Checkup will be directly integrated into Chrome and users will benefit from the tool without the need to install the extension.

Google also announced on Wednesday the results of an online security consumer survey conducted by The Harris Poll. The survey of nearly 3,500 individuals in the U.S. showed that 75% are frustrated by the task of keeping track of their passwords, and nearly a quarter have used common and weak passwords such as “abc123,” “password” and “123456.”

Over a quarter of respondents have admitted trying to guess someone else’s password and 17% of them claim to have succeeded. The study also showed that 43% have someone else’s active password and the same percentage admitted sharing their password with someone.

While 4 in 10 Americans said their personal information has been compromised online and nearly half of them lost money as a result, only 45% said they would change their password to an account after a data breach.

Google also informed users that it has rolled out several features designed to improve security and privacy. First, incognito mode has been added to Google Maps, allowing users to prevent their Maps activity from being used to personalize the content they see in the application. The feature is being rolled out to Android this month and soon to iOS.

Another feature is for YouTube users, who can now set their YouTube history to be deleted automatically after 3 months or 18 months.

Google Assistant is also getting some privacy improvements with users now being able to obtain more information about keeping their data safe by asking “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?” They will also be able to remove activity history by saying “Hey Google, delete the last thing I said to you” or “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you last week.”

Related: Many Users Don't Change Unsafe Passwords After Being Warned: Google

Related: Google Warns G Suite Customers of Passwords Stored Unhashed Since 2005

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.