Our lives are filled with online accounts, and keeping track of multiple passwords can be hard. Reusing easily-guessed passwords is a common practice, but is, unfortunately, very insecure. If the password to your account is lost or guessed, it may allow access to all of your other online accounts. Data breaches are the primary reason behind the use of strong, unique passwords for ALL of your online accounts.
Thankfully, Google Chrome can safely be used to manage strong, unique passwords for many of your online accounts. The key to this process is the security of the Google Account- it will become the master key, the main password you will need to remember. This is much safer than a post-it on your computer!
Secure your Google Account
Two-factor authentication [or two-step authentication, 2FA] secures your account with an extra level of security. Banking websites, Medicare Online services, and some companies use similar systems. Signing into your account will involve an extra step:
- Something you know [the password]
- Something you have [a mobile phone app, a text messaged code, or a USB token]
Secure your Google Account by following these steps:
- Log into your Google Account.
- Click on Password. Create one you can remember with upper case, lower case, numbers, and symbols. If prompted, sign OUT of all of the devices. This will ensure only the devices you’re using and are aware of are signed in.
- Click on Manage Devices. Review the devices and remove any unrecognized or unused devices.
- Click on 2-Step Verification. Follow the prompts to enable this using a mobile phone number [or a USB verification token if you have one].
Sign into Google Chrome
Google Chrome can be signed in, allowing full synchronization across all of your devices. You can install Google Chrome on your phone, tablet, Apple Mac and Windows PCs and have all of your passwords available to all of the devices. In addition, your bookmarks, history, and settings will also be shared. NEVER do this on a shared, public or hotel computer!
Google CANNOT read your passwords- they’re encrypted on your device and are not saved as plain text. The passwords are protected and encrypted by your Google Account and the password/pin for your device.
Sign into Chrome following these easy steps:
- Click on the Three Dots [typically top/right of Chrome on your device]
- Click Settings
- Click Sign Into Chrome
Generate Strong, Unique Passwords
Google Chrome can now be used to update and secure most of your existing online accounts. Log into your online accounts and follow the steps to change your password. When prompted to change your password, simply right click in the password, choose Generate Password. Allow this password to be saved to Chrome.
Use Synchronised Passwords on Other Devices
Most of your devices will be able to run Google Chrome. Install Google Chrome and sign in with your Google Account. You’ll be able to access your online accounts via the Google Chrome browser. Devices that will run Google Chrome include:
- Microsoft Windows PCs, desktops and laptops
- Apple iMac, MacBook Air, and Pro
- Android phones and tablets
- Apple iPhones and iPads
Generated passwords can also be read and used to sign into programs outside of the web browser. This is a useful tip when setting up iPhone, iPad and Android Tablet apps. You will be prompted for the phone’s passcode, or the computer’s password, to do this. They can even be exported to a spreadsheet. To read a generated password saved in your Google Account, follow these steps:
- Click on The Three Dots
- Click on Settings
- Click on Passwords
Google Chrome can be used, with a properly secured Google Account, for safe password management. Most issues arise from synchronization- if you have issues with stored passwords, first check that the version of Google Chrome you’re using is signed in.
Rarely, a password generated by Google Chrome may NOT be accepted as an updated password on certain websites. If this happens, read what the site’s requirements are. Usually, a capital letter or a symbol will need to be added to the end of the generated password.