A Google Chrome password breach warning saying, “A data breach on a site or app exposed your password,” can strike fear in your heart. Chrome’s built-in password manager does this to alert you to a recent breach in which sensitive data such as your password may have been exposed. In this post, you’ll learn how to check which of your passwords have been in a Chrome password breach and what to do next.
What Is a Data Breach?
Data breaches occur all the time. Essentially, a data breach leaks sensitive user data such as email addresses and passwords. This is often the handiwork of hackers and cybercriminals.
If you reuse passwords across accounts, a data breach on one site can endanger all your other accounts that share the same password or login credentials. Hackers steal and sell or use personal data for nefarious activities that can negatively impact their victims.
Some High-Profile Data Breaches
In 2016, Yahoo admitted that 3 billion Yahoo accounts were involved in a breach that dated back to August 2013.
Similarly, 1.1 billion Alibaba accounts were compromised in November 2019. Just recently in June 2021, 700 million LinkedIn accounts were involved in yet another breach. And there have been several major data breaches including the COMB breach.
Smaller breaches go unnoticed, but go on nonetheless. Regardless of its size, when you’re affected during a breach, it becomes a big deal.
How to Check Whether Your Passwords Were Involved in a Breach with Chrome
Google introduced the Password Checkup extension in early 2019. By October of the same year, it was integrated into users’ Google accounts.
When entering your login credentials on a website, your Chrome browser can warn you that the password you’re using has been involved in a breach.
There are three ways to approach a Chrome password breach warning.
1. Follow the Warning Link
If you receive a Chrome password breach notification, click on the link to investigate it further in your Google Account password manager.
2. Visit Google Account Password Manager
Visit the Google Account Password Manager page. You can use the “Search passwords” search bar to search for a particular password to see if it is involved in the breach.
3. Password Checkup
Even better than searching for a particular password, click “Go to Password Checkup.”
You’ll be taken to the “Password Checkup” page. Click the “Check Passwords” button.
Open the push notification on your mobile phone and tap “Yes” to verify your identity.
Your password checkup result will display on the next page.
You’ll see which of your accounts is using compromised passwords, reusing passwords, and using weak passwords. You can click on a drop-down arrow to view all the sites in that category.
What to Do If Your Password Has Been in a Breach
Click the compromised passwords drop-down. Other actions you can take include “View password,” “Update saved password,” “Delete password,” and “Dismiss warning.”
Click “Change password,” and you’ll be taken to the website. Log in to your account.
Chrome’s password manager will alert you that it found the password you just used in a data breach. Click “Check passwords.”
Return to the site and change your password. Once done, Chrome’s password manager will prompt you to update your saved password. Click “Update password.”
Upon successfully updating your password, you’ll be prompted to check other compromised passwords. Click “Check remaining passwords.”
You’ll be taken back to your Chrome password manager to repeat the process outlined above.
Click “Change password” to continue – otherwise, exit the Chrome settings page. You can continue later until all your saved passwords are updated.
To resume, open Chrome, then “Settings” in the menu. Follow this by selecting “Passwords -> Check passwords -> Change password.”
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will I get future Chrome password breach warnings?
Yes. Chrome password breach warnings are here to stay. It’s part of Google’s better password protection program.
2. How much does it cost to do a Chrome password checkup?
Chrome password breach warnings and password checkups are all free if you have a Google account and use Chrome.
3. What other steps can I take to secure my passwords?
Other than reacting to Chrome password breach warnings, you can use strong and unique password combinations, get reliable password managers, never reuse passwords, set up two-factor authentication, and regularly do password checkups.
Chrome password breach warnings can save you much trouble if you heed them and act quickly. Make sure to set it up if you use Chrome. Furthermore, regularly monitor your passwords across accounts and ensure that you’re observing password management best practices.