If you have multiple online accounts (you probably do), and you've been on the internet for more than a few years, chances are at least some of your passwords have ended up in the wrong hands. Proof: Huge databases of stolen email/password combinations that are making the rounds online.
There's now a very easy and secure way to check whether your password is one of those databases, in the form of a new Chrome extension called Password Checkup.
SEE ALSO: Nearly 22 million unique passwords leaked in 'Collection #1' data breach
The extension was made by Google and is very easy to use. Once you install it, it will check whether your password's safe to use every time you log into a website. If not, you'll get a message that one ore more of your passwords are no longer safe due to a data breach, and you'll be prompted to change them.
Your passwords are never seen by Google (the company only stores a hashed, partial code for unsafe passwords in your Chrome browser), and Google claims the extension "never reports any identifying information about your accounts, passwords, or device."
While simple, the extension is an important tool that everyone who's mindful about online security and privacy should use. Using passwords that have been compromised is a time bomb waiting to go off, and this is a pretty secure way to check whether you have any of those. And even though it's not the first tool of its type — The HaveIBeenPwned site comes to mind — the Google credentials behind it do make it a little easier to recommend.
You can install Password Checkup for free in Google's Chrome Web Store.
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