UPDATED 05:30 EDT / NOVEMBER 05 2013

Google Chrome password protection NEWS

Google finally boosts Chrome security with password manager protection

Those who use Google Chrome as their preferred web browser are probably familiar with its basic password manager, which allows users to store authentication data and log into various websites hassle-free. It’s all very convenient of course, allowing you to access your favorite websites without needing to login every single time you visit them, but Google has recently come under fire for the lack of security its password manager provides – i.e., there simply isn’t any.

What this means in practice is that, supposing someone borrows your computer and uses Google Chrome, they can easily view all of the saved logins and passwords stored in its password manager. When this flaw was first publicized, Google’s rather laissez-fare response was that this isn’t an issue – saying that security has already been compromised if someone is accessing Google Chrome. However, various people pointed out that this simply wasn’t realistic, as there are many times when friends, family members and/or colleagues might borrow someone’s computer.

While Google initially resisted making any changes, Francois Beaufort – an employee of Google who often posts updates about Chrome on Google+ – has revealed that the company has now added a layer of protection to the password manager, although the feature is only available on Mac builds for now.

If you’re using a Mac computer, you can now enable password manager protection by doing the following:

  • Load chrome://flags/#enable-password-manager-reauthentication in the web browser
  • Enable the preference and restart Chrome afterwards so that the changes are applied.

Enabling this means that the next time you try to view account info on the password manager page at chrome://settings/password, you’ll be asked to enter your Mac OS account password. Once this information has been provided, the saved data will be viewable for one minute only, after which you’ll need to enter your Mac OS password again.

Beaufort didn’t say in his post if the feature would be introduced to Windows or Linux builds of Chrome, but certainly such a feature would be appreciated by security conscious users of those systems. In the meantime, users of those operating systems are advised to use a third party password manager such as KeePass or LastPass to keep their login data safe instead.

Since you’re here …

Show your support for our mission with our one-click subscription to our YouTube channel (below). The more subscribers we have, the more YouTube will suggest relevant enterprise and emerging technology content to you. Thanks!

Support our mission:    >>>>>>  SUBSCRIBE NOW >>>>>>  to our YouTube channel.

… We’d also like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.

If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.