We’re all guilty of poor password management, with the majority of us using the same password for every login we use, with only a few extra numbers plopped on the end for marginally better security. In fact, many of us are even guilty of using words or names from family, characters or even bands we like. Just think, how many of us had the password “harrypotter123” at some point in our online lives?
Chrome’s new update, Chrome 69, is trying to help us all get out of our password rut, though, with its latest update. Among other new features, the update will give users the option of a random password generator for when you sign up to a website for the first time. This password will then be stored securely inside a Google Account and, when you’re logged into Chrome across multiple devices and desktop, will sync to remember your password so you won’t need to.
The use of a password manager is something we should all consider using, even if it’s just to avoid the inevitable panic if one of the sites we use becomes breached. Not only will you need to change your password on that particular website, you are also advised to change it on any other sites that use the same password. A task that could take hours when you consider just how many websites and companies we regularly sign up for an account with – especially those that store our bank or personal details too. By using a random password for each, you will only have one password to change in the case of a breach and, even better, you won’t be subject to the panic that your password may have been used elsewhere.
There is one downfall to Chrome’s password generator though, the extension will only manage your passwords on its browser, which means if you regularly use mobile apps for websites, such as Amazon or Netfix, your password won’t be automatically filled. So, if you used the Chrome password generator, you would need to manually retrieve your random password and fill it in. Of course, this would only need to be entered sparingly on the app, but for most of us, that will seem like just a little too much effort.
Even if you don’t choose the Chrome password extension to generate passwords for you, there are plenty of third-party password managers out there that will do the same job of protecting your online security. Failing that, learning a long phrase that will match each password used is another method recommended by security experts in their list of best password practices.
Chrome 69 is one of the biggest overhauls to date
The nifty little password generator isn’t the only noteworthy update in Chrome 69, indeed the browser itself has received a welcomed makeover in the update. Gone are those boxy-looking sharp edges and dull complexion, all replaced with more rounded corners and an overall whiter look to the browser.
Not only are these more pleasing to look at, the new design is also much easier to use, with browser tabs being far easier to read at a glance, perfect for those of us who like to keep multiple tabs open at once.
Similar to the password generator and auto-fill, Chrome has also updated how its other auto-fill mechanics work with improvements to forms needing addresses and credit card numbers, meaning anything filled should be more accurate than before. Information stored will be in a secure Google Account, just like passwords created by the generator.
The browser’s search bar is privy to improvements too, with users receiving answers to questions in the bar itself, without the need to open up a new tab. Things like the weather, sporting results and information on celebrities will all be available in the address bar, which is far more useful for those wanting a quick answer rather than dedicating a full tab to it – especially if you already have a large number of tabs open.
This is one of Chrome’s biggest overhauls to date and comes the same year as Google celebrates the 10th birthday of Chrome, and with updates like this, you can see why it’s the most popular browser on the internet.
The future of Chrome
While you wouldn’t blame Google for taking a step back to bathe in their success a little. This wouldn’t be the Google way, and the company are already planning the best ways to improve the browser in the coming decade.
One of the main goals Google has is to integrate its browser with artificial intelligence in order to create a browser that ‘senses’ exactly what you want to know before you search it yourself. One scenario Google has mentioned is the idea that a person may search a certain song and Chrome would go on to search you the biography of the band/artist, whether there are any upcoming concerts and even the ability to buy tickets for that concert through Chrome too. All of which would make your life much simpler.
Chrome 69 is available now across PC, Mac and mobile.