Google Launches New Security Feature

Phishing scams usually work by extracting passwords from user accounts on one site and using them to gain access to user accounts on a different site. Consumers protect themselves by using unique passwords for each account they create. While this is the most straightforward solution to the problem of phishing scams, most users do not follow this advice as remembering numerous passwords, ideally all which include a random assortment of lettercases, numbers and special characters, can be difficult. As a result, Google Chrome’s Password Alert browser extension could be just the solution consumers need.

Two percent of all emails to Gmail are phishing attempts. Gmail can fortunately filter most of them out, but millions upon millions of emails a day are trying to trick you into giving up your password.”

Product manager for Google Ideas, Justin Kosslyn, is quoted above describing the potential for damage phishing scams pose. In an effort to combat security threats within Google, the company created the Password Alert browser extension for Chrome. The free feature works by tracking the use of Google account passwords on non-Google sites. According to Kosslyn, the service works like spellcheck in that it logs a partial record of passwords as they are put in, often based on the length of the password, and matches them against Google passwords. If the passwords logged into non-Google sites match passwords for Google accounts then an alert goes off. Kosslyn is confident of the features abilities saying;

It has caught real-world phishing attacks on Googlers. That’s one of things that made us very keen on open sourcing it and making it available for users as well.”

Read More – Password Alert: Google’s New Free Tool To Prevent Phishing Attacks (Fortune, Robert Hackett)

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Originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Millan is a senior at the George Washington University studying Biological Anthropology.

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