Google’s New Feature Will Make It Harder for Hacks to Spread

February 5, 2019, 4:49 PM UTC

Google wants to make web browsing a little more secure.

With data breaches and hacks becoming seemingly more common, Google announced two new features Tuesday that will protect a user’s data—beyond just Google’s own sites and apps.

The first update is an extension for Chrome called Password Checkup, which will help protect a user’s accounts from third party data breaches. The extension will detect compromised credentials and trigger an automatic warning that will suggest that a user change their password.

The second feature, called Cross Account Protection, will make it harder for hacks to spread when they do take place. It essentially extends tools already used by Google to third parties that use Google sign-in. When a breach takes place, Google is able to send information about it to the site or app to enable it to protect the user’s privacy. By working across accounts, the feature is designed to send and receive security signals so that one breach doesn’t lead to many.

As BuzzFeed explains, if a user signs into a third-party app such as Evernote with a Gmail address, someone who has gained access to your Google account would also be able to use it to log in to your Evernote account. But even if Google were to catch the breach, the person would still be able to stay logged in to Evernote. Cross Account Protection will enable Google to notify Evernote of a breach, giving it an opportunity to take action. For now, however, the feature will only work with apps or sites that use Google sign-in.

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