January 27, 2021
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Chrome 86 will automatically check if your passwords have leaked and help you change them

These days, we have a plethora of tools at our disposal that help us keep our online accounts safe, but no system is 100% fool-proof. And sometimes, login credentials do get hacked or are leaked. That’s why many password managers have built-in breach checkers, and following the desktop version, Google Chrome for Android and iOS has also finally gained that ability. Starting with Chrome 86, the browser will notify you when passwords saved to your Google Account are compromised and help you change them as fast as possible.

The feature was first spotted back when Chrome 86 was the under-development Canary version, but now, the company has made the password checking tool official. Chrome automatically sends copies of your usernames and passwords to Google servers using the same encryption that protects the Password Checkup tool — in short, Google can’t derive your credentials thanks to this security measure. Once the company spots that one or more passwords have been hacked, it’ll notify you and try to make changing your credentials as easy as possible by linking to the correct change password form. (That is, if the services in question support the W3C’s under-development “well-known URLs” for changing passwords.)

This is what password checks will look like, discovered back when Chrome 86 was in Canary.

The new release will warn you when an otherwise https-encrypted website offers unsafe, unencrypted downloads or makes you fill out an unencrypted form. Executables, archives, and disk images available for download this way are blocked right away. The goal here is to stop insecure downloads altogether in Chrome 88 or later to encourage web developers to implement safer practices.

The release following Chrome 86 will also bring a safety check option in settings to mobile, which has been part of the desktop version for a while now. It checks if your browser is updated, your passwords are safe, and if you have safe browsing turned on. The update also adds enhanced safe browsing to the mobile browser, a feature that proactively protects you from malware downloads and phishing.

The desktop safety check.

Chrome 86 should start rolling out today. Check the Play Store to see if it’s available to you. We’ll let you know once we have the new version on APK Mirror.

Updated to clarify that safety check isn’t coming with Chrome 86.