Passwords are a fact of life in the digital age.
We all know the perils of using one password for all our accounts. (It’s basically like unlocking every room and safe in your house and then leaving the front door wide open.) However, coming up with unique and strong passwords for every account can be overwhelming.
Third-party password managers are a secure choice, and you can explore ways to enhance your online security by signing up for a free trial today.
Internet browsers are another popular option. Google Chrome has made it easy to save and store your passwords right in your browser, so you never have to remember them or type them in manually. Plus, it’s free and already at your fingertips.
But is this method of storing your passwords secure? Here’s what you should know about Chrome password safety.
What Is Chrome?
Let’s start with some background information on Google Chrome.
Chrome is an internet browser that Google created and released in 2008. Initially designed for Windows XP, Chrome is now compatible with any platform, including Macs, PCs, and mobile devices.
In 2021, it’s fair to say that Chrome dominates the global desktop web browser game, claiming close to 70 per cent of the market share. Its popularity is due mainly to its ease of use and customization options, such as extensions for ad blockers, language translators, and so on.
How Does Chrome Create and Store Passwords?
The convenience of Google Chrome is what hooks most users. It's free and doesn't require installation.
Here’s how it works. The first time you enter a password on a new website, Chrome will send a prompt that asks if you want to save it. You have the option to choose “Save” or “Not Now.”
For many people, that little pop-up is a welcome sight. They click “Save” and breathe a sigh of relief that they don’t have to commit the password to memory or record it somewhere, which can make it vulnerable to loss or theft.
However, the relief they feel is somewhat misplaced.
Chrome Wasn’t Built to Manage Passwords.
While better than having no password manager at all, Chrome password safety isn't top-notch. One of the biggest Chrome password security issues is that Chrome wasn't built to be a password manager. It's an added feature—an afterthought. Chrome was built and optimized to be a web browser.
For this reason, Chrome password safety will never be on par with what a dedicated password manager can offer. Begin with a free trial to find out what you’re missing.
It’s like the difference between buying a croissant from your local coffee shop and buying a croissant from a patisserie owned by a baker trained in France.
Specialization produces a superior product, whether it’s pastries or password managers.
But Chrome’s password security issues go deeper.
Chrome Passwords Are Basic and Fixed
One of the basic features of Chrome passwords is that it offers to create "strong" passwords, a long series of letters, numbers, and characters that would be nearly impossible for a human to guess offhand.
The problem is that although these passwords look complex, they usually aren't, and you don't have the option to customize them. You can't make them longer, add more characters, or do anything beyond giving Google permission to submit and save its suggestions.
Regarding Chrome password safety, Chrome forces you to take the passenger seat while it drives, all in the name of convenience.
Is the trade-off between control and convenience worth it? The short answer is no.
You Can Only Use Chrome Passwords Within the Google Chrome Browser
The convenience argument loses a lot of its steam when you realize that Chrome passwords don't work anywhere but in the Google Chrome browser.
So if you want to log in on a different device (like your smartphone or smart TV), share your password with someone else (a family member or colleague), or use a different browser (like Safari or Firefox), you can’t. You’re confined to the Google ecosystem.
And this is where inconvenience crosses the boundary into security concern. Remember that Google is a private company whose primary product is your data. Trusting all your passwords to Google is a little like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.
Chrome Passwords Can Get Hacked With Ease
We saved the biggest problem with Chrome password safety for last.
When you use Chrome passwords, or any browser-based password manager for that matter, getting access to your accounts is as simple as gaining access to the device you use.
Anyone who lays hands on your device, whether at the office, the cafe, or the subway (if you accidentally leave your briefcase behind), can access every account you have saved in Chrome passwords.
This leaves you wide open to being hacked.
A dedicated password manager protects you by requiring you to log in with a separate “master” password. It automatically locks your passwords after a specific amount of time has passed.
Is a Dedicated Password Manager Worth It?
This is a choice that only you can make. If you’re unsure about disabling Chrome passwords and making the switch to a dedicated password manager, consider the following scenario.
Imagine what would happen if your passwords were compromised. You wake up one day, and without warning, you can no longer access your email (your personal and work accounts), your online banking, your usual online shopping sites, your stored cloud data, or your social media accounts. Everything is locked away and out of your reach.
Or worse, you don’t know you’ve been hacked until later when you get a huge credit card bill or something else that reveals someone stole your identity.
This would be a life-altering event, wouldn’t it? Trying to undo the consequences would be extremely costly in time and money.
A password manager can prevent this kind of upheaval from ever happening to you. And while password managers aren’t free like Google Chrome, they are well worth the investment.
An Alternative That Doesn’t Share Chrome Password Security Issues
TeamPassword offers a fast, safe, and easy solution for storing and managing your passwords that doesn’t leave you vulnerable to Chrome password security issues.
TeamPassword is an app dedicated to cybersecurity. Passwords aren’t just an extra feature; they’re all we do.
Create and customize strong passwords you can use with any browser or device, and access all your passwords whenever and wherever you need them. With TeamPassword, your passwords are secure, even if your device falls into the wrong hands.