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Security & privacy

This handy Chrome update helps fix your bad passwords

If you want to keep your personal information safe, you need to use strong passwords for all online accounts. Not all of us take the time to do that, even though easy or repetitive passwords put you at risk of being compromised by cybercriminals.

Your accounts contain tons of information that can be used for phishing, identity theft or other crimes, and criminals are itching to get their hands on it. It’s important to use strong, unique passwords for every account. If you’re hesitant because you’re concerned about forgetting them, a password manager can help.

New features for Google Chrome can help, too. The update for Chrome 88 is finally rolling out, and it adds some useful new password features to the mix. Here’s what you need to know about the update.

Here’s the backstory

If you use Google Chrome, you’ll be happy to know that a new version has started rolling out. This version of Chrome, known as Chrome 88, comes equipped with some useful new safety tools, including a feature that will not only identify your compromised passwords but weak ones as well.

This Chrome version also gives you an easy way to update all of the Chrome-managed passwords you use. Rather than updating those passwords in the accounts, you can use Chrome settings post-update to do it all in one place. This feature has already rolled out on desktop and iOS and will be rolling out for Android soon.

That’s not all the update is adding to the mix, either. Several smaller features are also being introduced with Chrome 88, including a darkened scroll bar for dark mode and light and dark themes for Chromebook. FTP support has also been completely removed as part of this update, along with the hidden Flag setting and support for macOS Yosemite.

Why does it matter to you?

The major plus of this update is that if you use Chrome’s built-in password manager you’ll now have some extra options to choose from. While we recommend standalone password managers like our sponsor Roboform, this new feature at least provides some level of security. Here’s how you can use Roboform to create (and remember) passwords that actually stop hackers.

Save 50% on RoboForm Everywhere and manage your passwords with ease and security.

You can also use Chrome’s weak password feature to ensure that your passwords are as strong as they could be and that none of them have been compromised. This will help prevent your accounts from being accessed without permission — which is extremely important to keep personal information secure and private.

It also helps streamline your password management process, making it simple to update login information whenever necessary.

How to update Chrome

The new version of Google Chrome just started rolling out, so it’s important to note that not everyone will have access to it just yet. Most updates to Chrome are automatic, but you can check to see if the update is available to you.

To check if an update is available:

  1. Open Chrome on your computer.
  2. Look at the More button (three horizontal dots) at the top right of the screen.
  3. If an update is pending, the icon will be colored:
    • Green: An update was released less than 2 days ago.
    • Orange: An update was released about 4 days ago.
    • Red: An update was released at least a week ago.

To update Google Chrome:

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More.
  3. Click Update Google Chrome.
    • Important: If you can’t find this button, you’re on the latest version.
  4. Click Relaunch.

Note: You’ll need to restart your Chrome browser to get access to the new features after you update.

Bottom line

If you’re going to use Chrome to manage your passwords, these new safety and security features will be pretty useful. While the update isn’t available for everyone right now, it will be rolling out to users over the next couple of weeks, so make sure that your settings are toggled for automatic updates or keep an eye on your account.

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