Have a Gmail Account? Read This To Protect Your Password Security

In an age where spoofing (malicious websites looking very much like their real counterparts) is common, we all need a little extra help. Google has released Password Alert,  a new free Chrome extension to help you protect your Gmail login. Check out the details below to find out if this is something you would like to add and please do share with friends if you find our post helpful.

First a look at why an extension like this could be useful to you.

What Password Alert does is send you notice to change your password if you have entered it on a site not attached to your Google account. This way if you have been phished (your password hacked by entering it on an unsafe, unrelated site) you can quickly regain control of your account, lock the hacker out and minimize the damage.

While this only offers protection for your Google/Gmail password, it does aid you elsewhere on the web. Many other sites including Facebook and some banks and financial systems require you to log in with an email address. If you log in with Gmail and a hacker gets control of your Gmail account, they can use it to reset your passwords on other sites that you log into with that email address and gain control of those accounts and lock you out of them. So it can help you protect your Farmville Farm and other website accounts that you use Gmail to log into.

The one drawback is that you will get an alert if your Gmail password is entered on ANY other site - so if you use the same password in multiple places it can be quite a pest - but  using the same password for more than one site is generally not a good idea, because if one account gets hacked, it gives the hacker access to any site with that password. There are options to "Ignore this time" or "Always ignore for this website" on the alert if you do intentionally use the same password for multiple sites.

Password Alert will attempt to detect fake Google sign in pages before you type in your password AND send you a notification if you do in fact enter your password in a non-Google site. This covers both Gmail and Google for work logins. 

Important to know 

 This extension will require access to your data on all sites in order to do its job. It also needs to know your Gmail email address. It will save a thumbnail of your password and compare it to recent keystrokes - not store your full password or keystrokes

From the extension description

"Does Password Alert store my password or keystrokes?
No. Password Alert doesn’t store your password or keystrokes -- instead, it stores a secure thumbnail of your password, which it compares against a thumbnail of your most recent keystrokes within Chrome."

Password Alert will also only work if you are signed in to Chrome or the Chrome-based browser that you are using. We have tested on Chrome and Comodo Dragon. You will need to check if it will work on other Chrome-based browsers that you are using if you wish to use it. There is currently not a version of this for Fire Fox or other Mozilla source code based browsers. 

It is up to you to weigh the security that Password Alert provides against the amount of data that it requires and determine whether it is right for you or not.  Password Alert's method of trying to pre-determine if a site is legitimate or not is to check the html of the site, which is going to take some memory.  If your computer does not have a lot of memory or if you regularly experience lag and freezing in Farmville, you will need to consider that factor too. If you would like to try it CLICK HERE and then click add to Chrome in the upper right.

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