Google is releasing an entire new design for Chrome today with
new features and tweaks to the browser’s overall appearance.
You can read more about the redesign here, but one of the
big new features is an improved password manager. Chrome will
now offer to automatically generate a random password when you
sign up to websites for the first time. This password will be
stored inside a Google Account securely and synced across
desktop and mobile versions of Chrome.
This should stop regular Chrome users from always picking the
same password for each site, and ultimately ending up with a
security headache if a site is breached. Chrome’s password
manager is a welcome change, but you may still want to use a
dedicated and separate password manager. Chrome only
manages passwords inside its browser, so if you sign into
various mobile apps or apps on a TV like Netflix then these
login combinations won’t be stored in a Google Account. That’s
particularly relevant now that iOS 12 is about to introduce the
autofill passwords across browsers and apps from
third-party password managers.
Google’s choice to offer a password generator and manager will
likely trigger debate about best password practices. Some
security experts argue web users should simply remember a long
and memorable phrase for each password, while others recommend
a random password with special characters that’s managed by a
password manager. Both options should still take modern
computers years to
crack, until systems get faster or the age of quantum
computing finally arrives. By then, we’re hoping the entire
industry has figured out a reliable way to get rid of pesky
passwords once and for all.
Chrome’s new password manager is available today as part of the
Chrome 69 release.