Password Security

If you’re an avid Internet user like myself, there’s a good chance you juggle many different web passwords at any given moment, which can often be frustrating to memorize and manage. Thanks to tools like Google’s Smart Lock, the need to memorize passwords has become a thing of the past while protecting your personal information has become more important than ever. On today’s blog, learn how to benefit from Smart Lock, while still protecting your personal information.

What is Google’s Smart Lock?

Google’s Smart Lock is the helpful Chrome feature that remembers all your passwords, even when you’re signed in on someone else’s computer. 

When you create a new password using Chrome, a message will appear asking you if you’d like Smart Lock to remember your password. If you choose yes, your password will be saved and associated with your Gmail address. As long as you are signed into Chrome, Smart Lock will remember your passwords, regardless of the device you are using.

This tool frees you from having to memorize your passwords, however, if you would like to view your saved passwords or change any of your Smart Lock settings, all you have to do is go to passwords.google.com.

How to Remotely Sign Out

We’ve all done it — you use a class computer to check your personal email or bank website and accidentally leave the room without logging out. When you realize your important passwords and information are now accessible to anyone using that computer, the panic is real! As a fail safe, Google allows you log out remotely.

To sign out of a session remotely:

  1. Go to your inbox page at gmail.google.com
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and locate the “Last Account Activity” detail in the bottom right-hand corner
  3. Click “Details”
  4. In the pop-up window click, “Sign out all other web sessions.”
Forget to log out? No worries. Google makes it easy for you to log out remotely.

Forget to log out of your account? No worries. Google makes it easy for you to log out remotely.

Resetting Your Sync Data

In most cases, remotely signing out will do the trick. However, if you saved your Google account as a profile in the browser on that computer, simply signing out of other web sessions on your Gmail inbox page won’t cut it. You will have to reset your sync data. 

Resetting your sync data will clear your chrome data from Google Servers which will essentially remove your data from your account. This sounds scary, I know, but your data will not be lost. Once you sign back into Chrome, all of your data will be resynced to your account. 

To reset your sync data,

  1. Identify if your Google account is saved on that computer. 
    1. Go to the Google Sign in page.
    2. If your email address is listed then your profile has been saved.
  2. Go to your Chrome Sync homepage –  https://www.google.com/settings/chrome/sync
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page
  4. Select “Reset Sync”

 

Sync Passphrases

If you thought you were safe there, you’re right—but you could be safer! Sync Passphrase encrypts your data so even Google can’t read it.

Passphrase is an additional password that you are prompted to enter whenever your sign in to your account (which is only when you sign in on a new device or after the initial setup of the passphrase on devices you’re already signed into). With passphrase, Google can encrypt and sync your data from the cloud without reading it, and link to your login credentials every time you have to enter it.

To create a sync passphrase for your account, follow the directions for your specific device at this link: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/1181035?hl=en&ref_topic=3421437.

Keep in mind, some browser functions will change after you create a sync passphrase. 

  • Your feed won’t show suggestions based on sites you browse in Chrome.
  • You can’t view your saved passwords on passwords.google.com or use Smart Lock for Passwords.
  • Your history won’t sync across devices. Web addresses that you type in the address bar in Chrome will still sync.

Going Forward

Google is getting smarter and digital data is becoming more valuable, it’s important to take the appropriate steps to protect your information to the highest extent you see fit. Personally, I like having access to my passwords and having Chrome suggest for sites for me to browse based on my history. While I don’t feel that I need a synced passphrase, I like having my options and having the ability to control where my account is signed in.
For more tips and tricks like this, visit teq.com/blog or visit Teq Online PD

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  1. https://get.google.com/smartlock/
  2. Single Sign On (SSO) systems are a way of allowing the user to set up one set of credentials to access multiple applications
  3. https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/2364824?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en
  4. https://digitalguardian.com/blog/what-data-encryption