Google’s warning about compromised passwords shouldn’t be ignored.
Credit: Brooke Crothers (screenshot) / Google
Google is warning you about compromised passwords. It’s a good idea to heed these warnings.
Yes, passwords are hell. Strong self-generated passwords often turn into a fog of forgotten letter combinations and phrases.
But a more common problem is weak passwords, exposing you to hackers after a major data breach (think: Equifax and Facebook data breaches).
And a weak password isn’t necessarily an easy-to-remember phrase like “bob123” but it can also be a strong password that’s being reused across multiple accounts and sites. The point being that if a password is exposed in a data breach then hackers can potentially get into those other accounts.
Even passwords with small variations across different accounts can be risky.
“[Users may] adopt a password pattern and make a few variations of it that turn out to be less secure than you might expect,” according to Tim Wade, Technical Director, CTO Team at Vectra, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of technology which applies AI to detect and hunt for cyber attackers.
Heed the warning
“Your passwords were exposed in a third-party data breach. You should change them now.”
That’s the warning that Google gives you. Heed it.
Google’s Password Checkup is invaluable because it shows which passwords were exposed in a third-party data breach.