Tech Guide

Google has a new tool that tells you when you need to change your password — here's how it works

Key Points
  • Google launched a new tool on Tuesday called Password Checkup that you install in Chrome.
  • It can detect if a site that you’re visiting has been breached before, which means your password might be stolen.
  • CNBC’s Todd Haselton shows you how to install and use Password Checkup.

Google on Tuesday released a new tool that will alert you when you need to change your password because it might have been stolen.

It's a tiny "plug-in" that you install in Chrome (don't worry — it's easy.) Then, once it's installed, it can let you know if you need to change your account password.

"If we detect that a username and password on a site you use is one of over 4 billion credentials that we know have been compromised, the extension will trigger an automatic warning and suggest that you change your password," Google said.

It's part of Google's Password Checkup tool. Here's how to install it.

  • Using the Chrome browser, install Google's new Password Checkup tool.
  • Tap "Add to Chrome."
  • Confirm that you want to add it to Chrome.
  • You'll see a screen shield on the top-right of Chrome once it's installed.
  • That's it.

Now, if you're browsing the web and the plug-in detects that you're using a password it knows has been compromised, it will show you a warning that looks like this, alerting you to change your passwords.

Todd Haselton | CNBC