Chrome adds security boost for Passwords: Verifying with Screen Lock (likely Windows Hello)

Extra layer of protection: verify your passwords

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Chrome’s experimental version, Canary, recently started showing a prompt in Google Password Manager. It encourages users to “Protect passwords with a screen lock” if they share their device with others. This suggests Google is introducing a feature that uses your device’s screen lock for added security when using Chrome Password Manager. The feature and message are currently being tested for Chrome on Windows and Mac.

Previously, accessing your saved passwords in Chrome might not have required any additional verification beyond your Windows login. This new promo card marks the initial testing for a feature that will eventually require an extra layer of security – biometric verification through your device’s screen lock system.

Chrome Password Manager prompts users to enable screen lock verification for added security

“Protect passwords with your screen lock
If you share this device with others, you can use your screen lock to verify it’s you whenever you use a saved password”.

Chrome Password Manager promo Protect passwords with screen lock on shared device
Image credit: Windows Report

A code commit spotted by us, Windows Report, reveals more about the new feature. It introduces authentication logic when a user interacts with the screen lock promo card in settings. If the authentication is successful (likely involving your fingerprint reader, facial recognition, or PIN), a preference for biometric re-authentication is turned on. Additionally, a confirmation message will be displayed.

Add authentication logic to screenlock promo in pwm settings .This CL introduces an authentication logic when user interacts with the screenlock promo card in settings. After the successful
authentication the pref responsible for biometric reauth is turned on. Additionally this CL introduces a new confirmation toast that is displayed after the successful authentication.” Google notes.

If everything works as expected, after typing your Windows password, this likely enables the “Use Windows Hello when filling Passwords” toggle. This means Chrome will remember your preference and prompt for biometric verification through your screen lock whenever you try to access or use your saved passwords.

Windows Hello Pref in Chrome Password Manager

If the authentication is successful, Chrome will likely remember this preference and prompt for biometric verification through your screen lock whenever you try to access or use your saved passwords.

This improves the security of your saved passwords in Chrome. By requiring biometric verification through your screen lock, it ensures that only authorized users can access your sensitive login information, even if they have access to your unlocked device. This is particularly beneficial if you share your computer with others.

In addition to Screen lock verification for Passwords, Chrome is getting other features like memory improvement with Partitionalloc expansion, Performance issue alert notifications, HTTPS-First Balanced Mode, and Google plans to deprecate Password leak warnings.

More about the topics: Chrome