Chrome Includes In-Built Password Generator

September 11, 2014 1:00 PM


As unfortunate as it is for Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, the recent spate of hacks in Apple’s iCloud combined with its leaks is another reminder that one can never truly be safe online. Email accounts, cloud-based storage services and many other alternatives are reminiscent of vaults, albeit virtual ones. The sad part of the system is that the key, or rather password as it is called now-a-days is as virtual as it can come. Predictable and weak passwords are failing to do what they are supposed to, but Google aims to strengthen the system by building a password generator into an experimental version of Chrome.

This feature that has long been a part of Google since 2012, received some of the long lost love it deserved after the recent scandal. Chrome Canary, the most rustic form of Google Chrome is experimental and prone to frequent crashes. It does include a password generator, but there no way to confirm that said feature will make its way to future stable releases. That said, it may be a redeeming feature – one that may make Chrome the numero uno browser – since Chrome takes up 19.61 percent of the market.

One must be running Chrome Canary to test this feature. Enable two flags – chrome://flags/#enable-password-generation and chrome://flags/#enable-save-password-bubble. These activated flags open an overlay that suggests strong passwords whenever and wherever required. Canary doesn’t replace your existing Chrome, but may crash one too many times due to its experimental nature. François Beaufort, a Google employee explained that Google built the generator with C libraries and the FIPS 181 Automated Password Generator, the combination generating passwords that are strong and roll off the tongue easily.

LastPass, RoboForm, KeePass, PasswordMaker, have all been tools that we’ve used in the past, but only as extensions. Google’s effort to include a strong password generator in the browser will make it secure, but one may expect the others to follow suit sooner or later. With multiple options to choose from amongst the competition, alternatives do not seem bad after all. Stronger passwords may have saved these celebrities from public disgrace, but serves as a reminder that nothing is really safe even in the virtual vaults.