Having a unique password for every account you own can be a headache – especially when you need to come up with a completely random and strong combination each time. If you’re a Chrome user, Google Passwords can feel like a godsend. After all, this built-in password manager generates the passwords for you, saves them, and automatically fills in credentials when you’re logging into websites. The best part is that it’s free. Unfortunately, everything that seems too good to be true usually is. Chrome Password Manager may be a convenient way to store all your passwords in one place, but it comes with some disadvantages especially when compared to dedicated password managers.
Lack of Information About Google Passwords Security
Overall, Google Password Manager can be considered secure. However, unlike paid password managers, there isn’t exact information on how Google saves your credentials. For example, 1Password explains in detail how it keeps your information safe. By visiting the company’s website, you can read a 100-page white paper that includes information on its zero-knowledge architecture, encryption method, password sharing security, and more. Meanwhile, Google Passwords doesn’t provide any of this information – you’ll just have to trust the company to keep your data safe. Easier said than done, as the company has faced security-breach scandals in the past.
No Master Password
A major flaw of Chrome Password Manager is that it doesn’t require a master password to unlock your vaults. The moment you access your device and open Chrome, all your passwords are out in the open. This means that if you leave your computer unattended and unlocked, anyone can access all your passwords in a matter of seconds. Plus, due to Google Passwords’ autofill function, they would also be able to easily log into your saved accounts and access your sensitive information.
Most password managers, on the other hand, protect your credentials behind a master key as well as an auto-lock tool, which closes your vault after a few minutes idle. So, even if you leave your computer and forget to close your password manager, the software locks out any prying eyes.
Lackluster Password Generator
There’s no way around the fact that Google Passwords’ password generator is convenient. Even so, this tool lacks an important characteristic – the ability to select the password’s length and character types. All passwords created by this Google tool have 15 characters and only consist of upper- and lowercase letters and numbers.
Meanwhile, paid password managers like 1Password offer comprehensive password generators that let you tweak your password to your liking. This is extremely useful for websites that require you to follow a certain set of rules to create a password. And let’s not forget that 1Password allows you to go as far as having 64-character passwords – no cybercriminal is going to crack that.
Only Covers Chrome and Mobile Apps
Another huge limitation of Google Passwords is that it only works in Chrome and on smartphones that have Google installed. In other words, it doesn’t work for people who prefer a more secure browser or use desktop software that requires a login. This is something that you don’t need to think about when using a password manager like 1Password. You can add new entries manually, meaning that you can have all your credentials in one place. And it’s just as easy to log into a website with this password manager since it also has autofill and lets you copy your credentials with one click.
Limited Data Type Support
Finally, Google Password only supports passwords and credit card details. Third-party password managers let you save much more than that. From secure notes to software licenses and identities, password managers like 1Password offer the necessary tools to be your go-to vault for securing all types of information. The best part is that all data entries have their own tab, so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.
So, while using Google Passwords is better than nothing, it’s far from being secure. Dedicated password managers are as convenient as Google Passwords, but also offer an important extra layer of security. Plus, they’re extremely affordable and make it easy to safely share passwords with others. If you’re still not convinced, you can see for yourself by taking advantage of password managers’ free trials and limited free versions.
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