Eventually, Google and other major technology companies will refrain from passwords completely, but until that day comes, a Google Password Manager feature called device encryption may be your best bet to protect your valuable codes. Although it came out quietly earlier this springbecause you can now easily access Google Password Manager on your Android home screennow is a good time to check it out it out. The feature is available for Android, iOS and Chrome and is designed to help users protect their information from prying eyes – including Google’s.
What is encryption on the device?
In short: on device encryption adds an extra layer of protection and privacy to Google Password Manager by giving you sole possession of the encryption key that encodes and decodes the text for your PWs.
When it comes to encryption, “keys” is the tool used to lock and unlock information. Encryption hides data by distorting normal text, or “plain text” to what is called “ciphertext”, Who presents himself as distorted, illegible laughter. That laugh can, however, be converted into readable plain text using a “key”, which is a randomly generated information string used to unlock encryption.
Google Password Manager has traditionally kept a user’s key, stored it in the user’s Google Account, and used it to protect their passwords. But with encryption on the device, the user’s key is stored on their actual device instead of in Google’s digital system. The feature allows users to unlock their passwords with their Google password or by using a qualified screen lock feature of their choice (PIN or a fingerprint or other biometric identifier). Like Google have added it, which means that “no one but you will be able to access your passwords.” It includes Google!
Why you should set up account recovery
You can probably see why this new feature has thate privacy benefitsbut there are also some potential disadvantages. For example, if you lose or forget your Google password or other security mechanism associated with the feature, you will end up in a world of harm. Why? Because then you will not be able to access any of your other passwords either.
Since there is a certain risk that this will happen, Google strongly recommends that you set up some account recovery methods before enabling encryption on your device. You can read more about these by reading the Google support page in question here. Also important to note: once the encryption on the device has been added, it apparently cannot be removed, so make sure you want to enable it before turning it on.
How to set up Google Password Manager encryption on your device
So how do you get all this set up? The process should be quite simple. For Android, you just need to do the following:
- Open Password Manager.
- Click Settings
- Tap Set encryption on the device.
That should be it. For the Chrome browser, the process is just as simple:
- In the upper right corner, go to More.
- Select settings.
- Meet Password.
- Select Set encryption on the device.
For iOS, you will follow a similar procedure, but starting from Google Password web page. From there, just click on settings and then on “configure”. For more information on this new feature, check out Google’s full description here.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you do not necessarily have to trust Google at all! For the truly paranoid, this may not be a bad thing to consider. You can always subscribe to another password manager like Keeper or Bitwarden and, if it does not suit your needs, you can always just write down your passwords on a piece of paper. It would be quite difficult to hack your notebook after all.
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