Ultimately, Google and other big tech companies want it give up passwords altogether, but until that day, a Google Password Manager feature called encryption on the device might be your best bet for protecting your precious codes. Even if it came out quietly before this springas you can now easily access Google Password Manager on your Android home screennow is a good time to check out. The feature is available for Android, iOS, and Chrome and is designed to help users protect their information from prying eyes, even from Google.
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 only possession of the encryption key that encrypts and decrypts the text for your PWs.
When it comes to cryptography, the “keys” are the tool used to lock and unlock information. Encryption hides data by scrambling plain text, or “plain text” into what is called “ciphertext”, Which presents itself as an incomprehensible and confused language. Those misunderstandings can be converted back to human-readable plaintext, however, using a “key,” which is a randomly generated string of information that is used to unlock the encryption.
Google Password Manager has traditionally stored a user’s key, storing it in the user’s Google account and using it to protect their passwords. However, with on-device encryption, the user’s key is stored on the actual device rather than on Google’s digital systems. The feature allows users to unlock their passwords using their Google password or using an appropriate screen lock feature of their choice (PIN or fingerprint or other biometric identifier). Like Google put it, this means that “nobody but you will be able to access your passwords”. This includes Google!
Why you should set up account recovery
You can definitely see why this new feature has somand privacy benefitsbut there are also some potential drawbacks. For example, if you lose or forget your Google password or other feature-related security mechanism, you will find yourself in a world of hurt. How come? Because that way you won’t be able to access any of your other passwords either.
From there is a risk of this happening, Google strongly encourages you to set up some account recovery methods before enabling encryption on your device. You can read more about these by reading Google’s support page on the issue here. Also important to note: once encryption is added to your device, it apparently cannot be removed, so make sure you want to activate it before activating it.
How to set up Google Password Manager device encryption
So how do you set up all of this? The process should be simple enough. For Android, you just need to do the following:
- To open Password manager.
- Click on Settings
- Faucet Set up encryption on the device.
It should be so. For the Chrome browser, the process is just as simple:
- In the upper right corner, go to Moreover.
- To select Settings.
- Blow Passwords.
- To select Set up encryption on the device.
For iOS, you’ll follow a similar procedure, but starting with Google passwords web page. From there, click on Settings and then “set”. For more information on this new feature, you can check out Google’s full report here.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t necessarily have to trust Google! 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 that doesn’t suit your needs, you can always write your passwords on a piece of paper. It would be pretty hard to hack into your notebook after all.