Phishing is a word that no-one had heard of before the year 2005, but since that time it’s become an online security nightmare.
So, what is phishing? Phishing is the fraudulent practice by cyber criminals of attempting to obtain sensitive information such as credit card numbers, usernames, and passwords in order to encourage individuals to reveal their most personal information.
Basically, phishing email messages and websites are designed to separate you from your money. Just have a look at these facts –
- At least 2% of Gmail messages are sent to trick unsuspecting users into handing over their passwords; and
- These fishing attacks are successful almost 45% of the time.
Now that’s scary!
Even Google Docs was targeted! Earlier this year they were subjected to a massive phishing attack, which simply shows how vulnerable we all are against cyber criminals. Worse still, we never know when we will be targeted.
We need help, and Google has certainly enveloped itself in a sophisticated security system to protect itself from further attacks. But what about us?
Google is there to help us too, and they’ve now released an official Google extension to provide an additional line of defence against cyber criminals.
What Is Password Alert?
When you’re being subjected to a phishing attack you’ll probably receive an email from someone imitating Google, and you’ll be asked to enter your account details on a malicious website.
The Chrome Web store now has a quick install Password Alert, so if you entered your Google password on a malicious website you will receive a message from Password Alert advising that “Your Gmail password has just been exposed to a non-Gmail page”.
The message will also suggest that you change your password immediately. The minute you type in the final character of your password this message will appear, and it works whether you’re trying to log into a non-Google website or whether you’re signing up for a new account.
Once you’ve installed Password Alert from the Chrome Web store, the open source extension will watch over both your Google and Google Apps for Work Accounts from phishing attacks.
This also includes Google Drive. The extension works by validating real Google sign-in pages, so if you were to type your Google password into a site that wasn’t a Google sign-in page, an alert will be displayed with a warning about the suspicious webpage. Now, with this warning, you can quickly change the password you just entered. It’s for this very reason that we’re always being advised to use a separate password for every website, so it won’t be necessary to change your compromised password on all your sites.
Password Alert: Easy to Set up and Easy to Use
The Password Alert extension is available at the Chrome Web store. Even if you’ve already logged in, you will be prompted by the extension to enter your username and password for your Google account.
Once the information has been entered, Password Alert will start monitoring wherever your Google password is entered. Now, whenever your Gmail or Google password is entered outside of Google, you’ll receive an alert. It’s up to you to reset your password, or ignore it if perhaps you entered your password on Facebook, Amazon, or other safe website.
How Does Password Alert Work?
The password alert extension from the Chrome Web store is not a keystroke logger. A scrambled reduced-bit thumbnail of your password is kept by Chrome in its local storage. This thumbnail is then compared to each password entered on websites other than accounts.google.com. If your password is typed into a site that’s not a Google sign-in page, it will be compared by Password Alert against the saved thumbnail.
Google does not share this information with anyone as its simply for security purposes only.
What are you waiting for? Download this extension, for free right away!