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Today, Google released a blog post announcing some key changes to Password Manager. The new changes will enable users who have multiple passwords for the same sites or apps, to automatically group them on Chrome and Android devices. 

At the same time, when entering passwords into online accounts, a feature called Password Checkup will warn users about compromised credentials and weak or reused passwords, and give them an option to change them. 

This means that users will have the opportunity to automatically secure weak passwords that put them at risk of being hacked.

In addition, the changes will not only enable users to create strong unique passwords across platforms, but users on Android will be able to create a shortcut to Password Manager on their home screen so they can access their passwords with a single tap. 

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An intermediate step to passwordless authentication 

The announcement comes as panic over compromised credentials has reached a breaking point with Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report highlighting that compromised credentials accounted for almost 50% of data breaches. 

With the FIDO-passwordless movement fully underway, and providers like Microsoft, Google and Apple committing to deploy passwordless authentication options, these changes to Password Manager provide a welcome intermediary step for users that are still dependent on password-based security. 

The new additions to Password Manager will help to flag insecure passwords and provide automatic support to change them so there’s less chance of them being compromised by unscrupulous attackers. 

As Google researchers wrote in the company’s announcement blog post, “strong, unique passwords are key to helping keep your personal information secure online. That’s why Google Password Manager can help you create, remember and autofill passwords on your computer or phone, on the web in Chrome, and in your favorite Android and iOS apps.” 

“Google Password Manager can create unique, strong passwords for you across platforms, and helps ensure your passwords aren’t compromised as you browse the web,” the blog post said. 

The global password management market 

Google is one of the key players in the password management market, which researchers valued at $1.25 billion in 2020 and expect will reach a value of $3.07 billion by 2026 as more organizations and users look for solutions to manage the passwords for their online accounts. 

The organization is competing against a range of established providers including 1Password, a password manager that enables users to generate unique passwords for their online accounts with a single click across platforms including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android. 

At the start of this year, 1Password raised $620 million in funding and achieved a $6.8 billion valuation. 

Another prominent competitor is LastPass, which enables users to generate passwords with a random generator, and save passwords in the LastPass vault. The vault enables users to log in via the LastPass Authenticator without the need for a password. 

Private equity firms acquired LastPass’s parent company for $4.3 billion in December of 2019. 

Of course, the key differentiator for Google Password Manager is its direct link to Chrome and Android users and the wider Google product ecosystem, to ensure these users can seamlessly manage and update passwords to protect themselves from credential-based attacks. 

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