While dedicated password managers are the way to go to stay secure online, Google Chrome has been offering basic credential management for a while. Advanced features such as password leak detection have been limited to (mostly) paid password managers or Chrome's competition in the form of Firefox Monitor (powered by Have I Been Pwned). Luckily, Google is working on feature parity with Firefox by including leak detection natively in Chrome for desktop and Android, and it's already live in Canary, the developer version of the browser. Another welcome change the company is working on are less annoying notification prompts from websites.

Password leak detection

Google's password theft checker isn't new, per se – it already exists in the form of the Password Checkup Chrome extension, automatically alerting you if the login details you enter on any service have already been leaked publicly.

A Chromium bug report and a Gerrit entry were the first pieces of evidence pointing to the integration of password checkup. TechDows found out that you can already activate it in Chrome Canary, but you have to jump through some hoops. First, head to chrome://flags/#password-leak-detection and enable the Password Leak Detection flag (copy and paste the address in your browser, as Chrome doesn't support hyperlinking these due to security reasons). After restarting Chrome Canary, you also have to check your settings at chrome://settings/passwords to see whether Password protection is toggled on. Once that's done, you should be good to go – since I don't have any leaked passwords, I couldn't test if the feature works as intended, though. For now, the flag is also limited to the desktop version of the browser, but another Chromium Gerrit entry noticed by XDA Developers reveals that Google is planning Android support, too.

Less interruptive notification permission dialogs

Unlike the password feature, less annoying notification permission prompts are only planned to be available on Android for now – which makes sense, since it's most intrusive there. A flag shows that the company is working on implementing mini info bars, presumably sitting at the bottom of the interface just like "Add to homescreen" toasts. In contrast to the current UI, which overlays a prompt, interrupting your browsing experience, this should lead to a much more pleasant experience. Right now, enabling the Quieter notifications permission prompts flag doesn't do anything – the feature is still under active development.

Less interruptive notification permission dialogs now live as a flag

Testing of the less interruptive notification permission dialogs continues, and now finally something actually happens when you activate the 'force mini-infobars' in the Quieter notifications permission prompts flag: A toast message shows up at the bottom of the screen, informing you that notifications are blocked. Clicking on 'details' lets you change that behavior. This is already live in the stable release of the browser.

 

In Chrome Canary, an additional 'force quiet notifications' option has been added, but the mini-infobars are live in stable Chrome, too.

In Chrome Canary, a new option called 'force quiet notifications' has been added. Activating this prompts a quiet notification informing you that notifications are blocked for a website — somewhat ironic. Choosing "force heads-up notifications" makes Chrome default to the current behavior of overlaying a pop-up, which hinders you from using a website before you actively decide to block or allow notifications.

Google Chrome: Fast & Secure
Google Chrome: Fast & Secure
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

Chrome Canary (Unstable)
Chrome Canary (Unstable)
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free