Is this a case where the media cries “WOLF!”? Not so fast (for once). ZDNet, Forbes, the Washington Post, The Sun, Express, CNBC and many other news outlet have warned us. Yet, with this latest compromise, no one seems to care. The Google Chrome team, to their credit, has not only warned us, they have also created a tool to check if you were a victim or not. Could it be that the number “4 million” isn’t significant enough to warrant concern, or the ton of ads you have to endure just to get to the story. Could it there be something more benign or a simpler reason behind this absence of concern.
Grahm Cluley, in his article “Google Chrome extension warns if your password has been leaked” calls it “breech fatigue”. We’ve all been bombarded with so many news flashes of the pending internet doom and the end of our world as we know it because of some maleficent revenge or greed. We should, never the less, heed these warnings with some action of our own and not allow a short coming to compromise our electronic foot print.
Conducting a personal media blackout sometimes has its ramifications. I’ll drive to the point of this blog skipping over my reasoning for selectively exposing myself to today’s (absence of?) journalism. In my routine of things I was updating a laptop that hadn’t been used in sometime when I took notice of the number of extension users for the Chrome Password Checkup extension (image above). It didn’t take but an instance to know something was amiss with the disparage in numbers. In a world where 52.4% of the global population is online and when 68.6% of these have choose Chrome as their browser of choice some numbers weren’t adding up. Some quick math (estimation of the result), 7.53 billion people on the planet (as of 2017) with 3.94 billion online, gives roughly 2.68 billion Chrome endusers. … and only 723,001 (.027%) have even bothered to see if their passwords have been compromised with the extension. While I am not claiming to be a statistician for this particular issue, a person could draw the conclusion that either the world at large is ill informed, too bothered or simply doesn’t care.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of my passwords being exposed at any level. There is an easy solution to this particular problem and simple way to find out if you have been compromised. Start by downloading and activating the “Password Checkup extension” (<–just click the link) found in the chrome web store. This plugin will alert you as to whether or not your password was compromised and “… helps you resecure accounts that were affected by data breaches.”
Now in all fairness, considering the 4 million impacted, this number only represents 0.15% of total possible Chrome users that “should have” great concern – but what if YOU are one of that 0.15%?
Just do it.
It is as easy as washing your hands. Just do it.