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How to Turn Off Google Password Manager (And Why You Might Want To)

Hey there! If you use the Chrome browser, you‘ve probably seen Google Password Manager automatically offer to save passwords for you. While handy, you may be wondering if having Google store all your passwords is a smart idea.

In this guide, we‘ll look at how safe Google Password Manager really is, the best way to turn it off, and some alternative password managers you might like better. I‘ll also explain how to delete any passwords you‘ve already saved with Google.

By the end, you‘ll know how to decide if Google Password Manager is right for you or if you‘re better off using something else. Let‘s get started!

How Safe is Google Password Manager?

With major data breaches in the news way too often, it‘s natural to be concerned about password safety. The truth is no password manager is 100% hack-proof. But Google uses top encryption methods to help keep your data as secure as possible.

According to Google, your passwords are encrypted so not even Google employees can access them. That‘s reassuring. However, Google Password Manager is directly connected to your Google account.

This means if someone got into your account, they would also have access to all your saved passwords. That‘s the main risk to understand.

Standalone password managers from companies like LastPass and 1Password use master passwords instead. Your passwords are stored in the manager‘s encrypted vault, protected by your master password that only you know.

According to a 2021 LastPass survey, 91% of people admit to reusing passwords across accounts. This is extremely risky because if one site gets hacked, it can expose your password, putting all your other accounts in danger.

A study by IBM found the average data breach costs a company $4.24 million. For individuals, a hacked password can lead to identity theft, financial fraud, and stolen personal data.

Password managers help solve this by securely storing unique, complex passwords for all your sites so you don‘t have to try remembering them. The best managers use a zero-knowledge model so only you have your master password.

So while Google Password Manager meets a certain security standard, standalone managers like LastPass and 1Password give you an extra layer of protection.

Password Manager Security Comparison

Here‘s how Google Password Manager stacks up to two popular alternatives:

Feature Google Password Manager LastPass 1Password
Encryption Method AES-256 AES-256 AES-256
Master Password
Two-Factor Authentication
Browser Extension Chrome only All major browsers All major browsers

The lack of master password is Google Password Manager‘s main limitation from a security standpoint. LastPass and 1Password have broader browser support too.

Turning Off Google Password Manager

If you‘d prefer not to use Google‘s built-in password manager, here‘s how to disable it:

On desktop:

  1. Click your Google profile picture in Chrome.
  2. Select the key icon for Passwords.
  3. Turn off "Offer to save passwords".

On Android:

  1. Open Chrome‘s settings.
  2. Tap Passwords.
  3. Toggle off "Save passwords".

Once disabled, Google Password Manager won‘t offer to save any more passwords for you.

Removing Saved Passwords

If you already have passwords stored in Google Password Manager that you want to delete:

  1. Click your Google profile picture.
  2. Go to Saved passwords.
  3. Click the three dots next to a password.
  4. Select Remove to delete it.

I‘d recommend removing any existing passwords so they aren‘t left vulnerable in your Google account.

Making Strong Passwords

When you switch to a new password manager, it‘s a good time to reset all your passwords.

Here are some tips for creating strong, unique passwords:

  • Use 12-14 random characters – numbers, letters and symbols
  • Avoid dictionary words or personal info
  • Don‘t reuse passwords between accounts
  • Let your password manager generate secure passwords

With a strong master password and different passwords for every account, you‘ll go a long way in protecting your online security.

Browser Syncing and Privacy

One other thing to keep in mind is that Chrome can sync your browsing data like history, bookmarks, and settings across devices. While convenient, it also gives Google access to a lot more of your personal information.

So using Google Password Manager means placing a lot of trust in Google having access to your passwords, browsing data, and other personal account details all tied to your Google ID.

For many, this trade-off is worth it for the synchronization benefits. But if having that much of your data centralized in one place with Google concerns you for privacy reasons, it‘s another factor to consider.

Alternatives to Google Password Manager

Here are a few top standalone password managers you may want to look at:

LastPass: Offers robust features like multifactor authentication and password sharing. Many security experts rate LastPass as the most secure manager.

1Password: Provides excellent encryption and helps avoid risky password habits. Seamlessly syncs between desktop and mobile.

Dashlane: Boasts AI-powered password security and can change saved passwords quickly if a site is breached.

Keeper: Emphasizes zero-knowledge encryption with tight security controls. Focuses on enterprise and business use.

All of these offer free basic versions or free trials to start out. Paid plans with premium features range between $2-$5 per month.

The Bottom Line

Google Password Manager provides a good level of security for most casual web users. But having all your passwords directly connected to your Google account does introduce some risk.

For stronger protection, a standalone password manager like LastPass or 1Password is worth considering. Taking control of your account security with unique passwords for every site will give you serious peace of mind.

The most important thing is using any password manager rather than nothing at all. At the end of the day, do what makes you feel most comfortable securing your online accounts. Stay smart and stay safe out there!

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Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.