Some Google Chrome users excessively rely on the browser's autofill function to the point where they often forget their credentials (guilty!). Fortunately, you can easily decrypt the passwords stored in Chrome by inputting your laptop's four-digit PIN (or your Google password if you're using a Chromebook).
According to an experimental flag spotted last week, in addition to PIN numbers, Google will allow desktop users to verify their permission status by using biometric authentication. Following up on this cool new feature, Google will also deploy biometric authentication as a new security gatekeeper for filling out or revising form data, according to Chrome Unboxed. For example, before changing your credit card details, you'll be prompted to use your laptop's fingerprint reader.
Google to add biometric authentication options for accessing sensitive data
Fingerprint scanning isn't the only biometric authentication method that Google is green lighting. Face unlock is another security layer users can add. As mentioned, you'll have the option to use fingerprints or facial recognition to jog your memory about your saved passwords. You can also use biometric authentication to access sensitive information stored on Chrome, including autofill form data, credit card details, and more.
This feature will be optional. So if you prefer to input your laptop's PIN number, or you don't own a device that supports biometric authentication, you can continue to use your four-digit code to access your saved Chrome data.
However, if you wish to toggle this feature on, stumbling upon Google's virtual security gates should be much smoother. You can always forget your laptop PIN, but when it comes to your fingerprints and facial features, you'll always have them handy no matter what.
The new biometric authentication perk hasn't landed inside Chrome's stable or beta channels yet, but we'll let you know when it's officially available to the wider public. If you prefer not to store your credentials with Google at all then the best password managers also will often support entering credit card or other sensitive data and keep it behind a secure password or biometric authentication.
Stay in the know with Laptop Mag
Get our in-depth reviews, helpful tips, great deals, and the biggest news stories delivered to your inbox.
Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!