Did you know that when you login to Google Chrome, it pre-fills the OSX Keychain with all your saved passwords?
And when you sign out of Google Chrome, it helpfully removes those passwords? Wrong! No it doesn’t!
This is a major problem if you’re using someone else’s machine temporarily. A work machine perhaps? My job requires me to move around from office to office, and usually I use my own MacBook. Some occasions call for using a different machine.
Moving passwords into the keychain
I’ve recently been at an agency which asked me to borrow a MacBook for two weeks, and as expected Chrome pulled down my passwords for me. Handy, until I worked out they were actually being stored in the keychain for anyone with admin rights to see. Simply change my password and Voilà! You’re into every password I’ve saved in Chrome, plain text for all to see.
The only way to rectify this isn’t the expected “Sign out of Chrome”. Doing so will still leave all your password in the keychain. You’ll need to head into the keychain, locate all your password and delete them.
The problem is Chrome never notifies you of this, and it can cause issues with security and privacy. It’s another addition to the issue over plain text passwords being accessible with only a couple of clicks. I was shocked a year or so ago when someone at Technophobia showed me all my passwords when I handed them the machine to fix an issue. His words were “be careful in future”.
With the release of Google’s new web browser named “Chrome”, will this mean a shift in browser usage?
It’s the same situation as Firefox found itself in nearly four years ago, and it’s only just catching Microsofts browser.
So, is Chrome any good? I downloaded the BETA yesterday and have been playing ever since.
Although it may take up a little more memory and power it ultimately makes for a faster browsing experience and more stability. If one of the processes fail you only lose one tab rather than the whole browser.
Things I like in Chrome:
- The truely awesome Chrome Inspector
- Incognito Browsing (and the awesome logo)
It’s basically a porn mode. Very much like IE8’s new privacy feature. Upon opening this new “Incognito Window” all your history and web cookies won’t be stored meaning your basically invisible on the internet. It also means your mom/mum won’t find that dirty website you have been visiting over the past few days…
I also love the “spy” logo very similar to Gamespys logo. It looks very cool for a Google graphic! (I also love the Chrome logo).
- The iGoogle like welcome page
When opening a new tab you have the option of showing a “New Tab page”. It shows your most visited websites in order and also shows your full browser history with time and date. Clicking show full history actually allows you to see your online travel path. The new tab page also shows new bookmarks and recently closed tabs. A feature I like very much as losing closed tabs can be easy.
- Organised tabs
When you have several tabs opened, keeping track can be difficult. And when Firefox adds your tab onto the end of the list it can be hard to find again. Google Chrome adds the tab next to the currently opened one, which helps keep them organised. The more tabs you have open at any one time, the harder it becomes to sort, and the more valuable this feature becomes.
Click on the image to see a better example.
- Unobtrusive status bar
This is a personal preference. The more browser space is available, the better. This means you can see more of the page at any one time. Even if it is 10px worth of space, every little bit helps.
When hovering over links the status bar pops up in the lower left corner, then fades away when you move away from the link. Simple and effective.
To be honest I could write about the new Chrome all day, but I know that it’s already been well documented. Maybe I got a little carried away.
To download Google Chrome simply head over to their website.