Even if you are using a password manager and two-factor authentication, there’s a good chance some of your login information has been exposed in the past through hacks and leaks. Microsoft is introducing a new feature in Edge called Password Monitor so you don’t have to go to a website like Engadget to find out that one of your passwords has been compromised. The next time any of the passwords you’ve saved in Edge are included in a third-party data breach, you’ll be notified to change it. This way, you can minimize any potential damage, especially if you have reused that password elsewhere.
In a way, Microsoft is playing catch-up here. Both Chromium and Firefox have offered similar functionality over the past few years, as have password managers like 1 Password and Last pass. However, what makes Microsoft’s offer interesting at this time is that it uses a relatively new type of approach called homomorphic encryption to ensure that no one in the company, or any other party, can find your passwords. One of the ways the algorithm protects your data is by allowing a computer to interact with it without first decrypting the information. It also works with a variety of machines, including those with relatively old processors, so everyone can benefit from Password Monitor.