Google Chrome, just like any other modern web browser, offers to store passwords that you enter while using it to improve future access to websites or services on the Internet.
Instead of having to enter the username and password manually each time you delete cookies or sign out, you can use features provided by the browser to fill out the values automatically for you.
That's very comfortable and used by many, especially since it is a feature that is set to on by default.
Unlike Firefox, Chrome did not offer any protection whatsoever for stored usernames and passwords in the browser. Some users saw this as a blatant security risks, while others and Google were quick to point out that local system access was needed to access the data.
There are obviously situations where you may allow someone to access your computer, be it child, friend or business colleague. The chance that they may access the storage may be slim, especially if you are nearby, but it is definitely possible that someone with enough knowledge of Chrome would quickly use an opportunity to look up passwords in the browser.
Chrome's Master Password
Anyway, Google implemented protection on Chrome for Mac recently that was linked to the operating system's account password. The very same protection has now landed on Windows as well, and while it is not yet available in the stable version of Chrome, it will be in the near future.
You can still open the passwords manager of Google Chrome just like before, and see the web address and the username of any website or service saved here. The Show button however that appears when you hover the mouse cursor over an entry will trigger a password prompt. Previously, the password was shown directly.
Now, you need to enter the account password of the user who is signed in to the operating system before the passwords are displayed in Chrome.
Side Note: To open the password manager, load the link in the paragraph above, or click on the three bars in the Chrome interface, and select Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Manage Saved Passwords from the settings page.
The protection will be lifted for a minute, before it will be enabled again. You can display as many passwords as you like in that time without having to re-enter the Windows user account password. Once the minute is over though, the password prompt is displayed again.
The feature should please Chrome users who criticized Google for not implementing a Master Password type of protecting for the saved password database.