Google has unveiled new administration tools designed to improve the use of passwords, in order to boost security for customers using its Google Apps hosted enterprise software offerings.
"Helping businesses, schools and organisations to keep information safe is critical, and we've been providing Google Apps customers with a spectrum of capabilities to help ensure that only authorised users have access to information accessible from the cloud," wrote Eran Feigenbaum, director of security for Google Apps, in a blog post.
"These include Secure Sockets Layer options, single sign-on capabilities, and administrative controls for how widely users can share and publish information from Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Calendar."
Google has also added a new layer of security with administrator controls that allow enterprises to define the length of passwords and analyse their strength.
The company offered a number of password selection tips. "The first step in protecting your online privacy is creating a safe password, i.e. one that a computer program or persistent individual won't easily be able to guess in a short period of time," the advice reads.
"To help you choose a secure password, we've created a feature that lets you know visually how safe your password is as soon as you create it."
One example, which may seem obvious, is "not to use a password listed as an example of how to pick a good password".
The relative strength of a password can be determined automatically in real time as Google's account authentication system constantly analyses password use and attempts to break them.
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