How many times has your browser asked you whether you want to save your passwords in its database? Probably a lot. The real question is, have you ever accepted this suggestion? If so, it is time to fix your password management habits.
Saving passwords to your browser does provide convenience, no argument here. But it’s time to focus on adding an extra layer of security to your online accounts.
Below is a brief guide on why you should stop saving passwords to your browser. And what other solutions you should look into instead.
The Disadvantages of Saving Passwords to Browser
Nowadays, all browsers offer to save your passwords. You may have accepted such a suggestion at least once in the past 12 months. Once you do, the browser fills in your login credentials each time you access the same site. It might be a convenient feature and a great time-saver. But it comes with several disadvantages that you must not overlook.
Huge Risk in Case of Data Breach
For instance, the storage of a browser is often not in any way encrypted or secured against cyber threats. In other words, the browser could expose all your passwords in case of a data breach.
Plus, if you use Google Chrome, saving browsers adds even more information about you for advertising purposes. Google knows which sites you visit enough to have accounts on them. There’s plenty of data you already share with Google, do you think you want to share even more?
Snoopers Are All Around You
Another reason why it is not a good idea to save a password in your browser is that people can use it to snoop around your accounts while you’re not there. If you leave the device unattended, people can have access to your private data, including social media, messages, and financial information.
The same follows if you lose your device, or it ends up stolen. The person who opens your browser will have access to all your social media and financial accounts.
After all, everyone can check the passwords on Google Chrome in a few clicks. Mozilla Firefox does have encryption, but it’s not the default option, so most people don’t even know about it. Thus, more often than now, saving passwords to your browser puts your data at risk.
In case a hacker or a third party gains control over your device, they will have access to your social media pages through the browser. Hackers can take over devices through malware and viruses and, thus, end up controlling your online accounts as well.
Potential Security Solutions
Most likely, by now, you agree that saving passwords in a browser is not a good idea. Here are possible solutions that can help you increase the security of your accounts.
Use a Password Manager
A password manager is a tool that encrypts and saves your passwords. It’s your secure digital location to store passwords for all your online accounts.
Not only you won’t be needing an auto-save feature on browsers, but it also saves you from storing passwords in other insecure locations. That includes everything — from sticky notes on your desktop or other files to handwritten notes you keep around your computer.
With a password manager, you only need to remember one key password that secures all the other login credentials you use daily. On top of that, password manager tools help you generate new and secure passwords, as well as fill in login details on sites automatically.
It comes in all forms and sizes too. You can:
download iOS or Android password manager for your smartphone,
add an extension for your browser,
use a password management software on your computer.
Update Your Browser Settings
Head into your browser settings and disable the autofill feature. Check the “Save password settings” to make sure all features are turned off. This way, the browser won’t ask to save your passwords again, so you won’t even remember to do it again.
Change Your Password Saving Habits
If you used to save passwords to your online browser, now is the time to flip that habit around. Start practicing safer online habits. A small investment in a password manager can take your data security to the next level.
But don’t stop there. Make sure to secure your device with proper antivirus software that allows you to perform safety scans every once in a while. Every now and then, also check HaveIBeenPwned.com to see whether any data breaches compromised the security of your accounts. And educate yourself on cyber threats. In the end, you can prevent the attacks or avoid disastrous consequences only if you are aware of them.