With the number of passwords an average person has to memorize today (email, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, HBO GO, and many others) it is quite logical to see people using whatever means they have to make it easier. Every popular browser has this neat function to ask users whether they want to save their password and use the auto-complete feature for future reference.
This is extremely convenient, and there is no question about it. But is it really safe to store passwords in your browser? Let’s look at the facts and try to find the answer to this essential question for online security. Furthermore, let’s explore additional security measures you can pursue. These include getting the best VPN, a reliable password manager, and using two-factor authentication to stay safe online.
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It’s Not Safe to Store Passwords in Your Browser
Any cybersecurity expert out there will say that “It’s not safe to store passwords in your browser.” But users need to know why, if they are to make the decision not to do it.
First of all, everyone should know that saved passwords can be easily seen. It does require some coding skills. But if someone ends up on your computer with a plan to steal your personal information, they are probably capable of writing simple code.
With the autofill function, the username and password will appear automatically. A simple HTML source edit of the password field (type= ”password” to type=”text”) will reveal the password however complex it is. The hacker just has to know how to do it.
On top of that, if you leave your laptop, tablet, or smartphone unattended at a public location, or it gets stolen, or lost, all those passwords in the browser will literally enable anyone to get full access to your accounts.
And finally, you might fall victim to a phishing attack and end up with malware on your device. It gives complete access and control to a hacker, and all those stored passwords can be used against you.
Are There Any Security Measures To Keep Me Safe?
Stop Storing Passwords In Your Browser
First of all, now that we have established that the browser is not a safe place to store passwords – stop doing it. Don’t worry; there are still options out there for you to store your passwords safely and conveniently access them when you need to log into your online account.
Use a Password Manager
Using a password manager has its pros and cons, but when compared to storing passwords in a browser, it is a far safer practice. Most popular password managers have additional security layers to keep your passwords secure. If you decide to use one, you should consider enabling two-factor authentication as an additional security measure.
Use the Best VPN Service
Virtual private networks are perfect for staying hidden and protecting your private data online. By using a VPN (click here to download one), you will ensure that nobody knows your true identity, your activities online, as well as your passwords. Everything you receive and send from your device will stay encrypted and safe from prying eyes.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication Where Possible
We already mentioned 2FA when we talked about using password managers. Why is 2FA important? Even if someone gets hold of your password, they will not be able to access the account without the additional verification code.
Use An Antivirus
Most malware, designed to steal passwords via keylogging, data theft, and screen sharing, are detectable by antivirus software. The antivirus will protect your privacy furthermore and prevent your devices from getting infected by this type of malicious software.
Keep Your System and Apps Updated
Manufacturers of mainstream OSs and apps keep their products constantly patched for vulnerabilities and bugs. This is why you should regularly update your apps and OS to minimize the risk of getting hacked.
It is important to stress this out once again: it is not safe to store passwords in your browser. To enjoy the convenience of having all passwords in one place, you should use a password manager instead. Additionally, getting the best VPN and antivirus software, enabling 2FA, and keeping your system updated will minimize all cybersecurity risks. You can rest assured, knowing that all your online accounts are safe.