At the time of writing, it’s been about a week since I received a rather interesting email from CNet, detailing a question I’m sure at least a few of us have asked ourselves in the past: is saving your log-in information in your web browser a bad move? After all, it’s something a lot of folks do, particularly in this era of paranoia, where many of us use ridiculously long, difficult-to-remember passwords (though that’s a whole other can of worms; one which we won’t be opening today). Even if you’re using a password that you’ve committed to memory, when you factor in the vast array of accounts every modern-day user inevitably has, well…
It’s not exactly a simple task, remembering all that data. Who can fault a person for saving their password to their browser, so they never have to type it? As an added bonus, if there are any key-logging applications on your system (assuming they haven’t already grabbed all the requisite data), they’re not going to be able to nab your password because you’re not typing it in. So…what’s the problem with storing one’s password anyway? What are the risks, if indeed there are any risks at all?
Well, first and foremost, it depends entirely on what browser you’re using to store your data. Basically, if you’re using an old version of Internet Explorer…well, don’t. I have no idea how secure the latest version of Internet Explorer is, but you should steer clear of storing your login credentials in any browser version earlier than 10, and even 10 is a bit of a crapshoot. Also, you should probably upgrade. Or switch browsers.
If you’re using Chrome, you should be fine. Opera and Firefox are another matter – I can’t speak to how secure the method they use to store user credentials is, I’m afraid. Same goes for Safari. At the very least, you should do everything you can to make sure that stored information is protected- use a password management application, At the very least, you should be protecting everything with a master password. And it should go without saying, too, that you should still do regular spyware and virus scans.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with saving your credentials in your browser, so long as you take the necessary precautions. If you’re using an insecure browser, however, it’s probably something you should avoid.
Do any of you have any further tips for saving login credentials? Drop a line below!