Is it OK to Let Your Browser Remember Your Password?

August 23, 2016

When you login to a website, your browser (the program that lets you look at websites) may ask if you want it to remember the password. Saving the password is convenient because the next time you go to that website, the browser will enter your password for you so all you have to do is click the button to login. It makes keeping up with your passwords a little easier. But is doing this a good idea?

Basically, we generally do not recommend saving passwords in your browser. That’s because its very easy to get those passwords from the browser. But there are a few exceptions where allowing your browser to remember the password is OK.

First of all, you should NEVER save passwords for any website that has any kind of sensitive information like banks and other financial institutions, online retailers, medical websites that have information about you, email, etc.

You may be thinking that it shouldn’t matter because you are the only one who has access to your computer. Or perhaps you completely trust the other people who have access to it. That’s good, but its not the only consideration. Your computer could be stolen or your computer could get hacked. In which case, these people could easily get any password stored in the browser.

For the convenience of saving password in your browser but with much more security, consider using a password manager. These are programs or add-ons that allow you to have one master password and use that to fill in your passwords on websites so you don’t have to keep up with all of your passwords. The most popular password manager is LastPass. It has had some security breaches in the past. Probably because it is the most popular password manager. If you sign up for LastPass, make sure you turn on 2-factor authentication. We here at Cyber Tek Computer Pros have been using RoboForm Everywhere for many years. It’s not quite as slick and easy to use as LastPass, but it hasn’t had any security breaches either. If you sign up for RoboForm Everywhere, we also recommend turning on 2-factor authentication.

While we are on the subject of 2-factor authentication, you should enable that feature on your email accounts (if available), financial websites, and any other security-sensitive accounts.

So when is it OK to save a password to your browser?
Whenever you login to a website and your browser asks you if you want it to remember the password, ask yourself this question:

Would I care if someone found out my password and logged into this website as me?
If you would care, then don’t allow your browser to remember the password.
If you wouldn’t care, then allow it.

If you have questions or need help with RoboForm Everywhere or LastPass (or any other Password Manager), please let us know. We are here to help.

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