Did you ever thought of securing your passwords you saved, in your favourite browser? If not, do it now. In this article I am going to tell you how to protect browser saved passwords in some of today’s most popular browsers.
The probability of your social account getting hacked is inversely proportional to your popularity. If your socio-economic rank is telling you that it’s turning more heads towards you, then get up. Find all the loose ends of your web security. Tighten them up and feel extremely lucky that till now you are not hacked.
How secure your passwords are in Google Chrome?
Google Chrome has encapsulated the major chunk of today’s web surfers under its belt due to its simplicity and vast functionality. When we surf the web using Chrome, It often asks us to save passwords when we sign in to any web services or sites. The philosophy behind it is simple. In future, you will be able to sign in to that same service with a single click as chrome will remember your saved passwords and will pre fill the required log in values. Surely, it’s an approach for minimalist but it’s also a bit vulnerable.
Anyone, who have an access to your computer can open your Windows user account and then chrome and get your valuable password. If anyone uses your computer at home or you tend to surf web from public computers where you sign in to your chrome from a guest account without any windows account password, then it’s a mess. Anyone can get access to your passwords on an unprotected user account which are saved in chrome through, ”Chrome>>settings>> advanced settings>>Passwords and Forms>>Manage saved passwords”.
You can also see, edit and delete your saved passwords in chrome using the same way. Whatever, in this chaos, the main question is, how to protect browser saved passwords in chrome on a computer.
How to protect browser saved passwords in Chrome
Before we start, I believe that you have a Windows user account well protected by a sturdy password on the computer you are using. If not, then set one. Now, launch Chrome and under ‘Settings’ choose ‘About Google Chrome’.
You will be guided to new page where it will look for the most updated version of Chrome and it will complete the process by installing the same. It will also show you that now you have the most updated version of Chrome.
We will now move on to the next step. Open a new tab and type ‘chrome://flags’ on the address bar. Hit ‘Enter’. On the newly opened page locate the option ‘Disable Password Manager Reauthentication’ . By default it is set to ‘Disable’ status. If not, manually set it to ‘Disable’ mode.
What it will do is simply, stop the automatic re-authentication process for managing passwords on your windows user account. One will have to authenticate it manually by entering your Windows user account password, if he wants to see, edit or delete your saved passwords in Chrome. Now, move to the bottom of the same page and locate the relaunch button. Relaunch chrome for applying the alteration we have made so far.
From now on whenever you or anyone choose to see your saved passwords, will be prompted to a windows authentication box seeking your Windows user account password. If your user account password is a masculine one, it will be next to impossible for other regular users to see those saved passwords. Also you can use a small utility like ChromePass for a completely separate approach to manage your passwords. Smart. Right?
Mozilla Firefox got its Master Password Security Layer
In Mozilla Firefox you can set a master password, which protects all of your saved passwords. Appallingly, Google Chrome lacks this basic yet one of the most wanting functions of a web browser. We can always hope for this security layer to be added in near future in Chrome.
Setting a master password in Mozilla Firefox is a milk run. Simply, launch the browser and hit the ‘Firefox’ button on the top left corner. From the drop-down window choose the ‘options’ button.
Now, from the ‘options’ window select the ‘Security’ tab and then hit ‘Change Master Password’ under the ‘password’ segment. Set a robust master password and save that. Now your every single password which are saved in Firefox are well secured. Every time someone snoops into Firefox to see your passwords, they will have to break your master password.
How to protect browser saved passwords in Internet Explorer
On April, 2014, 9.4% of the total web surfers used Internet Explorer (IE) against 58.4% chrome users. So, I thought it would be important to share the same story for IE users. Simply, IE is an integrated application in Windows and any Windows security layer had to be for it. What I’m saying is that, If you have a Windows User Account secured with a password, it will automatically protect your passwords saved in IE.
I know it’s important and you want to check this. Here is how to do this,
Simply, launch IE and hit the gear(Settings) option on the top-right corner of the browser. Choose ‘Internet Options’ from the drop-down box. On the ‘Internet options’ window select the ‘Content tab and then ‘Auto Complete Settings’. On the auto Complete settings window choose ‘Manage Passwords’ under ‘Forms’.
You will get the list of Web address along with their login IDs and passwords. If you Want to see the password you will have to reauthenticate yourself by keying in your Windows User account password. Thankfully, you will not have to make even a scratch to set this up as this is automatically set.
Now, these all show that you can protect your browser saved passwords with a windows or mac user account password. Remember, smarter peoples are roaming on the web and they are extremely careful about stealing your passwords. They know a thousand ways to do it. if you want to get rid of them, you have to follow some simple yet life-saving rules. Like,
- Always set a strong password for your windows user account and keep Changing it within a regular span.
- Do not share your Windows User Account details with anyone, specially, with those you do not trust completely.
- Always lock your computer, precisely, your user account when you are not using it.
- There are malwares that can run behind your computing and can record every keystrokes that you type on your keyboard. The recorded writing pattern can reveal every details you want to hide from others. Use proper utilities to block them.
- Save your passwords in a password management system such as KeePass. You still can have the comfort of having browsers auto-filling your passwords.
- Use a 3rd party utility like Lastpass, which integrates with all the browsers you know. It uses a master password to manage your passwords.
Always keep this in your mind that security is not complete without ‘U’. Feel free to share your thoughts on this article with us.