Are my saved passwords safe?

If you’ve used a major web browser for any length of time in the last 10 years, you’ve been asked to save your password. Because browsers have been asking us to do so for so long, we have a tendency to take for granted just how safe (or not) our saved passwords truly are.

In a perfect world, storing your password information in your browser wouldn’t be an issue. However, anyone using your computer can get to those saved passwords, including hackers. And if someone were to steal your actual computer or laptop, they would be able to do everything on your computer that you could, like check your email, browse your Facebook profile and access your online bank accounts.

Here, we’ll explore three major browsers–Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome–and how they store your sensitive information.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 9 doesn’t save a list of accounts and passwords in the settings, so you’re pretty safe from casual snooping. However, with a little effort, someone could easily reveal the passwords you saved.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox allows anyone logged into your Windows account to view your list of passwords unless you create a master password. When you create a master password in Firefox, it will encrypt your password list so that it’s only visible to someone who knows the master password.

Google Chrome

Much like Firefox, Chrome will allow anyone logged into your Windows account to view your password list. If you sync your browsing data using Chrome’s sync feature, you should enable encryption in the settings.

Ultimately, saving passwords in your browser is not a very secure solution. While it’s certainly convenient, to be truly secure you should use a 3rd-party password management software like 1Password or KeePass.

If you need help implementing any of these solutions or don’t know where to turn for security recommendations, Minneapolis-based OAC Technology can help. We will do a free security audit of your business and will ensure your business network is locked down–even while traveling. Contact us today for your free security audit.

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