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Tip of the Week: Optimize Security By Disabling Browser-Based Password Management

Tip of the Week: Optimize Security By Disabling Browser-Based Password Management

Most users these days have so many passwords that just about any tool that helps them keep them all in check could be considered a good thing. Web browsers come with this technology built-in, but unfortunately, this convenience often comes at a cost. Are these built-in tools as secure as they are supposed to be, or are you better off looking into better alternatives?

Let’s examine some of the most popular web browsers out there and how they handle password management, as well as how they can be disabled should you decide that you want to pursue other avenues.

How Secure Are These Browsers (for Passwords)?

Pick your preferred browser from the list below and discover how it handles password management, as well as if it is secure enough for your needs.

Google Chrome

Chrome’s password manager goes hand-in-hand with your Google account. It includes some features that we have come to expect from password managers, such as two-factor authentication and random password generation. The neat thing about the password generation tool is that it encourages users to use a different password each time an account is created, keeping the user from recycling the same old one. This practice is particularly important because failing to do so increases the risk of a data breach.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox asks you if you would like to save the username and password for accounts whenever they are accessed. These credentials can be reviewed through the browser’s Options menu. The way that these credentials are saved is not the most secure one, so we recommend that you leverage the master password system that Firefox allows for; this can protect your browser’s contents.

Microsoft Edge

Edge was a bit late to the party with password management, having only implemented the following as of January 2021. One of the best new features in Edge is that it is associated with Password Monitor, which is a way for Microsoft to tell users if a data breach has impacted their password. It also gives you the opportunity to create a new password whenever you create a new account.

Apple Safari

Safari has a password generator and management tool that can give the user the ability to autofill passwords on websites visited. You can also save contact and credit card information, both of which can be accessed using iCloud Keychain. These features, as is often the case with Mac, are only available on Apple devices. Therefore, unless your business uses Mac across the company, you might be better off thinking about a more flexible password management tool, especially since Safari does not have two-factor authentication available.

Which One is Most Secure?

While these password managers are perfectly fine if you have no other options available (not often the case), we do recommend a dedicated password management tool. Since most integrated password management tools do not require passwords to be secure, you are better off with a dedicated password management system; we promise that the improved security will pay off in spades.

Additionally, we recommend that you supplement your password management tool with two-factor authentication and a routine set of industry best practices. Here are some of the most important to keep in mind.

  • Always update your browsers and devices; doing so will keep security as optimal as possible.
  • Steer clear of unsecured websites; if the website does not have “https” in its URL, that means that the website is not secured and could potentially be at risk on public Wi-Fi connections. You can also look for the little lock icon in the browser’s address bar.
  • Stay vigilant about your browser extensions and installed software. Don’t put yourself at risk unnecessarily!

Deactivating Your Built-In Browser Password Management

Let’s say that you don’t want to take advantage of your built-in browser-based password management. You can disable these features to make the experience more secure. Here’s the process for doing so.

Google Chrome

In the Chrome browser, use the three-dot menu and select Settings. Under Autofill, you must select Passwords and switch off Offer to Save Passwords.

Mozilla Firefox

In Firefox, select the hamburger menu and click on Options. Look for the Privacy & Security in the options on the left and click on Logins and Passwords. Deselect Ask to save logins and passwords for websites.

Microsoft Edge

In Edge, click on the three-dot menu and select Settings. Make sure you click on Passwords and deselect the option to Offer to save passwords.

Apple Safari

Open the Menu and select Preferences. You must then navigate to the AutoFill category and deselect the following: Using info from my contacts, User names and passwords, Credit cards, and Other forms.

Password security is only the first step toward optimizing network security. If you don’t take action now to protect your business, you could be exposing your organization to unnecessary danger. To learn more about how you can secure your business, reach out to us at 978-482-2020.

 

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