Why You Shouldn’t Store Passwords in Browsers

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Storing Passwords in Your Browser

Are you sacrificing password security for convenience? A lot of people do it; use the built-in password manager on their web browser. Why not? It’s an easy and convenient way to create and recall unique usernames and associated passwords for different accounts without having to remember them all. Visiting a member-only website or checking an account balance? Just click and the right data is populated in the login window.

For many users, a web browser’s password manager function is a step in the right direction over their previous method, that is, using the same username and password for every online account. But a web browser’s password manager is not as safe as it may appear – especially in business environments. In this article we’ll review the good, the bad, and the potentially ugly outcomes of storing passwords in your browser, and why a true password management solution is your best course of action.

The Good: The Upside of Storing Passwords in Your Browser

  • Password management is already integrated into browsers. The most popular web browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari already have password managers built in. That means there’s no additional software to purchase and install, no compatibility issues.
  • Syncs across multiple devices. If you use the same OS and web browser on your desktop, laptop, and mobile device, all the logins saved to the browser will be available to the authorized user on any device running the common OS.
  • Auto-fill convenience. Go to a password protected website and the browser will correctly populate the login window without you having to look up and manually input character strings. It’s fast and eliminates data entry errors.
  • Automatic password generation. Most web browsers are capable of suggesting strong passwords using a combination of random numbers, letters, and symbols when opening a new account, visiting a site for the first time, or changing an existing password.

It is this last feature that gives users a false sense of security in that they are creating unique passwords for each account. This is the trap of browser-based password management.

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