Why autofilling passwords in your browser is a bad thing

“If you’re not inconvenienced, then it’s not secure” – Ryan Collins

What’s all this then?

All of the major browsers have a built in password manager. The password manager allows you to store your usernames and passwords for sites you use. If you want to work cross platform then there are several password managers that aren’t part of the browser that you can use with any of the browser.

It is highly recommended that you use a password manager. They allow you to use a different password for each site, and that they can be pretty long since you don’t have to remember them.

Autofill is such as a nice feature!

Almost all of the browsers and password managers default to automatically filling in your username and password when you are prompted to sign in to a site. However, this has been shown to allow you to be tracked across the internet. Not only that, but there’s a simple way for an attacker to steal your username and password with autofill.

Although autofill is nice, it’s not secure and should be turned off.

Turning off autofill

Now this is where it gets bad. Chromium based browsers such as Google Chrome do not have the ability to turn off autofill. You’re only option is to use a different password manager. Firefox does let you turn it off under the Privacy & Security settings.

I use a password manager. This allows me to jump between different browsers, along with storing other private information such as credit card numbers, medical information, and more. My favorite is Bitwarden which does not have autofill turned on by default.

To try it out, head over to Bitwarden and create an account. Bitwarden can import your current usernames and passwords from your current browser, allowing you to delete them from the browser afterwards. You’ll also want to install the extension so you can easily fill in your username and password on a site.

The final step is to turn off asking to save passwords in your browser settings since you will be using a password manager.

In the future I’ll write up a more indepth article on using Bitwarden.

A secure future

Staying secure online is not a set it and forget it scenario. It requires constant vigilance. A password manager is one of the best ways for you to stay safe and secure online, but blindly trusting the default settings may come back and bite you.

Similar Posts