A strong password is one of the most vital tools you’ll ever have in your portfolio where web browsing is concerned. Without one, you might as well just open up all your personal and financial information to the first criminal who happens to saunter along – they’ll gladly take it.
We’ve been over the importance of a strong password (and the process which goes into creating one), so we aren’t going to pay that topic much mind here. Instead, we’re going to shift our focus just a touch: we’re going to talk about password saving.
The problem with the Internet is that it’s rather fragmented. Every single website you visit wants you to create a new account, every single game you play needs you to input user information, every single device you purchase requires login information. Unless you have the same password for every single device – which is not the least bit recommended – keeping track of all those passwords (well, without using a password manager) can be mentally exhausting.
Depending on how many accounts you have, it could end up being downright impossible.
As a result, a lot of people – myself included – resort to using the built-in ability of browsers like Chrome to save our passwords. That way, whenever we visit a website, all we need to do is type the first letter or so of our account name, and boom; we’re logged in. As an added bonus, if there happens to be a keylogger kicking around our hard drive, it can’t nab our password. After all, we didn’t actually type anything in, right?
The question, of course, is whether or not it’s actually safe to do this.
To my knowledge, there doesn’t yet exist a piece of malware which is able to extract saved passwords from one’s browser – so in that regard, at least, you’re alright. The problem doesn’t lie in digital security in this case: it lies in physical security.With all your passwords saved to your hard drive; theft could be absolutely devastating. If someone should happen to come across your PC and lift it, they’ve got all your accounts at their fingertips, to be accessed and modified as they see fit.
Seems a bit disheartening, no? Unfortunately, aside from being extremely cautious, there’s no real way to deal with this, save using a remote wipe application of some sort. After all, to access your accounts, the thieves first have to connect to the Internet…at which point you can wipe your hard drive.
So…in closing, saving your passwords isn’t as unsafe as everyone thinks it is, but it still puts you at considerable risk of having your accounts compromised, should someone make off with your PC.
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