How Can Having My Browser Store My Log In Details Cost Me My Privacy?

With everything that we do, we pay a cost somewhere down the line. No matter if the cost is big or small, somewhere it will be paid.

This relates to computers when it comes to how we deal with the security of our systems.

The easier it is to do something on the computer the less safe the system becomes.

Ease of use is usually the enemy of security but this is the price that we pay so that we are able to use the computer with the least amount of effort. If everything was as tight as security could be, then it would take us over 30 minutes to log on to the internet and another 10 minutes to send an email so to avoid having to go through all of that pain, we make the settings on our computer less secure. One setting that is on our computer that really compromises our security has to do with the browser.

Browser privacy

Browser Settings

This is the setting that allows us to store log in information inside of the browser.

When we go to a web site and we have to fill out a form that asks us for a password, the browser will ask if we would like to store the username and password inside of it.

If we say yes, then the next time that we go to that same web site, we will be able to just log in because our information will already be stored and ready to be filled out.

If you are a person that has a large amount of log in information on different web sites then this is a feature that makes your life a lot easier but that same ease of use can cause your life to spin out of control if the wrong person gets their hands on your computer.

When you store that data into your browser anyone who has physical access to your computer is able to get that information.

The only thing that is protecting that data is the fact that you have to log in to the computer session but, alas, a lot of people do not have the log in set to run on their computer.

As soon as the computer boots up they have access to the operating system so this means, once again, that anyone is able to get to your data.

And to get the information is not that hard.

If they actually want to see the password itself then they can go into the options portion of your browser and take a look.

But if they simply want to get into the web sites that you visit, all they have to do is to web surf to them on your computer.

The browser will automatically log them in.

Now they are able to surf the web site as if they are you.

If you want to store your log in information on the computer then it is better that you go with a piece of software like keypass.

It will keep your data behind a password protected, encrypted database and no one but you will be able to access it.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Silner, FCT IACT Center, heywho, F-Secure, Lee and others. Lee said: How Can Having My Browser Store My Log In Details Cost Me My Privacy? […]

Speak Your Mind