Why web browser password management is not enough

In the past, it was common sense not to store passwords in the browser. But I know the truth anymore. Modern browsers are not only much more secure, they are also linked to accounts protected by two-factor authentication.
Ⓒ Rob Schultz / IDG

Most of the major browsers are now competing for strong password generation capabilities beyond the basic password manager role. Microsoft’s Edge browser finally joined the competition by supporting this feature. However, experts still point out that it is much safer to use an independent third-party password manager.

Once you use your browser’s password manager, it’s clear that you can fix some of the headaches. Best of all, you can use your strong and unique password to your heart’s content on all of your websites and services, without worrying about forgetting your password. Of course, if the website is hacked, it cannot prevent the risk of criminals abusing the user’s login information. Some browsers tell you to change your password immediately, saying that the user’s login information was leaked due to a security incident.

Random password generation function of Microsoft Edge ⓒ Microsoft

However, browser-based password managers bind users to their browsers.

For example, if you use the Chrome browser’s password manager, your login information is synced with your Google account. So, if you want to log in to a specific website with Firefox or Edge, of course, the password is not automatically entered. Because it is stored only in Chrome. Plus, if you use a long, random password that’s automatically generated, you won’t be able to remember that login information without logging in to Chrome.

Logging into a mobile website or mobile app is also a significant headache. Of course, if you’re an Android user who stores passwords in Chrome, or iPhone users who store passwords in Safari, it’s easier to log in to a mobile app connected to your Google or Apple account.
Why you need a password manager

​​​​​​LastPath shows all login information of users in its virtual storage in the form of tiles. Ⓒ IDG

On the other hand, third-party password managers like LastPass and Dashlane were built from the ground up to support multiple platforms and work with any browser. Once installed, these tools allow you to log into any service from any software or device. Whether it’s a website, mobile app or desktop software, it’s okay. That alone makes a standalone password manager worthwhile in today’s multi-device world. For reference, these tools can usually retrieve passwords stored in the browser the first time they are used.

Password managers have other advantages as well. The browser revolves around the user’s account only, but password managers can easily and securely share passwords with others. This is useful when someone needs to use Wi-Fi, a coworker wants to access a shared account, or when you share your Netflix password with your parents. When passwords are stored deep in the browser, sharing login information can be quite annoying.

Also, password managers usually support a more robust auto-fill feature. Of course, it’s a feature in browsers too, but it’s a very basic feature in a real password manager. Put simply, if a browser can do it, a password manager can do a lot better.

Other useful features include old password change notifications, secure storage to store sensitive information, emergency password sharing with selected contacts, and basic VPN functionality to securely access open Wi-Fi hotspots.

Dashlane’s Password Health Report identifies weak, compromised, and commonly used passwords so they can be easily replaced. Ⓒ Dashlane

It is also of course. Password managers exist to protect users’ accounts. Developers focus solely on user protection. On the other hand, password management in browsers is just one of several supported features.

If you can share your password without worrying about it, or if you only use one browser, a browser-based password manager is enough. What’s more, the new password generation feature in the browser is a big step forward, allowing you to skip the steps of reusing the same password or just using a simple password. If you are a Chrome user using an Android phone or a Safari user using an iPhone, you can easily use various mobile apps with saved passwords.

However, for most people, it is much better to use an appropriate password manager. All password managers offer free accounts with basic features, and even premium accounts with many features are available for a few dollars a month. [email protected]


Source: ITWorld Korea by www.itworld.co.kr.

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