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"Protect Your Passwords: The Hidden Dangers of Autofill and How to Stay Secure"

"Have you ever forgotten a password and wished your computer could remember it for you? Well, there's a feature called password autofill in web browsers that does just that. It saves your passwords so you don't have to remember them every time you visit a website. Sounds convenient, right? But here's the thing: it might not be very safe.

When you enter a new password or change an existing one on a website, your browser usually asks if you want it to remember the password for you. If you say yes, the next time you visit that site, the browser will automatically fill in your login details. This saves you the trouble of remembering all your passwords.

The problem is that some websites, even legitimate ones, can be compromised without you knowing it. They can have hidden forms that your browser sees but you don't. When your browser autofills those forms, your username and password can be exposed in plain, unencrypted text. This means that hackers can capture your login information without your knowledge.

There's another risk to consider. Some digital marketers might use hidden autofill forms to track your online activity without asking for your permission.

Using both browser autofill and a password manager can also be confusing. If your browser and password manager both autofill, it's easy to end up with duplicate passwords, making it harder to keep track of them and increasing the risk of a security breach.

To protect your passwords, you can disable autofill in your browser. Here's how to do it:

- On Microsoft Edge, go to Settings, then Profiles, then Passwords, and disable "Offer to save passwords."

- On Google Chrome, go to Settings, then Passwords, and disable "Offer to save passwords."

- On Firefox, open Settings, then Privacy & Security, then Logins and Passwords, and disable "Autofill logins and passwords."

- On Safari, go to Preferences, select Auto-fill, and turn it off.

Can I Keep Using Password Managers? Now, you might be wondering if you can still use password managers. Well, password managers like LastPass or 1Password actually provide more security than browser autofill. They use strong encryption algorithms to protect your login details, so even if your device gets compromised, your passwords remain safe.

However, if your password manager also autofills your credentials, you face the same risks as with browser autofill. Most password managers have autofill disabled by default, which is good. Make sure to leave it off. Some managers might call it "Autofill on page load," so keep that turned off as well.

Our advice is to use a password manager that requires you to manually click a box before it fills in your login details. This prevents your information from automatically filling hidden forms.

Keeping your online activity secure is an ongoing challenge. If you want help protecting your privacy and data online, our experts are here for you. Contact us today at 360-567-8838.

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