The risks of password autofill

Hackers may have found an effective way to track users using a web browser or password manager’s password autofill feature. Here’s how they do it and what you can do to protect yourself.

Why password autofill is so dangerous

Modern web browsers and password managers have a feature that enables usernames and passwords to be automatically entered into a web form. This feature isn’t completely safe, however. If you enable this feature and hackers gain access to your computer or web browser, it will be easier for them to infiltrate your accounts because the autocomplete feature will fill in all saved credentials.

Tricking a browser or password manager into providing saved information is incredibly simple. All a threat actor needs to do is place an invisible form on a compromised webpage to collect users’ login information. Once the browser or password manager enters the user’s information, the hacker will gain access to that data.

Using autofill to track users

Shrewd digital marketers can also use password autofill to track user activity. For instance, they can track people based on the usernames in hidden autofill forms they place on websites and sell the information they gather to advertisers. While they don’t intend to steal passwords, there’s always the likelihood of exposure.

One simple security tip

A quick and effective way to improve your account security is to turn off autofill. Here’s how to do it:

  • On Microsoft Edge – Open the Settings window, click Profiles, and then select Passwords. Disable “Offer to save passwords.”
  • On Google Chrome – Open the Settings window, click Autofill, and disable “Offer to save passwords.”
  • On Firefox – Open the Settings window, then click Privacy & Security. Under the Logins and Passwords heading, untick the box next to “Autofill logins and passwords.”
  • On Safari – Open the Preferences window, select the Auto-fill tab, and turn off all the features related to usernames and passwords.

Having good password security habits can significantly protect your sensitive data. For 24/7 cybersecurity support that goes far beyond protecting your privacy, call us today.

This post was originally published on this site

How can private browsing protect your online privacy?

You may not know it, but some of the websites you visit or apps you download leave a trackable digital footprint. One step you can do to avoid leaving your online behavior exposed to third parties is to use private browsers to surf the internet.

What is private browsing?

Your web browser — whether it’s Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, or Opera — stores the URLs of the sites you visit, cookies that track your activity, passwords you’ve used, and temporary files you’ve downloaded.

This can be convenient if you can’t remember your login details or if you’re trying to recall a website you visited a few days ago. The feature also helps speed up the loading time of websites you frequently visit. But if someone else uses or gains access to your computer, your most private internet activities are exposed for that user to see and exploit.

Private browsing is a feature known by various names across different browsers. For instance, it’s called Incognito Mode in Chrome and InPrivate Browsing in Edge. When you use this feature, the browser does not record your browsing history, passwords, and temporary files. Instead, all this information is discarded as soon as you close the browser. You’re also instantly logged out of all accounts you accessed using the private window, which comes in handy when you’re using a public or shared computer.

Furthermore, tracking cookies are not stored when you surf the internet with a private browser. Such cookies are small bits of data used to identify your computer. Sites like Facebook use cookies to know your preferences based on your online behavior, such as which sites you visit. By doing this, they can personalize the ads on their platform, ensuring that the ads you see are for products and services you’re likely to take interest in.

What are the limitations of private browsing?

Although private browsing prevents your web browser from storing your data, it doesn’t stop anyone from snooping on your online activities in real time. If your computer is connected to the company network, system administrators can still track what you’re browsing, even if you’re in Incognito Mode.

Also, if spyware or keylogger malware is installed on your computer, hackers will still be able to see what you’re doing online. Even though private browsing has quite a few benefits, you shouldn’t solely depend on it for online privacy. Instead, you should use a virtual private network (VPN) when you go online. This tool encrypts your internet connection and prevents anyone from intercepting your data. And don’t forget to use a strong anti-malware program to scan your computer and keep spyware and other malicious web monitoring software at bay.

If you want to know where you can get these solutions or learn more about web browser security, call us today. We have the tools and expert advice you need to prevent anyone from snooping on your internet browsing.

This post was originally published on this site

Speed hacks for Google Chrome

While Chrome is many users’ browser of choice because of its speed, it does consume a lot of system RAM. Additionally, there are times when it feels slower than normal. Fortunately, these problems are simple to fix. Here are some speed hacks for Chrome.

Use the latest version of Chrome

Google continually optimizes its products, so make sure that Chrome is always updated to keep it working as fast as possible.

Disable or delete extensions

Extensions are downloadable programs from the Chrome Web Store that you can add to your browser to give it more functionality and a personalized touch. For example, you can add an extension that blocks ads, one that shortens URLs, or one that shows your most important tasks of the day. While these extensions are useful, they can slow down Chrome if there are too many installed at once.

Most extensions are accessible beside Chrome’s address bar, and you can quickly uninstall them by right-clicking on their icons and selecting Remove from Chrome. You can also manage all extensions by typing chrome://extensions in your browser’s address bar and hitting Enter. From there, you’ll find a list of all the extensions you have. Simply scroll through the list and click Remove to delete the extensions you don’t need.

Close unused tabs or put them in sleep mode

The more open tabs you have on Chrome, the more processing power the web browser requires from your computer. The best way to reduce your browser’s workload is to close unused tabs.

As of this writing, Chrome can’t yet put tabs on sleep mode like Microsoft Edge can. To be specific, that feature is still in the experimental stages. If you’re willing to try that feature out, then follow these steps:

  1. In Chrome’s address bar, type chrome://flags/ and press Enter.
  2. Type Freeze or Reduce User-Agent in the search bar.
  3. In the drop-down menu next to the Reduce User-Agent request header, select Enabled.
  4. When the Relaunch button appears, click it. The relaunched browser will detect inactive tabs and put these on “sleep” mode.

Chrome warns users to save their work before proceeding — and with the feature being experimental, there may be yet-unknown bugs that may ruin your Chrome experience. If you don’t want to take those risks, you can use Chrome extensions like Session Buddy and Tabby to help you manage the processing power consumption of your tabs. There are other extensions available, but these may be riddled with bugs, so choose carefully.

Shut down unnecessary tasks

Unbeknownst to you, Chrome may be running resource-intensive tasks that you no longer need. To close them and make your browser run faster, do the following:

  1. At the top-right corner of Chrome, click the More button (i.e., the circular icon with three vertically aligned dots inside).
  2. Click More tools > Task Manager.
  3. Click the Memory footprint heading to sort tasks by how much memory they use.
  4. Select the task you want to shut down, then click End Process. Keep in mind that you’ll lose any unsaved work that that task was doing, so think before you click.

Clear your browsing data

Chrome stores cached copies of websites you visit so it can load pages faster when you visit them again. It also keeps a database of your browsing history and cookies for the same purpose. As you visit more and more websites, these pieces of data accumulate in Chrome and can slow the browser down.

Thankfully, the solution is easy: clear your cache. Simply access your browsing history by entering chrome://history in your address bar. From the left panel, select Clear browsing data. Choose which data to delete by clicking on the checkboxes of all items you want deleted, like cached images or cookies. You can also select the time range that will be affected by the deletion. You can delete your history for the past hour, the last 24 hours, the last seven days, and from the beginning of time. Once you’ve selected the files you want to delete and their corresponding time range, click Clear data.

Remove malware and ads

Sometimes, Chrome slows down because of malware or adware extensions. Extra toolbars, recurring pop-up ads, and web pages redirecting to other addresses are clear indications of these. To remove the unwanted software, type chrome://settings/cleanup in your browser, and click Find to detect and remove harmful software on your computer.

A top-performing web browser benefits your business in many ways, including enhancing your employees’ productivity and speeding up communication. If your web browser is performing poorly or takes forever to load a page, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so we can identify and fix the problem right away.

This post was originally published on this site

6 Chrome extensions you should be using

Google Chrome is a fast, light, and versatile web browser that delivers a great experience to its users, so it’s no surprise that it has the biggest market share out of all web browsers in the world. It’s also expandable and customizable, thanks to the thousands of extensions available in the Chrome Web Store. But because of this wide range of add-on offerings, it can be impractical to take a look at every one of them. Fortunately, we know just what Chrome extensions you need to install.

BlockSite

BlockSite helps you stay focused by blocking any distracting or harmful websites. If you’re in front of the computer all day, it’s the perfect solution to stop getting sidetracked by the many wonderful things on the internet. Essentially, BlockSite restricts access to websites that can cause your productivity to dip, particularly social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. If you don’t want to completely block these sites, you can schedule limited access to them; for instance, during your breaks.

AdBlock

AdBlock claims to be the most popular extension for Chrome. It has over 10 million active users — and for good reason. In a virtual world full of advertisements, AdBlock offers a break by blocking most ads from showing up on the screen. It also prevents shady, malware-ridden advertisements from popping up, which helps keep your browser speeds at optimal levels and improve your overall experience.

LastPass

Remembering passwords can be quite a headache; good thing there’s LastPass. It’s a great alternative to Chrome’s integrated password manager, and it generates new and secure passwords every time you log in to a website. It can also sync your passwords across devices, enabling you to easily access your accounts, enter credit card details, and fill out online forms with just a few clicks.

Evernote Web Clipper

Never lose anything on the internet again with Evernote Web Clipper. While you can mark sites using Chrome’s bookmark feature, Evernote is an even more powerful option: it allows you to quickly and easily save web content from Chrome and transfer it straight into your Evernote account. With the press of a button, you can grab an image from any web page, make annotations, create summary links, and save a distraction-free version of that page for later use.

Pocket

Pocket is another way to keep track of your favorite web content. With this extension, you can save articles, videos, and web pages for later viewing. Simply hit the Pocket extension button when you come across something interesting and that page will automatically be synced across all your devices, so you can view it at any time, even without an internet connection. If you come across something interesting but can’t waste time because of a pressing task, keep the web page in your Pocket for later.

Momentum

Momentum is a custom page that replaces the default Chrome landing page. Equipped with a personalized dashboard that features a beautiful scenic background, a daily inspirational quote, a weather report, a to-do list, and widgets for your favorite sites, Momentum could just be the dose of inspiration you’re looking for.

Learn more about the different productivity apps the Chrome Web Store has to offer. Get in touch with our experts today.

This post was originally published on this site

6 Chrome extensions you should be using

Google Chrome is a fast, light, and versatile web browser that delivers a great experience to its users, so it’s no surprise that it has the biggest market share out of all web browsers in the world. It’s also expandable and customizable, thanks to the thousands of extensions available in the Chrome Web Store. But because of this wide range of add-on offerings, it can be impractical to take a look at every one of them. Fortunately, we know just what Chrome extensions you need to install.

BlockSite

BlockSite helps you stay focused by blocking any distracting or harmful websites. If you’re in front of the computer all day, it’s the perfect solution to stop getting sidetracked by the many wonderful things on the internet. Essentially, BlockSite restricts access to websites that can cause your productivity to dip, particularly social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. If you don’t want to completely block these sites, you can schedule limited access to them; for instance, during your breaks.

AdBlock

AdBlock claims to be the most popular extension for Chrome. It has over 10 million active users — and for good reason. In a virtual world full of advertisements, AdBlock offers a break by blocking most ads from showing up on the screen. It also prevents shady, malware-ridden advertisements from popping up, which helps keep your browser speeds at optimal levels and improve your overall experience.

LastPass

Remembering passwords can be quite a headache; good thing there’s LastPass. It’s a great alternative to Chrome’s integrated password manager, and it generates new and secure passwords every time you log in to a website. It can also sync your passwords across devices, enabling you to easily access your accounts, enter credit card details, and fill out online forms with just a few clicks.

Evernote Web Clipper

Never lose anything on the internet again with Evernote Web Clipper. While you can mark sites using Chrome’s bookmark feature, Evernote is an even more powerful option: it allows you to quickly and easily save web content from Chrome and transfer it straight into your Evernote account. With the press of a button, you can grab an image from any web page, make annotations, create summary links, and save a distraction-free version of that page for later use.

Pocket

Pocket is another way to keep track of your favorite web content. With this extension, you can save articles, videos, and web pages for later viewing. Simply hit the Pocket extension button when you come across something interesting and that page will automatically be synced across all your devices, so you can view it at any time, even without an internet connection. If you come across something interesting but can’t waste time because of a pressing task, keep the web page in your Pocket for later.

Momentum

Momentum is a custom page that replaces the default Chrome landing page. Equipped with a personalized dashboard that features a beautiful scenic background, a daily inspirational quote, a weather report, a to-do list, and widgets for your favorite sites, Momentum could just be the dose of inspiration you’re looking for.

Learn more about the different productivity apps the Chrome Web Store has to offer. Get in touch with our experts today.

This post was originally published on this site

Leverage your mobile device’s biometrics authentication capabilities

We live in an era of ramped up cyber criminality. Nowadays, attackers don’t just target big corporations and businesses, they also target individuals, so you should use every resource to protect your data. One excellent example is biometrics authentication in mobile devices.

Authenticate your profile on your mobile device

Chrome OS, Windows, MacOS, Linux, and Android are all adding features to help users safely log in using biometric identification via USB, Bluetooth, and NFC devices connected to smartphones and tablets. With such convenience, users can verify their accounts on the go.

iOS users already enjoy either TouchID (fingerprint scanning) or FaceID (facial recognition) authentication, depending on their specific device. Android users can also use biometrics to protect their data, as most new Android devices have fingerprint scanners that make use of a secure storage protocol called Trusted Execution Environment.

Prevent cyberattacks with browser-based biometrics

Passwords are notoriously bad at protecting users’ accounts and the information they store. Thankfully, facial scans, fingerprints, and voice recognition make it exponentially harder for hackers to commit identity theft. That means you’re also less likely to be duped by an email from a hacker pretending to be your boss asking for the company credit card’s details.

The concept behind this protection is the practice of two-factor (2FA) or multifactor authentication (MFA). This means that access to private information requires two or more stages of authentication, instead of just one. And because biometric authentication is an active authentication attempt by the user, it makes unauthorized access much more difficult to attempt.

Enjoy more secure online transactions

Biometric verification will also retire the need for logging in your information when shopping online, streaming videos, using cloud applications, and other internet-based transactions. Windows 10 has already adopted features that offer limited account management with fingerprints and facial scans. Another example is Samsung Pay, which turns smartphones into digital wallets that are protected by fingerprint or iris scans.

Browser-based biometrics is starting to revolutionize and streamline the steps in verifying online accounts. It promises to add more security and ease in logging in and transacting on the internet.

To keep up with the latest and greatest in browser-related innovations your company can benefit from, give us a call now.

This post was originally published on this site

Leverage your mobile device’s biometrics authentication capabilities

We live in an era of ramped up cyber criminality. Nowadays, attackers don’t just target big corporations and businesses, they also target individuals, so you should use every resource to protect your data. One excellent example is biometrics authentication in mobile devices.

Authenticate your profile on your mobile device

Chrome OS, Windows, MacOS, Linux, and Android are all adding features to help users safely log in using biometric identification via USB, Bluetooth, and NFC devices connected to smartphones and tablets. With such convenience, users can verify their accounts on the go.

iOS users already enjoy either TouchID (fingerprint scanning) or FaceID (facial recognition) authentication, depending on their specific device. Android users can also use biometrics to protect their data, as most new Android devices have fingerprint scanners that make use of a secure storage protocol called Trusted Execution Environment.

Prevent cyberattacks with browser-based biometrics

Passwords are notoriously bad at protecting users’ accounts and the information they store. Thankfully, facial scans, fingerprints, and voice recognition make it exponentially harder for hackers to commit identity theft. That means you’re also less likely to be duped by an email from a hacker pretending to be your boss asking for the company credit card’s details.

The concept behind this protection is the practice of two-factor (2FA) or multifactor authentication (MFA). This means that access to private information requires two or more stages of authentication, instead of just one. And because biometric authentication is an active authentication attempt by the user, it makes unauthorized access much more difficult to attempt.

Enjoy more secure online transactions

Biometric verification will also retire the need for logging in your information when shopping online, streaming videos, using cloud applications, and other internet-based transactions. Windows 10 has already adopted features that offer limited account management with fingerprints and facial scans. Another example is Samsung Pay, which turns smartphones into digital wallets that are protected by fingerprint or iris scans.

Browser-based biometrics is starting to revolutionize and streamline the steps in verifying online accounts. It promises to add more security and ease in logging in and transacting on the internet.

To keep up with the latest and greatest in browser-related innovations your company can benefit from, give us a call now.

This post was originally published on this site

Which web browser is the most secure?

Enterprise cybersecurity is a holistic system that involves employing security practices at every level of use. This includes picking out the most secure web browser. Consider the security features of these popular web browsers when picking yours.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge, Windows 10’s current default browser, is an improvement over its predecessor Internet Explorer (IE). Edge is based on the open source Chromium browser, resulting in a powerful and efficient browser that supports Progressive Web Apps and Google Chrome extensions.

Edge’s main advantage is that it is Windows 10 co mputers’ native browser, which means it should integrate more seamlessly with the Windows OS ecosystem in terms of power usage and data security. It uses Windows Defender SmartScreen to protect users from phishing and malware attacks. And it has a three-level defense against third-party trackers, allowing users to choose between Basic, Balanced, and Strict levels of blocking trackers from collecting personal data and monitoring browsing behavior.

Safari

Safari is a graphical web browser developed by Apple for iOS, iPad OS, and macOS. The current iteration is Safari 14, released September in 2020 alongside macOS Big Sur, and it’s also compatible with Catalina and Mojave.

Safari has long been using a system called Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) that identifies and prohibits trackers from accessing a user’s personal data. Safari 14’s Privacy Report feature shows all the trackers ITP has blocked. Safari also has secure password monitoring, which notifies users if any of their saved passwords in iCloud shows up in a data breach. The browser, however, is only available on Apple devices, with full capabilities found only on MacBooks and Macs.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation. It is widely available across platforms, even on Unix and Unix-like operating systems such as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, illumos, and Solaris Unix.

Because of Firefox’s open-source development platform, it can be quite unsecure to use on public computers. For personal and single-user business devices, however, Firefox is relatively safe, especially once all security features are activated and tweaked to your needs. Some key features include a password manager called Firefox Lockwise, a third-party tracker protection system, Private Browsing, and Firefox Monitor, which checks if your email address has been compromised in a data breach.

Mozilla also has a Bug Bounty program, which offers a financial reward to anyone who can identify gaps and holes in Firefox code, so the browser can be patched and improved as urgently as possible. Mozilla also promises no legal action against anyone who complies in good faith under its Bug Bounty program, including any claim under the DMCA for circumventing technological measures.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a cross-platform web browser developed by Google. It is the default browser for Google’s line of laptops and third-party Chromebooks. Chrome utilizes a process allocation model to sandbox tabs. Sandboxing is a security mechanism for separating running programs to keep software vulnerabilities from spreading.

Chrome also regularly updates two sets of blacklists, one for phishing and one for malware, which it uses to warn users of potentially harmful sites. It also touts site isolation and predictive phishing protection features that receive regular and critical updates every six weeks and within 24 hours of a threat being discovered, respectively.

Being aware of how your web browser stacks up against the competition is only half the battle. Ransomware like WannaCry can spread to uninfected systems through a gap in the Windows security framework, and most other malware infections prey on human error. What your business needs is a comprehensive security audit. For more information, call us today.

This post was originally published on this site

Which web browser is the most secure?

Enterprise cybersecurity is a holistic system that involves employing security practices at every level of use. This includes picking out the most secure web browser. Consider the security features of these popular web browsers when picking yours.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge, Windows 10’s current default browser, is an improvement over its predecessor Internet Explorer (IE). Edge is based on the open source Chromium browser, resulting in a powerful and efficient browser that supports Progressive Web Apps and Google Chrome extensions.

Edge’s main advantage is that it is Windows 10 co mputers’ native browser, which means it should integrate more seamlessly with the Windows OS ecosystem in terms of power usage and data security. It uses Windows Defender SmartScreen to protect users from phishing and malware attacks. And it has a three-level defense against third-party trackers, allowing users to choose between Basic, Balanced, and Strict levels of blocking trackers from collecting personal data and monitoring browsing behavior.

Safari

Safari is a graphical web browser developed by Apple for iOS, iPad OS, and macOS. The current iteration is Safari 14, released September in 2020 alongside macOS Big Sur, and it’s also compatible with Catalina and Mojave.

Safari has long been using a system called Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) that identifies and prohibits trackers from accessing a user’s personal data. Safari 14’s Privacy Report feature shows all the trackers ITP has blocked. Safari also has secure password monitoring, which notifies users if any of their saved passwords in iCloud shows up in a data breach. The browser, however, is only available on Apple devices, with full capabilities found only on MacBooks and Macs.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation. It is widely available across platforms, even on Unix and Unix-like operating systems such as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, illumos, and Solaris Unix.

Because of Firefox’s open-source development platform, it can be quite unsecure to use on public computers. For personal and single-user business devices, however, Firefox is relatively safe, especially once all security features are activated and tweaked to your needs. Some key features include a password manager called Firefox Lockwise, a third-party tracker protection system, Private Browsing, and Firefox Monitor, which checks if your email address has been compromised in a data breach.

Mozilla also has a Bug Bounty program, which offers a financial reward to anyone who can identify gaps and holes in Firefox code, so the browser can be patched and improved as urgently as possible. Mozilla also promises no legal action against anyone who complies in good faith under its Bug Bounty program, including any claim under the DMCA for circumventing technological measures.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a cross-platform web browser developed by Google. It is the default browser for Google’s line of laptops and third-party Chromebooks. Chrome utilizes a process allocation model to sandbox tabs. Sandboxing is a security mechanism for separating running programs to keep software vulnerabilities from spreading.

Chrome also regularly updates two sets of blacklists, one for phishing and one for malware, which it uses to warn users of potentially harmful sites. It also touts site isolation and predictive phishing protection features that receive regular and critical updates every six weeks and within 24 hours of a threat being discovered, respectively.

Being aware of how your web browser stacks up against the competition is only half the battle. Ransomware like WannaCry can spread to uninfected systems through a gap in the Windows security framework, and most other malware infections prey on human error. What your business needs is a comprehensive security audit. For more information, call us today.

This post was originally published on this site