SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Courtney Abud

Blog Feed Post

How to Protect What Matters Most Online: Your Logins and Passwords

Security Settings

There are a few ways to protect what matters most online: your logins and passwords.

What if I told you that your browser’s saved passwords weren’t nearly as secure as you thought?

If you use Google Chrome (and you should, because it’s pretty regularly rated as the best browser you can use), anyone can uncover any of your saved passwords with a single click. Now, if you’re like me and have a computer that only you use, that’s not a big issue. But for anyone who shares a computer or uses an even remotely public computer? That’s scary stuff. A writer on the Guardian said that he could uncover 52 passwords in 57 seconds, adding, “I’m an amateur at this hacking stuff.”

In under a minute, anyone can go into Chrome’s settings and click “Show” next to a site with a saved password. That’s all it takes for someone to get the info they need to forever ruin your online persona – a few clicks and virtually no time at all. Chrome may be a great browser, but it’s certainly not the most private on a shared computer. Don’t worry, though: there are other options.

Firefox’s ‘Master Password’

My personal browser of choice is Firefox. I’ve been using Firefox since before Chrome was a thing, even though I know Chrome is quicker and (usually) less of a resource hog. I won’t spend time comparing the two browsers, but if you’re using Chrome and this startling lack of security is enough to scare you into a switch, Firefox might be a good place to wind up.
Firefox Master Password
Firefox has a feature called ‘Master Password.’ Easily found in the Security settings of the browser’s options, it’s simple and effective. It’s built directly into the browser. You don’t need to install any plug-ins or third-party programs to make use of it, and you don’t have to pay a dime. It protects you in two ways: it won’t use a saved password to log into a site without first typing in the master password, nor will it let anyone see your saved passwords in the settings menu without first gaining access.

RoboForm

But maybe you don’t use Firefox and don’t want to make the switch. Maybe you’ve grown so attached to Chrome that you can’t picture life without it. Whatever your reason, there are third-party programs that can help secure your logins.

One program I recently tried was RoboForm, which links to your browsers and stores your login information more securely behind its own master password. It works on multiple browsers and multiple platforms (both desktop and mobile) and offers one-click form filling, mobile support and access from anywhere. My experience using it last week was nothing but positive, and it’s very intuitive.

RoboForm has three tiers of its program available: Free, Everywhere and Desktop.

  • The free version gives you access on multiple computers and mobile devices, all in sync, for up to 10 logins. We all have far, far more than 10 logins. RoboForm Free probably isn’t a permanent option for you (unless you just want to protect a handful of your most prized accounts), but it’s a great way to try the program without a commitment. It works on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, and keeps your logins synced across all platforms.
  • The “Everywhere” tier costs $9.95/year (it looks like it’s on sale from its normal price of $19.95/year) and is the free version with no restrictions. It offers unlimited passwords and bookmarks, unlimited form filling and Safenotes, and unlimited sync and backup. If you like what the free version provides and want to keep all of your devices in sync, ‘Everywhere’ seems like a solid choice.
  • The final option is the “Desktop” tier, which has a one-time fee of $29.95 for one license (and $9.95 for each license after that). This option doesn’t offer mobile support, but instead focuses on “single computer use without online storage or syncing” and is “perfect for single computer users” according to RoboForm’s site.

Ultimately, your logins and passwords are your own responsibility. If you don’t feel the need to ramp up security and inconvenience yourself with a master password, that’s your prerogative. But if you want that extra layer of security, switching to Firefox or using a program like RoboForm is a good way to defend yourself.

A dedicated enough hacker will uncover your saved passwords no matter how secure they are, but you don’t leave your front door open when you go out for the night, do you?

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

Latest Stories
Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web. With staff in 10 timezones, Isomorphic provides a global network of services related to our technology, with offerings ranging from turnkey application development to SLA-backed enterprise support. Leadin...
With the rise of Docker, Kubernetes, and other container technologies, the growth of microservices has skyrocketed among dev teams looking to innovate on a faster release cycle. This has enabled teams to finally realize their DevOps goals to ship and iterate quickly in a continuous delivery model. Why containers are growing in popularity is no surprise — they’re extremely easy to spin up or down, but come with an unforeseen issue. However, without the right foresight, DevOps and IT teams may lo...
Platform9, the open-source-as-a-service company making cloud infrastructure easy, today announced the general availability of its Managed Kubernetes service, the industry's first infrastructure-agnostic, SaaS-managed offering. Unlike legacy software distribution models, Managed Kubernetes is deployed and managed entirely as a SaaS solution, across on-premises and public cloud infrastructure. The company also introduced Fission, a new, open source, serverless framework built on Kubernetes. These ...
Emil Sayegh is an early pioneer of cloud computing and is recognized as one of the industry's true veterans. A cloud visionary, he is credited with launching and leading the cloud computing and hosting businesses for HP, Rackspace, and Codero. Emil built the Rackspace cloud business while serving as the company's GM of the Cloud Computing Division. Earlier at Rackspace he served as VP of the Product Group and launched the company's private cloud and hosted exchange services. He later moved o...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, will discuss how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galer...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
Cloud-Native thinking and Serverless Computing are now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that pro...
Docker is sweeping across startups and enterprises alike, changing the way we build and ship applications. It's the most prominent and widely known software container platform, and it's particularly useful for eliminating common challenges when collaborating on code (like the "it works on my machine" phenomenon that most devs know all too well). With Docker, you can run and manage apps side-by-side - in isolated containers - resulting in better compute density. It's something that many developer...
Technology has changed tremendously in the last 20 years. From onion architectures to APIs to microservices to cloud and containers, the technology artifacts shipped by teams has changed. And that's not all - roles have changed too. Functional silos have been replaced by cross-functional teams, the skill sets people need to have has been redefined and the tools and approaches for how software is developed and delivered has transformed. When we move from highly defined rigid roles and systems to ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It's clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Th...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
xMatters helps enterprises prevent, manage and resolve IT incidents. xMatters industry-leading Service Availability platform prevents IT issues from becoming big business problems. Large enterprises, small workgroups, and innovative DevOps teams rely on its proactive issue resolution service to maintain operational visibility and control in today's highly-fragmented IT environment. xMatters provides toolchain integrations to hundreds of IT management, security and DevOps tools. xMatters is the ...
If you are part of the cloud development community, you certainly know about “serverless computing,” almost a misnomer. Because it implies there are no servers which is untrue. However the servers are hidden from the developers. This model eliminates operational complexity and increases developer productivity. We came from monolithic computing to client-server to services to microservices to the serverless model. In other words, our systems have slowly “dissolved” from monolithic to function-...
CoreOS extends CoreOS Tectonic, the enterprise Kubernetes solution, from AWS and bare metal to more environments, including preview availability for Microsoft Azure and OpenStack. CoreOS has also extended its container image registry, Quay, so that it can manage and store complete Kubernetes applications, which are composed of images along with configuration files. Quay now delivers a first-of-its-kind Kubernetes Application Registry that with this release is also integrated with Kubernetes Helm...