In a perfect world, you would never allow a web browser to save your passwords. Why? Because web browsers aren’t exactly the most secure pieces of software on your desktop. To complicate matters, most modern browsers allow you to sync your passwords with an account, so they are available to any browser associated with that account.
That’s not exactly safe.
Don’t believe me? If you use the Firefox web browser (which is far more secure than, say, Chrome), open the browser and then go to Settings > Privacy & Security, and click Saved Logins.
What you will see might surprise you. You can scroll through the entire list and view any saved password just by clicking the eye icon associated with the entry.
You’re not prompted for a password or anything… you just get unfettered access to all the sights Firefox has to show you.
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That’s not good. Worse, you could wind up with your accounts being accessed by someone other than yourself.
What do you do?
Well, if you absolutely must have Firefox save your passwords, you need to protect them with a Primary Password. Once you’ve enabled the Primary Password (formerly called Master Password), you’ll be prompted to type that password every time you open Firefox, and any time you want to view a saved password.
Fortunately, this is easy to do. The one thing you have to keep in mind is that if you forget that Primary Password, you’re in for a challenging ride. In order to reset that password, you have to open Firefox, point it to chrome://pippki/content/resetpassword.xhtml, and then click Reset. However, when you do that, everything you’ve saved will be lost.
So, if you want to keep those saved credentials intact, it’s in your best interest to not lose that password. To that end, you should consider using a password manager and creating a very strong and unique password as your Firefox Primary Password.
How to protect your Firefox saved passwords with a Primary Password
Are you ready to set up this option? Let’s do so.
The only thing you’ll need for this is an updated version of Firefox. I do recommend you always keep your web browsers updated to the latest versions to avoid software vulnerabilities. That’s all you need. Let’s set that Primary Password.
Also: It’s past time you started using a password manager (whether you like it or not)
Congratulations, you’ve added a much-needed layer of security to Firefox. Now, the only person who can view your saved passwords is you. Even with this added protection, you should consider not allowing your web browser to save your passwords and, instead, use a password manager.