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Protect Web Site Passwords with Firefox

by Oscar Sodani
October 25, 2007

Oscar Sodani is a founder of Help2Go and owner of Help2Go Networks, an IT consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area. Oscar holds the CISSP certification as well as industry certifications from Microsoft, Cisco and Novell.

Firefox's ability to store your website passwords is a HUGE time saver - not to mention it can save your sanity sometimes! In this tutorial, we'll show you how to store your passwords.

If you already store your passwords - great! BUT you also need to know how to create a Master Password to protect your passwords from prying eyes. Without this password, anyone on your computer can easily learn all of your passwords! We'll show you how to create a master password, too. 

First step: launch Firefox and go into your Preferences. On Windows, click on the Tools menu and choose Options. If you're on a Mac, click on the Firefox menu and choose Preferences...

Next, click on the Security icon:

Firefox Master Passwords 

In the Passwords... section, click on the option to Remember Passwords.

Firefox prefs 

Now, whenever you login to a website, Firefox will ask you whether you want to remember this password. The next time you visit the site, your username and password will automatically be filled in for you!

But wait! Having Firefox remember all those passwords for you is great, but a tremendous security risk. On that same options screen, you'll see a button for Show Passwords. Click it, and you'll see this:

Firefox passwords 

Click this Show Passwords button, and Firefox will display every password it has saved! We need to protect these!

Close this box to return to the Options screen. Check the box for Use a master password. You'll see this:

Firefox master password 

Type in a new password and save your changes. Now, when you launch Firefox, and come to a website that you need to login to, Firefox will ask you for this Master Password before it automatically fills in your login info for the website. You only need to enter in your Master Password once. It will keep filling in login information for you until you close Firefox.  

So now, you don't have to remember all those crazy login passwords - you just need to remember your one Master Password, and you're all set!  

Now, if you have lots of passwords, make sure you read these articles as well:

Store Your Passwords Securely with PasswordSafe

How to Choose a Good Password  

And this is a book I have in my library that I would recommend for those interested in learning about the bascis of keeping your computer and information secure: Essential Computer Security: Everyone's Guide to Email, Internet, and Wireless Security


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