Cyber security - LawCall

The New Year means a new slate on which to make some sound resolutions. Being cyber-safe in an ever-increasingly difficult time to do so could mean a happier year for you and for those you love.

An online presence is something that we may take for granted, where much of our daily business is carried out online. The auto-fill forms make it super easy to do chores that use to take time and you don’t even have to remember passwords any more – your computer will do that for you. But, are you giving up security for convenience?

Browsers such as Safari and Google often come with password managers. However, new research shows that tracking firms are exploiting the popular tools; web trackers are stealing information from them to help target ads. This security loophole could mean your passwords are unsafe.

When you load a website with a saved user name and password, your browser, in most cases, will automatically fill in the details.  Web trackers create invisible login forms in the background to trick your password manager into filling in info without your permission.

The details are then used to track you from website to website. Ever wonder how your browser knew you were looking at those cool boots from the Garden and Gun website? That’s how they do it. They are designed to exploit password managers in order to track you.

Researchers from Princeton University say that plugins are largely to blame. They are suggesting that publishers exercise better control over their third-party sites. The only secure fix would be to change how password managers work, requiring more explicit approval from plugins before giving out user information.

You can take control, though, by not using auto-fill and by not storing passwords on your computer. It may be an inconvenience, but it may also save your identity.

If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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