7 Sources of Data Breaches You’ll Never Hear About: Your Browser

Your Stored Passwords: Not exactly secured. Licensed from Stock Exchange.

Your Stored Passwords: Not exactly secured. Licensed from Stock Exchange.

This post is the second in a series about data breaches you can prevent. We’ve already covered Phones and Personal Computing Devices. The next source we’ll explore is Your Browser.

Laptops, desktop computers and smartphones all have built-in internet browsers. A typical browser can store hundreds of passwords and usernames, credit card numbers, contact information, and browsing history. Even though we use our smart phone browsers to do a significant number of online transactions, typical smart phone browsers do not allow users the same degree of privacy control as desktop browsers.

Aside from browser hacks and viruses, it’s important to remember that your browser caches remain intact and accessible even after the machine is lost, stolen, or sold. That’s one reason why it’s important to scan your browsers for personal information and delete unnecessary information, and use a master password whenever possible.

I fancy myself a fairly savvy and privacy-aware individual. I use Firefox and have installed several plugins to help me manage my privacy, including Better Privacy, GoogleShairng, a few PrivacyChoice Plugins, and Abine’s TACO. But when I ran an Identity Finder search, even I was shocked to see the depth of information that my browser stored. It was very sobering to see that my usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers were accessible in plain text. Fortunately, Identity Finder allowed me to delete or secure all of that information.
If your browser caches are ever lost, it may represent a significant breach of personal information. So make sure you are aware what information your browser is storing, because you shouldn’t expect to get a letter in the mail if it ever falls into the wrong hands.

Article first published on Security Catalyst.

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