Autofill is an important feature for the web browsers of this age. It means you do not have to type out entire details when logging on to social media accounts or checking out after some shopping. On safari and Chrome browsers, however, beware of all the dangers lurking especially when you overly rely on autofill. It is possible that you will be unknowingly exposing your information to hackers who have ways to steal it and shop at your expense. Besides using your information to shop, the cyber attackers can easily steal your identity, leaving you to deal with negative effects of criminal activity in your name
This is how they do it
Hackers usually hide some fields in a sign-up form to trick users into thinking that they only have a few fields to fill. Upon auto sign up, the other fields like phone number, billing address, credit card number and other sensitive data will be auto-filled without your ever suspecting it.
This is a malicious trick but it is nothing new despite there being no countermeasure since its discovery. It poses a huge threat as shown by Finnish Whitehat hacker Viljami Kuosmanen. He recently cleared to users of Chrome and Safari browser how vulnerable they really are and even showed how this phishing technique is executed. It is such a sneaky method that might make you stop shopping online altogether.
Plugins and programs like password managers also expose users to myriad security risks. Access to these utilities prompts hackers to steal more than just credit card information. The doors are open for them to steal more personal data and that would cause more harm upon a breach.
Preventing an autofill data theft
You can avoid falling prey to cyber thieves ready to exploit any vulnerable users in many ways. The easiest solution is using Mozilla Firefox, which hasn’t devised a mechanism like autofill. Filling forms of Mozilla browser mean that all data must be pre-filled because there isn’t an autofill functionality. Some of you might deem this a great hassle but it is a hidden blessing considering how easily you can get victimized on the browsers with autofill function. You would rather be secure than have an easy way of doing things that only exposes you to serious problems.
Another way to protect your network is by disabling autofill on Safari or another browser with this feature. Doing this means that all web forms have to be filled manually in chronological order. It might take some extra effort especially if you are already used to the autofill, but at least you will be more secure.
This trick might not be the most advanced form of cyber theft but you shouldn’t be complacent. Rather than work hard to encrypt sensitive data, hackers can take the shorter route by phishing your details and use your money or information for malicious activities. All businesses and individuals must take precautions to ensure that each activity done online is fully secure as a simple compromise would translate to immeasurable losses.