Ask Dr. Webbie
Is there an Internet question you'd like to see answered in a future edition of Website Compass? Email your question to DrWebbie@WebsiteCompass.com.
To assist him in answering your question as specifically as possible, be sure to include the following: the name of the browser you are using (i.e. Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0, Firefox 2.0, etc.), the name of the email software you are using (i.e. Microsoft Outlook Express 6.0, OS 10.4 Mail, etc.), and the version of your system software (i.e. Windows 98, Windows XP, etc.)
QUESTION: Google Chrome keeps offering to save my passwords. Is it safe to do that?
Generally speaking, the answer is yes. Google's Chrome browser has the Smart Lock security feature, which enables you to securely save your login and password information for website accounts behind the password for your Google account. If you do not want to use a separate password manager app or keep your passwords written down on paper in a secure location, Chrome has one of the better-protected integrated password managers.
The advantages of using Chrome's Smart Lock feature to remember your login information are:
- It's convenient and saves you time. You won't need to reenter your password each time you want to access your account on a website.
- It may help avoid the bad habit (and weak protection) of using overly simple passwords or the same password across multiple websites.
But remember, hacks can still happen. As extra precautions, set up passwords or PIN codes to get into your computer and mobile devices, make sure you have two-step verification turned on for your Google account, and encrypt the synced data stored on Google's servers with a passphrase.
The Smart Lock feature is typically on by default in the Chrome browser for desktop and Android systems. You can decide, however, whether or not you want Chrome to save website passwords for you. Simply follow these steps:
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- Sign in to a website.
- To save your password, click Save password.
- If you don't want to save your password, click Never.
Google is not the only browser creator to offer a built-in password manager. This feature is also available with Mozilla Firefox and Opera and Microsoft's Edge and Internet Explorer browsers. Apple includes password-management tools with its Safari browser (as well as with its iCloud Keychain service and the Keychain Access software that comes with the Mac's operating system).
QUESTION: What is clickbaiting and why is it used?
Clickbaiting is the intentional act of over-promising or otherwise misrepresenting — in a highly enticing and attention-grabbing headline — what the reader will find after clicking on the Web content. These headlines are often characterized by wording such as, "You won't believe" or "What happened next will shock you," or other unverifiable assertions in a desperate attempt to spark your curiosity into a click.
Why do publishers use clickbaiting? Because this strategy increases the number of views to a webpage, and most sites use traffic numbers like page views or unique visitors to bill advertisers and measure their general success.
However, there are definite downsides to clickbaiting for publishers. If you click on content that promises one thing and then delivers something completely different, you're apt to feel annoyed with the publisher. Over the long term, the publisher can start to lose credibility and damage its customer relationships.