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Bitwarden is a great option for those looking to take advantage of strong and unique passwords. Bitwarden offers all the standard features that make using a password manager a must-have for modern convenience and a heightened level of security. Even better, Bitwarden has applications for most platforms, including Linux, macOS, Windows, Android and iOS.

But the fun doesn’t stop with the basic desktop and mobile apps. Bitwarden also offers a browser plugin for most web browsers. This add-on makes it even easier to use the service, as it exists in your browser toolbar, waiting to help fill in the many credentials necessary for your daily grind.

At this point, you’re probably thinking: “Hold on, my web browser already does that for me.” Yes, it does. But you should probably think twice about allowing a web browser, known for vulnerabilities, to save your passwords. Whenever I’m asked about this issue, I always suggest that users never let a browser save a password. Instead, make use of a password manager and its browser plugin. By going this route, the likelihood someone could steal your passwords from a browser vault is considerably less, while still keeping things efficient and convenient.

SEE: Password breach: Why pop culture and passwords don’t mix (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

With that said, let’s get the Bitwarden Chrome plugin installed and see how it’s used.

What you’ll need

The only thing you’ll need for this is a Bitwarden account and the Chrome browser installed. With those two things at the ready, let’s make this happen.

How to install the Bitwarden Chrome plugin

Open Chrome and point it to the Bitwarden Chrome plugin page in the Chrome Web Store. On that page, click Add to Chrome (Figure A).

Figure A

Installing the Bitwarden Chrome plugin from the Chrome Web Store.

When prompted (Figure B), click Add Extension.

Figure B

The final installation prompt for Chrome.

Once Bitwarden is installed, you can pin the plugin icon by clicking the Puzzle piece and then clicking the pin associated with the Bitwarden plugin (Figure C).

Figure C

Pinning the Bitwarden plugin to the Chrome toolbar.

Once you’ve pinned the icon, click it, and then, when prompted (Figure D), click Log In.

Figure D

The Bitwarden Chrome plugin login prompt.

Once you’ve successfully logged into your Bitwarden account, your vault will be available to use.

How to add a site for auto-fill login

The one caveat to using the Bitwarden Chrome plugin is that it doesn’t automatically allow vault entries to be used for auto-fill-in. Instead, you have to add logins for auto-fill. Here’s how.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Go to the site you want to add for auto-fill.
  3. Click the Bitwarden Chrome plugin icon.
  4. When prompted, click Add a Login (Figure E).

Figure E

Adding an auto-fill entry for the Bitwarden Chrome plugin.

The Bitwarden plugin will fill in both the name and the URI entries. The only thing you need to fill in is the username and password for the site (Figure F).

Figure F

Adding a site for auto-fill in the Bitwarden Chrome plugin.

After filling in the username and password spots, click Save and the entry is ready to use. Now, the next time you land on that page, the Bitwarden Chrome plugin can auto-fill the entry for you.

And that’s all there is to installing and using the Bitwarden Chrome plugin. Keep those passwords safe and never allow your web browser to save them for you.

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