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Firefox Master Password
Every modern browser offers the capability to save usernames and passwords for sites that require you to sign in. That’s convenient, but it also introduces a security risk: If you leave your computer unattended, someone can visit your bank, a shopping site, or your web-based mail or social media account and automatically log in as you.
Unless you’ve saved those credentials in Firefox, that is. Mozilla’s browser offers the option to assign a Master Password to protect those credentials. When you turn on that setting, an intruder who sits down at your PC will be unable to browse through your list of saved usernames and passwords unless they can supply the Master Password. It’s up to you to choose a strong password that’s not easy to guess. But you knew that already, right?
Internet Explorer (Windows 8 only) Reading View
In Windows 8, Internet Explorer has a single rendering engine, but two distinct personalities. So distinct, in fact, that one killer feature is only available when you leave the desktop.
Ads, widgets, ugly formatting, and overcomplicated navigation aids can make the experience of reading a web page unnecessarily difficult. With the Immersive (nee Metro) Windows 8 version of Internet Explorer, you can clear away the clutter with one click of the Reading View button.
Reading View is similar in design to the Reader feature in Apple’s Safari browser. But Microsoft’s designers added the capability to customize the background color (sepia is especially easy on the eyes when using a large monitor) and to set a standard font size.
In fact, Reading View is so convenient you might be tempted to use the plugin-free Windows 8 Internet Explorer even on a desktop PC. If you do lots of online reading, your eyes will thank you.
Opera Speed Dial
Bookmarks are so 1994.
Here in the 21st Century, your day is likely to start with a handful of related sites that you scan quickly. For common work-related tasks, you'll probably want to open two or three sites where you can research and share information quickly.
That's where Opera's Speed Dial feature comes in handy. Speed Dial is Opera's default for new tabs, where you can bookmark single pages for quick access. But you can also save groups of bookmarks here in folders. To see all the bookmarks in a single folder, click the Speed Dial icon. To reopen the entire saved collection, right-click and use the Open All menu choice.