shopping

OneID unveils free Chrome add-on for filling out forms

Checking out of shopping sites isn't the most pleasant task on the Internet but a free new extension for Google's Chrome browser released Thursday by OneID makes the task less painful.

QuickFill, the browser add-on, is now available at the Google Web Store . It lets you squirrel your personal information in OneID's cloud for free and use it to speed through the checkout process when you buy something on the Internet.

Some people use the form-filling functions in their browser or have a computer program do it. The advantage of using QuickFill is that your checkout information is encrypted and secure in OneID's cloud. Moreover, the information is stored at three separate locations, removing the risk of a single point of failure keeping you from accessing your data.

In addition, you may register with online stores to save time when checking out, information that is stored with the retailer, not OneID.

With QuickFill, you make your purchases as a "guest" so the retailer doesn't store your information where it could be stolen by hackers.

A problem with form-fillers like QuickFill is their reach. If they don't work properly with enough websites, they can be as annoying as filling out the forms by hand.

OneID appears to be aware of that problem. It says it has tested QuickFill at the top 500 retail sites on the Web and found the applet accurately pumps information into the most frequently used forms at the sites.

Predicting shopper reaction to QuickFill, OneID’s chief executive Alex Doll, observed, "[O]nce they experience going from ‘add to cart’ to ‘confirm order’ in a single click, they’ll see how different the future can be."

An interesting aspect of QuickFill is how it's designed to use crowdsourcing to improve its performance. When QuickFill makes a slip filling in a form, corrections made to the form are immediately incorporated into the software so it won't make the mistake again at a site.

"We wanted to give our user community the ability to immediately improve the mapping of OneID information to the form on any website," Doll explained. "In this way, the product experience is constantly improving as people use it."

When you install QuickFill, a OneID account is automatically created for you. With that account, you can store login credentials to places you visit on the Web. When the login page appears in your browser, OneID will fill in your access information – provided you give it a master password you create when you open the account.

In that way, the company says, all your logins remain secure and you only have to remember one password to access all your logins.

Passwords have been a consumer annoyance since they were created, but in recent times, they've come under increased criticism as inadequate to protect anyone's online data. OneID is one of many solutions to address security issues surrounding passwords.

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