Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Clearing passwords from your browser

There is nothing better than automation, especially when it comes to remembering passwords to websites. How about when automation turns nasty, or out of control? Sound like something out of the Terminator movies, You can relate right?

Often, password management is like the weed in the garden that takes control of everything. It can be overwhelming, and downright impossible to manage them all. What’s worse, most of your passwords are masked – that is the browser turns them into little stars and asterisks. How do you remember them, and what do you do when your password management stops doing its job?

You can easily tell when this happens. It’s when you cannot login to your favorite sites. Internet explorer and Mozilla firefox both come with password management utilities and neat options to automatically fill in webpage forms. When the time comes to reset a password or request a new password from that locked out website (for example; The little sentence under the login that says -forgot your password?)

You can easily access these features and perform a few simple steps;

Internet Explorer:

To clear out ALL your saved passwords,
Click tools, internet options, then click the Delete button. This will open a prompt to allow you to choose what to delete. You have the option to delete all your history and temporary internet files, or individual deletion of temporary internet files, cookies, history, form data, and passwords. The last being the ones you should be most concerned with. Note if you delete passwords, ALL are delete, there is no selective deletion.

To completely disable the Prompt to save passwords;

Open Tools, then internet options. Click the content tab. Look beside the Autocomplete section and click the settings button just to the right hand side. Clear the following checkmarks:

- Usernames and passwords on forms.

Clearing all the checkmarks (web addresses forms, user names and passwords on forms, prompt me to save passwords) will completely disable these autocomplete features.

Mozilla Firefox has the same features, however with a little more control. Mainly, it offers the ability to actually see the passwords to your favorite websites.

To control these settings, open tools, options, then look in the privacy tab for Private Data, then click settings. The options are very similar to the previous step for Internet Explorer.

If you need to see passwords to your websites, look under the Security tab, passwords, then click show passwords. Once that dialog box opens, click the show passwords box once again to see your passwords.

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