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7 August, 2006

Careful!

Anyone who's ever bought goods/services via a credit card and web browser might be interested to know that I've been able to recover my main card number and the security number from the back of the card by reading the 'autocomplete' log of text/numbers I've previously typed into dialog boxes.  As the same log contains my name, e-mail & postal addresses and other personal parameters, that's quite a security risk, especially on a shared computer.

I use Firefox, but strongly doubt this is a flaw in Fx – I have no reason to think that any other browser behaves differently. If anything, Fx-users are at an advantage, as the Form History Manager plugin allows one to check the log and delete sensitive entries.

If individual entries are annoying (e.g. mistype a username once and autocomplete will suggest the misspelling every time one uses a 'username' dialog box), it's possible to deal with them individually, without plugins. Simply type enough for the autocomplete suggestion to appear, then select the offending option using the cursor keys and press 'Shift'+'Delete'. In IE, don't press 'Shift'.
It's a useful feature, but I still recommend installing Form History Manager, as it allows one to see what else was logged, perhaps inadvertently.

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