As you enter usernames and passwords in Internet Explorer, these items may be saved to make logging in easier in the future. But what if you don’t want your private usernames and passwords stored in your browser? Internet Explorer’s AutoComplete feature can be turned off at any time.
So why and when should you turn off AutoComplete? Any time you use a public or shared computer, another user can easily use your log in information by simply typing the first few letters of your username. Always check to see if AutoComplete is turned on before you begin using public or shared computers.
In addition to usernames and passwords, Internet Explorer’s AutoComplete feature also stores search terms and manually entered URLs. Turning off AutoComplete does not erase your Internet history.
To get started, open an Internet Explorer browser window. The steps in this article apply to Internet Explorer 6 and higher. Select the “Tools” menu at the top of your browser window. Select “Internet Options” from the Tools menu. Once the Internet Options window is open, select the “Content” tab.
Approximately halfway down the Content tab page is a section entitled “AutoComplete.” Press the “Settings” button in the AutoComplete section to view AutoComplete options. Before changing any settings, delete all current AutoComplete history. Press “Delete AutoComplete History” and choose which items to delete. You must check the boxes beside each item to delete it. Press “Delete” when you’re ready.
Now, it’s time to turn off AutoComplete so you can keep your usernames, passwords and search history safe from other users and hackers. On the AutoComplete Settings page, uncheck every option, especially “usernames and passwords on forms.” Press “OK” to save your settings. Press “OK” a second time to exit the Internet Options window.
Anytime you upgrade Internet Explorer, double check the AutoComplete settings to ensure they are turned off. After all, why go through all the trouble trying to keep your personal data safe, only to have your usernames and passwords stored where other users can easily access and use them?
If you decide to use the AutoComplete function, only use it on personal computers where you are the only user. This will prevent others from using your user data. If you have used AutoComplete on public computers in the past, change your usernames and passwords immediately. Don’t use easy to guess variations on previous usernames and passwords. Be sure to use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters along with numbers for the most secure passwords.