Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, February 7, 2003

Dangers of Autocomplete Function in Internet Explorer

This short article includes advice on how to use public computers safely (eg. in cyber cafes, libraries, etc.) by looking at the danger of the 'Auto complete' function.

The article has been included in a recent issue of Oxygen3 24h-365d, the daily newsletter alert from

The latest versions of internet browsers - including Internet Explorer 5.0 and later -, use the Auto complete function to save the information a user enters into a form so that it can be entered automatically on future occasions.

Even though the function may appear to be very convenient and time saving it also presents a great security risk, especially when other people have access to the same computer you are using. This is because Auto complete does not distinguish between routine and confidential information, meaning that just as it can store your name, it can also store your credit card number or a secret password that you enter on a form.

Web page designers can use tags to disable the Auto complete function in certain forms. While users can erase the history of the Auto complete function when they are done using public computers. The type of information this function saves can also be configured. When using Internet Explorer, all of these options can be found in Tools -> Internet Options -> Content -> Auto complete.

This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Panda Software free daily dispatch "Oxygen3 24h-365d"
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posted by Robin Good on Friday, February 7 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




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