Navigating the web can require typing the same details again and again: Passwords, addresses, and credit card details, for example. To give some respite to your fingers and thumbs, most browsers now offer autocomplete features that save this information and retrieve it automatically when you need it.
This can be hugely convenient, but you may be concerned about your privacy and security online. And even if you are not, it’s important to be aware of what your browser is saving and where you can access it.
Remember that anyone who sits in front of your computer can use this auto-fill data, so your computer password is essentially the only barrier protecting sensitive details such as your address or your social security number from unscrupulous eyes.
Find your data in Google Chrome
Click the three dots (top right) and then go to Settings. Choose Auto-fill from the list on the left to see all the data your browser is storing (and syncing between multiple devices, if you’ve enabled this option under You and Google and Sync and Google services).
Select Passwords to see a master list of all the login credentials Chrome is keeping safe for you—You’ll be able to search through them via the box to the top left, view them by clicking on the eye icons, or edit them by selecting the three dots on the right. You can toggle the options at the top to stop Chrome from remembering your passwords and logging you into sites automatically, and you can also click Check passwords to see if your login details have shown up in a data breach or are too easy to guess.
Choose Payment methods to see the debit and credit card data that Chrome has saved. As on the passwords page, you can set whether you want your browser to save this information by toggling the switch at the top. Meanwhile, on the list underneath, you’ll be able to view, edit, and delete information for individual cards—click the three dots to the side of an entry to modify it or remove it from the list. You’ll also see payment methods set up with Google Pay included in this list.
The other option on the Auto-fill page is Addresses and more (the “more” being phone numbers and email addresses linked to postal addresses). Select this entry and you’ll see the credentials Chrome has stored. Click the three dots to the side of any entry on the list to find the Edit and Remove options. If you’d rather Chrome didn’t hold on to this type of information, turn the Save and fill addresses toggle switch off.
Find your data in Microsoft Edge
Edge and Chrome are based on the same Chromium code, so while you’ll notice some similarities between them, you’ll also see Microsoft has added plenty of its own unique tweaks on top. To find your personal information in Edge, click the three dots (top right), then choose Profiles from the list on the left. Via Sync you can choose whether the browser syncs your data across all devices where you have Edge installed.
The first menu to dig into is Personal info, which is where the program saves information like postal and email addresses, phone and even passport numbers. You can use the toggle switches to decide whether to store this data in Edge and click the three dots next to any entry to Edit or Delete it.
Next up is Passwords, which is exactly what you would expect. You can see all of your credentials in a long list (use the Search passwords box to look for something specific), and by clicking the three-dot buttons on the right of each one you can copy, edit, or delete them. Edge also rates each password’s health in terms of security and gives you a choice of entering these credentials automatically on recognized sites or prompting you for your computer account password each time.
And then there’s Payment info, which is where Edge saves the details of all your payment cards. Again, you’ve got a master toggle switch that lets you decide whether the browser records this information at all, and the list underneath lets you view, edit, and delete your financial information. If you’re signed in with a Microsoft account, and it has payment info associated with it, you’ll see this here too.
Find your personal data in Safari
If Safari is your browser of choice, open the Safari menu and choose Preferences then AutoFill to see what the program is saving, and uncheck any type of data you don’t want it to store. There’s one option here that you won’t find in other browsers—Using information from my contacts. This data is technically in the Apple Contacts app rather than Safari but you can still get to it by clicking Edit.
Click Edit next to Usernames and passwords to see a full list of all the login credentials that Safari has on you—You can search through them, edit, and delete them as required. Apple’s browser will also warn you about passwords that are duplicated, too easy to guess, and have appeared in a data leak online, so you can update them.
Select Edit next to Credit cards to see what Safari has saved in terms of payment information. There are no options here to edit any of the details—you can only Add a new entry in the list (which will prompt you for information such as the card number and the cardholder name), or Remove it.
The last Edit button is next to Other forms, and this covers information such as postal and email addresses, and phone numbers. On this dialog box, you can edit any information that’s inaccurate, as well as remove any entries from the list. Unfortunately, you can’t add new auto-fill data from here—you’ll have to do it in an actual web form.
Find your data in Firefox
Firefox has a comprehensive suite of tools for remembering data so you don’t have to keep typing it in time and time again. Click the three horizontal lines (top right), then choose Privacy & Security to see the information the browser is saving, or Sync to choose whether you want Firefox to sync this data between all of your devices running the browser.
The Logins and Passwords section under Privacy & Security is where you can decide whether Firefox should save your login details, and automatically log you into sites it recognizes. Click Saved Logins to see everything the program has saved so far—You can search through them, Copy them to the clipboard, Edit them inside Firefox, or Remove them from the list entirely.
Below passwords in Privacy & Security is the Autofill credit card option, which you can check or uncheck as you need it. Click on Saved Credit Cards to check the cards currently on file in Firefox—from the next dialog you can add new cards, edit the ones that are already there, or remove them from the list.
The last option you should look into on the Privacy & Security screen is Forms and Autofill. Add a checkmark next to Autofill addresses to have Firefox save and automatically enter your addresses into web forms for you. If you click on the Saved Addresses button, you get options to Add, Edit, and Remove addresses.