Form Field Woes

A form field is one of those boxes on a web page (or elsewhere) that you can fill in with information. Your web browser may try to "auto complete" an entry that you are trying to type in.

For example, when I try to type my name into a box that that I've visited before, when I type the first letter ... "G" ... my browser suggests several different options, remembering the various pseudonyms I use, giving me a list like this:

Greg Laden
Grog Stevenson
Greeb Miller

and so on.

That's convenient, but it can be annoying when things go wrong...

For instance, for a long time, when I started to type in my email address, I was being given only one choice, which was incorrect. I assume this came from some earlier typo that the browser recorded. So, whenever I would type in:

greg@gregladen. ...

I would get as my only choice:

Which is incorrect.

Another inconvenient and annoying possibility is when you type in your user name and password into one box by accident, so that every time you (or anyone else who has access to your computer, whether or not they are supposed to) types in your user name, you see the password as well in plain text:

Greg_Laden muffyThe#&Cat

... thus exposing your password to the whole world. Or, at least the part of the world that is looking over your shoulder or who may look in the place on your computer where these data are stored to see if your password is recorded there in plain text.

Did you ever wonder how to fix this? Well, if you are using Foxfire, it is easy.

Start typing in the letters that will bring up the list of options which includes the one you don't ever want to see again.

When you see the option, selected it using the arrow button on your keyboard so that it is highlighted.

Hit Shift-Delete (where "Delete" is the "Delete Key").

It will be gone.


It is strongly suggested that you do NOT use the name of your pet or your child as a password. One reason for this is that names such as "Steven" or "Muffy" are not very secure because they do not have an odd mixture of upper and lower case, and do not include characters such as #*#(*&% and so on.

There is an incredibly easy way to fix this.

Next time you have a child or acquire a pet, give it a name with mixed upper and lower case, and a sprinkling of unusual characters. For instance, you could name your cat "sPr!!nkles" or "paTCHe$" A good name for a child might be ro%#$Bert! if it is a boy, or GlAdY$$ if it is a girl.

This will give you much more secure passwords.

That is all.

More like this

OK, how did you happen to come across this trick?

I named my cats Admin and Ntpriv.

I guess next time I'll know better.

Um, Doug Alder - you didn't answer the question at all.

I didn't ask where it was documented, I asked how he happened to come across the trick.

Possible answers include things like:

Reading the help manual in exhausting detail.

Being told about it by a friend.

Reading about it somewhere else.

Wanting to remove one and searching the Mozilla website for the answer.

Searching the website for something else, and happening across this trick.

Do you see the difference? ;)

Yes, I searched high and low for it and it ended up being in the help section.

I'll try to remember that. There was one blog I wanted to comment on, but I misstyped the password and had checked the remember this box. I couldn't figure out how to eliminate the cookie, and was excluded....