If an absentminded friend regularly uses your smartphone to access his online accounts, setting your handset to remember passwords could be a good idea if he's prone to forgetting his. You'll then be able to save him the rigmarole of resetting his login credentials when a password escapes him. Just make sure you let people who borrow your phone know that it will log any passwords they enter.
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Purchase keylogging software such as iKeyMonitor for Apple's iPhone or KidLogger for Android devices. These programs are primarily designed for parents who want to keep tabs on their children or employers that feel the need to monitor their workers. Once installed on your handset, they'll provide you with detailed logs of all the key strokes entered on your device. The iKeyMonitor for iPhones has a feature specifically intended to capture passwords.
Configure your phone's browser settings to remember passwords entered into websites. If you're using Safari on an iPhone, go to "Settings" from your home screen, select "Autofill" and toggle the "Names and Password" switch to "On." In Chrome Mobile, go to "Menu," "Settings" and then "Save passwords" and switch password saving on. If you're using Opera Mobile, tap the "O" icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, select "Settings" followed by "Privacy and make sure the "Remember passwords" option is active. If you're using an alternative browser, check its user guide.
Navigate to sites or apps other people may have visited or used on your handset. If somebody entered a password and failed to log out of the account or service he was using, his login may still be active on your phone.
Tips and warnings
- Your browser will typically display saved passwords as dots, but you'll still be able to log into the account or service concerned without actually knowing the characters a password consists of. Once in, you'll be able to reset the account's password.
- Check your apps' user notes to find out if it's possible to configure them to remember passwords.
- Accessing other people's online accounts without their permission is an offence under Section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
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