How to . . . manage autofill for your private information

Passwords, credit card data and addresses: how to correct mistakes and delete data

Autofill was supposed to make our lives easier. Instead of typing the same data over and over on various websites, it would just magically appear when you needed it, suggested by your browser. No more tedious form filling, or scrambling for your credit card every time you want to buy something online.

Over time though, that data starts to pile up. Suddenly the helpful autofill is providing you with outdated information, insisting you live at an address you left three years ago, or trying to use an expired credit card to pay.

And it’s not just about updating details. Perhaps, with your privacy interests in mind, you want to remove your autofill information completely.

There are a couple of ways to edit or remove saved details, depending on what browser or system you are using.

Chrome

Let’s start with one of the most common browsers. On Chrome on the desktop, click the three dots in the top right corner of your browser. Scroll down to Settings>Auto fill. You’ll see options for passwords, payment methods and addresses. Selecting each of them brings up the option to delete or edit information.

It’s a similar process for mobile. Google’s mobile Chrome browser also puts the autofill settings under the three dots in the top corner, followed by settings.

But instead of an autofill menu option, under basics, you’ll see passwords, payments methods, and addresses and more. There you can disable the autosave options for your credit cards and other personal information, and also disable the autofill feature altogether.

Safari

If you use Apple’s browser on the Mac, you can access the setting you need under the Safari >Preferences, and choosing autofill. Under this option you can select what contact information you want to use, the various payment methods you want to use, and other information you need regularly.

On iOS, go to Settings>Safari and scroll down to autofill. Here you can choose which contact information to use to autofill forms, and manage the credit cards saved to your browser for quick access when you shop.

Edge

Users of Microsoft’s built-in browser can access autofill settings by clicking on the menu button in the corner – the three horizontal dots – and Settings>Your Profile. There are three separate settings: personal info, where you can choose to save and fill your name, address, email contacts and date of birth; payment information, which stores cards you have saved to the device; and passwords.

The last also gives you the option to alert you if any of your passwords have been found in an online leak.

Brave

Billing itself as a secure, private browser, Brave is great for those who want to block potential ad trackers from knowing their business. It is a Chromium-based browser so, although some things look different, the autofill settings should be familiar.

To access the autofill settings, click on the three lines in the top right of the browser window. Brave tucks autofill away under Settings>Additional Settings. From there, you can edit or disable autofill for passwords, payments or personal information.

You can also prevent automatic sign ins, and bar retailers from checking if you have payment details saved to the browser.

Firefox

Firefox users can save passwords and logins to the browser, but not payment information (outside the US and Canada). To control what information Firefox saves, click on the menu button, then Settings>Privacy and security. Scroll down to logins and passwords.

You can choose to disable autosave for passwords, and also set a primary password to protect your data so unauthorised users don’t have access to your confidential credentials.

You can also set exceptions to whatever rules you’ve imposed – specific websites that you don’t ever want to save the passwords for, for example, or a small number of sites for which you will allow Firefox to autofill details.