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Reveal saved passwords from under asterisks in your Web browser

Curious what's under those asterisks for your password when viewing the log-in screen for a Web service? Now you can find out in just a few steps.

Having your browser store password data for sites can be a huge time-saver and convenience. Naturally, there are security issues to consider-- what if someone else uses your computer? Less severe but more irritating, what if you forget your password and need to log in on another machine? Unless you use the same password for several services, you could be left in a bad situation.

Instead of answering security questions to reset your password to something else you might forget, try these steps to figure out what it is.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 1: Open the log-in page for the service you're interested in.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 2: Right click on the password field and select Inspect Element from the menu that appears.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 3: In the window that appears (Firefox users see optional step below), double click on the part of the text that says type="password" and change the quoted value to "text" and hit Enter.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

For Firefox: the text editor is initially hidden in the element viewer. To view it, click on the Markup Panel icon in the bottom-left of the window

As soon as you hit the Enter button the field text will change from dots to the actual password text. Now you'll never have to reset an old password because of memory issues again!

Don't worry if you feel these changes compromise your security -- once you navigate away from the page your changes will be reverted. However, it might give you pause when deciding to save future passwords now that you know how easily someone else could find it.

(Via Digital Inspiration)