One of the features of modern web browsers is that they automatically store usernames and passwords for many of the private web sites that you visit. This can, of course, be a very useful feature. Sign up for a discussion forum, log in once, then you don't have to worry about logging in again. Just let your web browser fill in the details automatically, each time you visit the site.
However, there's an obvious security problem here, and it's a biggie. Is the browser storing your password in a sufficiently encrypted format, or could someone else who has access to your computer also retrieve those passwords?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's not good news, as an excellent freeware utility from the excellent Nirsoft demonstrates. IEPassView (http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/internet_explorer_password.html - note that the download link is right at the bottom of the page) is a program which attempts to display web site passwords which Internet Explorer has stored on your Windows PC, and it works alarmingly well. In my case, under IE8 on Windows 7, it immediately displayed my username and password for Gmail, Youtube and others.
If you're worried about other people running such a program on your PC, now might be a good idea to change the passwords for any sites which are a particular concern, and configure your browser not to store passwords.
On the other hand, if you've forgotten the password to a site you often visit, and have been relying on your browser to remember it for you, this might just be the tool you've been looking for!
NOTE: Some antivirus programs regard password recovery utilities as "hacking tools", and consequently might attempt to stop you downloading this file. Note that this doesn't mean that the program has a virus.
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