Mozilla to improve password manager in Firefox 32
When I started to use Firefox many years ago I used the built-in password manager for some time before I switched to LastPass and then after a while to the -- in my opinion -- best password manager ever KeePass.
Firefox back then had no synchronization feature which meant that you had to copy profile data instead to synchronize passwords between different devices.
The Firefox password manager is comfortable to use, and if you set up a master password, protected from third-parties who try to access your passwords.
It is enabled by default and can save passwords in its database so that the login information can be filled out automatically.
While it does lack a lot of features of established password managers, password generation comes to mind among other things, it is sufficient for many use cases.
Mozilla has improved the handling of passwords in Firefox recently. The organization improved compatibility with dynamic password fields and added an override to Firefox 30 to ignore the autocomplete="off" directive on websites which prevented the password manager from saving passwords previously.
If you are using the Nightly version of Firefox, currently at version 32, you may have noticed additional improvements to the password manager itself.
If you open the password manager in the browser, you do so by loading about:preferences in the browser's address bar, switching to the Security tab there and a click on saved passwords, you will notice new fields added to the table.
Instead of just displaying the site and username, and the password if you click on show passwords, Firefox is now also displaying date, time and usage related information.
The last used and last changed data of every password is displayed here by default. A click on the rightmost icon in the table header displays additional options that you can enable here, in this case times used and first used.
- Last Used refers to the date and time the password was used last to sign in to the listed site.
- Last Changed refers to the date the password was changed the last time.
- Times Used displays the number of times you have signed in to the service.
- First used finally lists the date and time the account was added to Firefox.
The information are useful. You can use them for instance to change passwords that you have not changed in a long time, or delete sites that you have not used for a year or longer and have no intention of using again.
The data is displayed for old and new passwords, and not only for new accounts created after the update or installation of Firefox 32. The reason for this is simple: Firefox has recorded those information previously as well, but they were not displayed anywhere in the browser.
The improvement makes sense in my opinion. While it still lacks information that password managers like KeePass record, notes come to mind among other things, it is a step in the right direction and definitely helpful for Firefox users who use the password manager to save account credentials in the browser.