What if you forget or lose your login credentials because you are accessing your account after a long time or there are so many IDs and passwords that’s why it is tough for you to remember. In such tricky situations, password recovery tools can be useful. These tools can be handy for you if you work as IT or network engineer. Password recovery tools can be useful as a computer user also while reinstalling or upgrading your version of Windows. These tools can help you to understand certain security risks like storing credentials unencrypted, and mitigating them.
How to Recover Passwords Saved by Web Browsers
It is easy to recover passwords saved in the popular web browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. To recover password in Chrome and Firefox, you can access a list of saved passwords via the browser settings. You can view a list of saved passwords in the Credential Manager of Windows for Internet Explorer in Windows 8 and Windows 10. You can use these ways to double-check passwords you’ve saved. For instance, you may need to know a password to login to a website from another computer on which it isn’t saved. However, it is risky also to save browser passwords and someone quickly could get to them.
Moreover, there are third-party tools also that can help you to recover passwords from multiple browsers. These tools allow you to save a list of all the passwords and will prove handy when you are reinstalling Windows or upgrading it and don’t utilize browser syncing. To keep your passwords more secure, you can import them in password managers which encrypt them for better security.
Alternatively, Firefox users need to enable their native master password feature that put encryption on the passwords so that third-party tools cannot recover them.
How to Retrieve Passwords for Wi-Fi Networks
Yu can also recover WEP keys, Wi-Fi passwords, and the PSKs of WPA or WPA2, saved by Windows.In Windows 7, open the Network and Sharing Center, select Manage Wireless Networks, click on the desired network to open it, and view the password on the Security tab. In Windows 8 and Windows 10, you can view the passwords in that same place, but you won’t find Manage Wireless Networks screen as it is gone. In Windows 8 and late, you can only open the wireless network properties of the specific network you’re connected to via the Network and Sharing Center. Windows 8 and later also, you can use third-party tools to capture and export a list of all the Wi-Fi passwords.
As you have seen how easy and insecure it is to retrieve Wi-Fi passwords stored by Windows. You can see that the personal (PSK) mode of WPA/WPA2 can be very insecure than the Enterprise mode. The personal mode means if all the users will have and use the same password and their device is stolen or lost, or they leave the company, you will have to change the password in order to keep your network secure. But when you use the enterprise mode of WPA/WPA2, you could simply change or revoke a particular user’s login or password. Though the enterprise mode needs a RADIUS server the 802.1X authentication, but these days there are cloud-based options so you don’t have to deploy your own server.
How to Catch Login Credentials Sniffed from the Network
In recovering lost or forgotten passwords, catching login credentials sniffed from the network might not have a big practical use, but it helps demonstrate network security risks. In order to capture usernames and passwords for various kinds of services via protocols like HTTP, SMTP, FTP, and POP3, you can use tools to monitor a certain PC’s or the entire network’s traffic.
When you are on public Wi-Fi hotspots that have no encryption, remember to ensure that all services and sites you login should be using the standard SSL encryption. To check if site is using SSL encryption, check for the https in the URL. You also need to ensure that email clients and other apps should be using encryption as well. For peace of mind, encrypt all your Internet traffic using a VPN server provided by your company or a third-party VPN service.
On private Wi-Fi networks that are secured and encrypted, you’re also vulnerable to password hacking and hijacking. Users can still snoop on each other’s network traffic on networks secured with the personal (PSK) mode of WPA/WPA2 security. However, with the enterprise mode of Wi-Fi security, this is not the case. So businesses and organizations should use it.
Email Server and Login Credentials Details
You may want to save the server and login credentials details along with the emails themselves if you are reinstalling Windows. Windows has an email client Outlook that you may be using. To get the email server and login credential details, go into the account settings of the email client. But this usually doesn’t show you the password in clear-text. There are fair chances to forget the password if you don’t use it often. To quickly retrieve the server details and password, use a tool instead of having to reset it via the email provider and then save them to a text file for later reference.
How to Reset Windows Account Passwords
It’s typically easier to reset a forgotten password instead of having to reinstall Windows when working with non-domain Windows computers. You can reset anywhere via the Microsoft site if it’s a Microsoft Account on a Windows 8 or newer computer. You can use bootable tools to do an offline password removal for Windows 7 and earlier (or local accounts on Windows 8 and later). However, when performing offline resets like this, some of your secured data like any passwords saved by Windows and any files encrypted by Windows may be wiped out.
It’s easy to retrieve and save most passwords when reinstalling or clean upgrading Windows. It can save your passwords as well as time and frustration that may develop because you accidently wiped out your passwords and forgotten them. But it also impose risk if you store login credentials so it is recommended to you that for better security, utilize encryption for your saved passwords or a whole-disk encryption solution.
Though it is easy to find passwords for saved Wi-Fi networks, when trying to connect other devices to the wireless, but in this case hackers can also snoop on your public and private network connections. They can hijack your accounts and capture your passwords so for the superior security, use enterprise mode instead of the personal (PSK) mode.