On websites that separate the screens where username and password are entered, such as GMail, it is possible that the users type the password in the username field because the username is sometimes suggested automatically based on the browsing history.

In that situation, what are the risks if the user types (and press Enter) their password in the username field?

Reply to "duplicate" flag

I don't see how the questions about typing a password into a username field in a website and in Windows logon can be duplicate one of the other. Questions are duplicate if they ask the same thing, not if the answers happen to be the same.

If the answers happened to be the same, I believe the proper way to answer this would be: "The risks are the same as when the password is typed on Windows logon. Please refer to this question (link to the other question)".

Anyway, the answer to the duplicated question doesn't even answer the present question, as that refers to eventvwr.msc and Failure Auditing in Windows.


1 Answer 1


The greatest risk is if the site logs login attempts based on the username that a user enters, rather than the account. Your password will then be displayed in cleartext in the logs, which may be leaked at some future time.

In most cases, nothing risky will happen. The site already has access to your cleartext password while you're logging on, whether they store it securely or not, so sending your password to that site in a different form field wouldn't have consequences, unless other users can see what you've entered into that field.

The normal best practices apply, of course: Never reuse your password across different sites. The site owner might be malicious, and even large, trustworthy, highly audited multinational companies will leak customer data at alarming rates. Your information has already been leaked.

This way, if you don't reuse any passwords, and use a password manager to generate truly random, unique passwords for each site, when you suspect that a password might leak, such as being logged when it shouldn't after you put it into the wrong form field, then you can update the password once on that site only, and your risks will be mitigated.

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