How to prevent Android 13 from revealing your passwords

TL; DR: One of the features of Android 13 that was introduced when it launched last year can be very useful in many situations, but it can also reveal sensitive information depending on how recently certain apps have been updated. Enabling autofill permissions can mitigate the risk of passwords appearing as plain text on your Android device’s clipboard.

Android 13 lets users see and edit whatever is on the clipboard, but the feature can also reveal sensitive data, such as passwords, to anyone else who might be looking at the device’s screen. If an app does not mark this information as private, activating autofill in settings can circumvent the problem.

Starting with Android 13, when Android users copy text, images, or other information, a bubble appears at the bottom of the screen showing what the user just copied. From there, users have a wide variety of choices with clipboard contents: they can edit, share, and use text or images to perform actions across different applications.

The new clipboard functionality can save users a lot of time for many different tasks, but mobile apps for password managers also usually work through the clipboard. Copying credentials from the password manager to another app could cause the Android 13 clipboard to reveal that information to anyone looking at the screen, especially if the app in question hasn’t received an update to Android 13.

Developers working on Android 13 must specify whether or not copied text is sensitive so the clipboard knows not to display it publicly. Android 13 It will also periodically delete clipboard history automatically when users copy sensitive information onto it.

Many password managers have received updates since Android 13 launched last summer, but not all, so some users may not be fully protected. For example, those who are still using 1Password 7 Upgrade manually to 1Password 8, which contains the latest updates to Android 13.

Activating autofill permissions for managers and other apps that don’t specify sensitive text should cause copied text to be automatically entered into fields, bypassing the clipboard. Users can do this by locating the autofill service in the settings screen and choosing the app of their choice. The setup location will vary depending on your Android device. Moreover, not all devices use the standard version of Android 13.

Users should also be careful they change Settings their password manager’s vault on all devices and operating systems to automatically clear copied text after a specified period of time. Some of them, like Bitwarden and Keeper, leave text on the clipboard indefinitely by default.

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