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Passwords on Mac

After reading Whynot Pottery's article about her late brother's website going away I started really thinking about computer passwords and what to do about them in case of emergency.  I don't know about you but I have a terrible time remembering passwords and usernames.  The good news for me is that I'm on a mac and it does a lot of the work for me.  If you're a windows user please just take this time to look at the pretty pottery pictures.  I'll try to make this brief and not too dull.

When you've entered a password into a website or email your mac will often ask you if you want to save the password in your keychain.  Always answer "yes."  That way when you forget the password it's saved somewhere.  When you have forgotten the password you just go to applications (or launchpad depending on your computer) then to utilities then click on Keychain Access.  You'll see a window that looks sort of like this.
Keychain Access

In the list you should find the website you want to access, double click on it and a dialoge box will pop up and tell you some stuff about the page.  You'll see a box that says "Show Password" put a tick mark in there.  Another window will pop up asking you for your system password.  Yes, sorry, you'll have to know this one, it's for your own good, besides, it's easier to remember one password than 100.  After you enter your computer's password you'll be given the password for the website in question.  Yay!  Keychain will also store your network password if you use one of those and if you're really advanced you can add stuff like your bank pin into the keychain.

I hope that wasn't too boring or geeky and I hope it helps make someone's life easier.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery

Comments

  1. OMG! thank you, thank you. I never really knew what the whole keychain thing was. i went in and saw what was stored, very cool. i am sure this mac does way more than i know it can. now i want to figure out how to store my bank pins!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's how to do that:

      To add a new password item, click on the Password icon in the Keychain Access toolbar. Give the new item a name (like, ATM PIN), enter the account or user name associated with the password (if you have one), and then enter the password or passphrase you want stored in the Keychain. Click on Add to save the new item.

      Sorry, I should have included it in the article.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the reminder. I knew this but had forgotten it. The only things I never click remember me on are bank and credit card accounts. If you are particularly uptight you can always do a disk with one password to open it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Suze,
      A password protected disk is a great idea also, provided you don't lose the disk and it doesn't get scratched. Me, I'd save it in a safe place that was so secret I could never find it again.

      Delete
  3. I use Firefox as my email engine (I think that's what it's called) on my PC, rather than Explorer. It has the option of saving all your passwords for you whenever you start a program (under tools I think). I did that until I got hacked by opening an email with a virus attached. Since then I don't want all my passwords to just pop up for me. When I was hacked (spammed?) a virus program sent emails to all my address book addresses in the email account from which I had received a spammed message. A friend who knew more about viruses and being hacked told me to change all my passwords at that point. So I no longer use the automatic password feature on Firefox.

    At one point I did have a flash drive where I listed passwords in a Word doc, which I carried on my key chain (funny about the Apple program having that name too) I think I'll do the flash drive again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara, I'm so sorry that has happened to you and so many other windows users. Although Firefox is much safer than Internet Explorer viruses still get written and used to attack windows computers all the time. I hope you have a really good anti-virus now to protect yourself and your friends.

      Delete
  4. I don't save my passwords for that very reason Barbara mentioned and you know I had my credit card used after using it online only once. I guess that's the advantage of mac, less virus activity. I am using explorer with google chrome and have Kaspersky virus protection; I also do a defrag, malware scan, virus scan and clean the cache every day, so far so good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda, those are all really good ideas for keeping yourself and anyone in your address book safe.

      Delete

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