Let Mac OS X help you create good passwords and easily manage them

“Mac OS X has a very good mechanism for managing all kinds of passwords: the keychain. The system will offer to store pretty much all passwords in a ‘keychain’ for your account. With this, you can use as difficult a password as you want and the Mac takes care of remembering it. The keychain is encrypted with your account password as the encryption key. So it’s essential to choose a good and memorable password for your account, but that’s pretty much the only one you’ll have to actually remember,” Iljitsch van Beijnum reports for Ars Technica.

“Mac OS X has a built-in Password Assistant that can help you [create good passwords], but unfortunately, it’s a bit hard to find. In Applications/Utilities, you can find the Keychain Access tool. If you start that and then select “change password for keychain…” you are prompted to type your current and new keychain passwords. We don’t actually want to do that right now, but the password requester has an icon of a key. Click that. This will bring up the Password Assistant, which will create passwords of various types for you, and tell you how secure your password is with a colored bar. The longer and the greener the bar, the better your password,” van Beijnum reports.

Much more in the full article here.

More about Mac OS X security: http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/security/


  1. Here is a good reason to try out saving a new password – grid computing.

    Currently, a small percentage of distributed computing is done by Macs – somewhere on the order of 2.6%. I know the market share of Macs is higher than that, so let’s show them that we are not as stingy as we currently appear to be.

    Register, download, install and run it at:

    I have setup a team here called “Mac Daily News.”

    You can join multiple projects at a time. Donate your spare CPU cycles and show the world the power of the Mac. Currently, we are looking very meager, which makes us look smug to the rest of the world. Show the world that we aren’t.

  2. @Quevar

    Well I tried to join up.. Sheesh they make it hard. They must all be Unix people. I gave up when i selected a project and it demanded a username and password with the “new user” dimmed out.

    I will come back when I can point and click. If they want my cycles for nothing they will have to make it easier than this…

  3. Sydney – not sure what happened when you tried to sign up. I’ve been using it for a while and signed up years ago. I can’t say I’ve been too impressed with the website layout, but they are processing for a good cause.

    hedgehogfrenzy – You don’t have to leave it on, it will process at any point you are not using it, like if you go take a break for lunch. A few minutes here and there adds up. I have it on my laptop and I don’t leave it on much, but it does get stuff processed.

    Anyway, I just thought this would be a good way to show the world that Mac users do have a lot of machines that are capable of processing a lot. I totally agree that using this should not impact your productivity or energy consumption at all, so leaving a computer on all the time to process only this is a bad idea. But, if it is on anyway, it makes sense to let it process. I’ll probably post about this again in the future cause I am guessing a lot of MacDailyNews readers probably would join, but they don’t currently know about it.

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