Use OS X to help you create strong passwords

Keychain is Apple’s password management system in OS X. It was introduced with Mac OS 8.6, and has been included in all subsequent versions of Mac OS, including Mac OS X. An OS X Keychain can contain various types of data: Passwords (for Websites, FTP servers, SSH accounts, network shares, wireless networks, groupware applications, encrypted disk images), private keys, certificates, and secure notes.

Your Mac’s OS X also has a built-in Password Assistant that can help you create good, strong passwords. To get to it, just launch KeyChain Access (found in Applications/Utilities), choose File>New Password Item and use the “Password” input box to design your passwords. To gain access to more options, you can click the button with the black key icon located next to the “Password” input box which will bring up the Password Assistant which can make passwords for you (“memorable, “letters and numbers,” etc.). Both options provide a colorful bar that goes from dark red (weak) to dark green (excellent) to indicate the Password Strength.

OS X Password Assistant

MacDailyNews Note: Note for Windows sufferers and/or Android settlers who might have stumbled across this article: Don’t use “trekkers495652*transcendentally” as a password, okay? Everybody just saw that one!

19 Comments

    1. Actually, in my opinion, the most secure place to store sensitive info that is too complex to memorize is written down and locked in a secure location that can only be accessed by you.

      Anything stored electronically is (potentially) vulnerable.

      My passwords, and I have a lot of them, are in a little black book, locked in a hidden safe, in a locked office, in a locked building with a security system. Are they still vulnerable? Yes, but the effort required would be more than they are worth, and no one but me even knows the book exists.

      Well, except for you guys now…

  1. At work I have a couple dozen passwords, all with different, but stringent requirements as to complexity. All of them change every 90 days and require a certain degree of change before a new password will be accepted. I couldn’t function without a password storage utility. I hope someone makes a good one someday.

  2. LOL at the MDN take.

    I personally use 1Password to generate and manage all my passwords as I can then have easy access to all of them synced across all of my devices (Macs, iPhone, iPad, and *blech* even Windows when I’m forced to use it on my work laptop).

    Everyone should generate different random strong passwords for everything they access. Using something like 1Password makes it easy to stick with it.

    Their regular pricing is pretty crazy now though ($49.99 each for OS X and Windows and $14.99 for iPad and iPhone). I paid MUCH less for it back when I purchased. If you can find it at a discount or in a bundle then I highly recommend it.

    1. I use the initial letters of words of a phrase, often a song.

      For instance, if I start with the MDN tagline “Where Mac news comes first”. that would yield “wmncf”. Change some capitalization, change the “f” to “1”, maybe add an “!” to the end, all yielding something like “wMnc1!” Easy to remember, makes no sense to look at, mixed case, digits, symbols. Of course this example is short, but you get the idea.

  3. I used to freelance for a company where I needed to choose a an eight character password with at least one number, at least one upper case and at least one lower case character in order to access their system, I mischievously chose the password “8Asterix”

    When I had a tech support issue and they asked me what my password was, I told them “Eight Asterix” and they patronisingly told me that everybody’s password looks like that on the screen. It was fun to keep messing with them for a while and insisting that mine really was 8Asterix.

  4. One Password will store your passwords, software keys, secure notes and do it on Macs, Windows, iOS and Fandroid. Syncs to stay current.

    andhttps://agilebits.com/onepassword/mac/screenshots

    Authentec’s TrueSuite for the Mac handles this with assigned fingerprints so you can use complex passwords easily.

    http://support.authentec.com/KnowledgeBase/KBview/tabid/843/ArticleId/335/TrueSuite-5-for-MAC-OS-X-10-6-Snow-Leopard-and-10-7-aka-Lion.aspx

    The Mountain Lion SW is out for those running 10.8

    http://support.authentec.com/Downloads/Mac/TrueSuite.aspx

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