Passwords Part Two

Passwords Part Two
Mac Tip#57/29-May-2002

Recent versions of the Macintosh Operating System give you software to help manage your passwords: the Keychain.

Ordinarily as you go around using your computer you might be asked over and over again for a password for this or a password for that.

The Keychain bestows a kind of “trusted” status on you. If you can supply a master password for the whole Keychain then it’s assumed you are allowed access to all the individual passwords without question.

Keychain Access

If you’ve never used the Keychain before you need to locate the Keychain Access program. Under OS 9 this is a Control Panel, available from under the Apple menu. Under Mac OS X it’s a program inside the Utilities folder in the Applications folder. Double click Keychain Access to open it. It opens up and presents you with an empty window.

Add a password

To add a password click the Add… button. The window which next appears asks for 3 pieces of information: Name, Account and Password.

Let’s suppose I have a user login and password for the XYZ news website. The name is XYZ News. My account there is called Miraz and the password is 1as5Rt.

Under Name I enter XYZ. Under Account I enter Miraz. Under Password I enter 1as5Rt.

Now I can go ahead and add all the names and passwords I want to store. This could include bank accounts, email passwords, login accounts such as news websites — anything which needs a name and / or password for me to access it.

When I’ve finished I can just Quit the Keychain (File menu — Quit).

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