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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Handling passwords (in OS X and in general)

Handling passwords (in OS X and in general)
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Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2000
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Feb 5, 2014, 10:36 AM

I'm reorganizing things, and my parents asked for help, too. I thought we'd redo the way we did passwords so far. Is this a good idea:

1. I want to use random.org to generate as many passwords as I need, I thought 12 characters should be enough.
2. Then I wanted to configure my Mail account and all online accounts and have all passwords saved into keychain. It should sync across iOS devices, too, right?
3. Either leave the Macs without password protection or think of another password here.
4. If everything goes fine, I wanted to throw away any sort of analogue or digital notes with the passwords. In case of needing to reenter it at some point much later, whyever, like buying a new Mac, I thought I could always retrieve them from the servers, because they are connected to my e-mail address.

Can this work? Overdone? Perfect?

Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
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Feb 5, 2014, 11:37 PM
Personally, I'm not trusting Apple keychain sync.
I'm using 1Password, which seems more robust than Apple's implementation.

In theory, what you're trying to do should work.
But there are websites that don't post well with keychain password.

Professional Poster
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Feb 10, 2014, 04:29 AM
Yes, if you use iCloud keychain. Make sure to configure it across all of your devices. I just started using it and it is marvelous. iCloud keychain will also generate a random (but good) password for you, and you don't have to memorize it (but I keep a digital record of it just in case).
{{{ mindwaves }}}
Mac Elite
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Feb 12, 2014, 08:34 AM

alright, the thinking: It's a non-trivial feat, in a way. Somehow, accounts and passwords are part of all computer habits, your bank account, Apple ID, your computer login, the social networks.
Originally, I think it was the combination of both being hard to "guess" (manually or technologically) that should ensure safety. However, people rather found logins to be part of personal identification, starting to pick more generic or extremely unique names that let you guess something about the personality, or not (as in "L" or "S", that's just way off, that's not the idea as it should have been).
So the passwords really count.

There are two kinds of passwords really, the ones you always have to type in again, as with your Apple ID, and those the browser does safe, so the above described method only works with the latter.

It's sort of a wild debate really. In a world where you are spied on, hacked, supervised and screened all the time anyway, you might as well go all out of the way and be careless. Don't. Maybe it's sort of a feeling thing, but I think an intelligent concept, with long, EXTREMELY strong passwords, maybe even saved in the iCloud keychain (that means, even when your devices fail, you can retrieve passwords, right? With your iCloud keychain pw. Good or not? Think.) can save the day, really. So, I'm going to change all this over the weekend or so, and I'll share my experiences.

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