Passwords for Mac
Technology is one of the things you can’t get away from anymore. You probably perform online banking tasks, shop online, and play games.
Have you ever taken a moment to think about how many websites you visit that require login credentials?
Most people rarely think about how many username/password combinations they have. You might even use the same credentials for every website to keep everything easy to remember.
However, that’s not the best idea.
It’s time to find a better solution, and a password generator for Mac is the best choice.
Why Do You Need a Strong Mac Password?
The macOS is designed for safety and security, but it depends on you using strong passwords in certain areas.
They are your first line of defense and protect you from unauthorized access to your personal information and devices.
A strong password means that you’re protected, and hackers can’t upload malicious software to your computer, iPhone, or iPad.
Here are the ways passwords are used on Mac systems:
- Login Password – This lets you log into your Mac and access information. If you have multiple users, you can choose their type. Therefore, an administrator can do just about anything, but guests can only access certain apps.
- Apple ID – You need this to access Apple Books, FaceTime, iCloud, the App Store, the iTunes store, and other Apple services. Generally, Apple recommends the same ID for all of its services. It consists of your email address and a strong password.
- iCloud Keychain – It’s hard to keep track of your passwords so that you don’t use the same one repeatedly. The iCloud Keychain keeps Wi-Fi and website passwords updated across all of your devices.
Recovery Key – If you use FileVault to encrypt your Mac information, you should create your recovery key. This unlocks the startup disk so that you can change your password should you forget it.
Best Practices When Generating Mac Passwords
Let’s look at some of the best practices tips for creating passwords on macOS.
- Select a password with at least eight characters and make sure you mix up different types of characters.
- Never use dates, phone numbers, names, words found in dictionaries, or simple combinations of those things.
- Try not to use a keyboard pattern of characters, such as the keys in a diagonal or straight row.
- Use random characters. This should include a mixture of punctuation marks, numbers, lowercase/uppercase letters, and characters you type while you hold the “option” key down (when the website allows it).
- Consider using an Apple password generator or the Password Assistant on Mac to help you select the best password. When you’re on a website that requires you to enter the password, tap the Key button next to the field to open Password Assistant. It can suggest something, or you can determine its security in manual mode.
Your goal is to create a password that’s easy to remember but still secure. Here are some best practices for that objective:
- Begin with a verse, line from a song, or favorite phrase. Omit certain letters, and transform others into punctuation marks and numbers that resemble that character. For example, you might change the letter “E” to a “3.”
- You should also add password hints that help you remember. This is done when you add or change your password. Generally, it’s safe to include your entire phrase or verse here.
It’s also possible to use the iCloud Keychain.
Whenever a website requires a new password, Safari suggests something unique and hard to guess. Then, it automatically saves it to the iCloud Keychain and auto-fills it for you. That means you never enter or remember it on your devices.
How to Generate a Mac Password
If you’re generating a password for a website, it’s easy to do. Simply visit the site, click into the password field area and tap the key button.
There’s a grayed-out drop-down that offers “Suggest New Password.” It generates something unique and hard for others to guess.
Some people dislike those because they are so hard to remember. To combat that, you can use a password manager for Apple. It stores all of your passwords. Plus, Safari auto-fills them for you, making it easier to get online and browse.
You could create your own password using the best practices shown above.
However, it’s still wise to use a password manager. Apple issues might cause the system to not automatically fill in the passwords, so you can’t access the website.
However, you might be using an app or are in a situation where you can’t use a password manager or Safari to generate the password.
It’s possible to use Keychain Access, which is an app on all Macs. To create a new password, you simply:
- Open the Keychain Access app.
- Navigate to “file” and “New Password Item.”
- Tap the “key” button to open Password Assistant.
- Set the type to whatever you want (numbers/letters, numbers only, random, etc.)
- Change the length.
- Click the “select” button to generate a password.
How to Access macOS Built-in Password Generator
Did you know that macOS X offers a built-in password generator?
Many people are unaware of this, but it’s quite helpful. Plus, it’s simple to use, and you get strong passwords that protect your personal information.
Here are the steps to take:
- Open “Keychain Access” from your Utilities folder (under Applications).
- Unlock the application if necessary (it’s at the top left.) Choose “Passwords” from the categories list to the left.
- Click on the “+” button found at the bottom of your screen.
- Click on the button shaped like a key when the popup window appears.
- Password Assistant opens. Choose the type of password you want (random, letters and numbers, memorable, numbers only, or FIPS-181 compliant). Select the length, and use the “quality” section to see how strong it is.
Mac Generated Passwords vs. Password Hero
There’s really no issue with mac-generated passwords; they do their job and are secure.
However, the trouble comes from knowing where to go to create them and learning how to store them.
With Password Hero, you simply visit the website and get a password generated for you.
Choose the character type and length, copy it, and paste it into the field. You can even add it to your password manager for Apple to keep things updated.
Overall, Password Hero is the top choice because it’s so easy to use. Most Macs are already set up to store and auto-fill your passwords, so you don’t have to do anything else!
The Pros and Cons of Apple Password Manager
The table below showcases the benefits and drawbacks of using the password manager from Apple:
|Saves passwords across all Apple devices
|Only works on Apple devices
|Auto-generates passwords and saves them so that all websites have unique ones
|Can only use on the Safari browser (doesn’t work on Chrome Browser for Mac)
|Easy and simple to use
|More tedious to look things up on Keychain than with third-party apps like Password Hero
|No need for extensions or outside apps
|Doesn’t let you know if there was a breach or prompt you to change the passwords
|Can store debit/credit card information and autofill all details
It’s important to have strong and unique passwords for your Mac and Apple devices. While you can use the password generator on Mac, Password Hero might be the better choice.
You quickly create new ones without having to navigate to Keychain or Password Assistant. Protect your computer and mobile devices to prevent hackers from stealing information!