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Chapter 16. Keeping Your Mac Safe, Updat... > Working with Keychain Access

Working with Keychain Access

Keychain Access is an application that stores your usernames and passwords. Using passwords is an integral part of using your Mac in a secure way. If you’re one of those people who use the same login name and password for everything (not a good idea) because remembering a slew of different passwords is too difficult, you’ll love the Keychain Access feature. It remembers your login names and passwords and can even enter them for you automatically in some cases. Before you throw away your little black book of passwords, however, realize that Keychain Access is on your hard drive. If you use another computer to log in to a password-protected site, you have to know your login name and password (or have your little black book with you).

Many applications and web pages work with Keychain Access by using a dialog box that asks whether you want to save your login name and password. The dialog box might say something like, “Would you like to save this password?” or “Remember this password in my keychain.” Safari displays this type of dialog box on “cooperating” web pages if you set the AutoFill preference that triggers it. To set the preference, click Safari in the menu bar and click Preferences. Click the AutoFill tab, click User Names and Passwords, and close the window. If you enable AutoFill for usernames and passwords, the next time you log into a website that works with Keychain Access, you will be prompted to save your username and password after you enter them. If you save them, then the next time you come to the site, your username and password will be filled in for you automatically. This doesn’t work on every website. For example, it works on Google’s Gmail login page, but not on Citicard’s login page.


  

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