Now that you have a better idea of where we’re going, I want to move on and show you how my Keychain is set up! 🙂 The following password manager is just for websites that you have registered accounts with. It is for those who use Apple’s Safari browser for internet access.
To start, I’ll show you what it looks to like use Apple’s password manager on iOS (iPhone/iPad):
Find the “Settings” icon and click it.
Once you’re in Settings, let’s swipe and click “Safari,” then you’ll see in the bottom third of that menu “Passwords.”
From here, if you have an iPhone 5s or later, OR an iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, or iPad mini 3 or later, you have the ability to setup your fingerprint(s) to secure your device using Apple’s TouchID. With TouchID, you can unlock your iPhone or iPad and authorize purchases on the App Store for music, books, and more. You can also use TouchID to authenticate purchases at ApplePay-supported retailers by linking your debit or credit card to the Apple Wallet app.
Here you can see any website that you have ever visited, set up an account and requested for Safari to save your login credentials in your Keychain.
As you can see throughout this process, in order for someone to get this far, even with your phone in their hand, they’ll need to have your fingerprint or passcode, get to Settings and have your fingerprint once again. As of this writing, there is no way that I know of that you can enter a passcode to access passwords in your Settings.
If you were to click any of these passwords, you’ll be able to see the username or email, password and the website that those credentials are used.
Now let’s see what it looks like on macOS Sierra (or OS X El Capitan) running the latest version of Safari:
First, let’s go to your “dock” (at the bottom of your screen by default) and click the Safari icon:
Once Safari is open, go to the Menu bar at the top of your screen, and on the very left of the Menu, to the right of the logo, it should say Safari. Click the word “Safari,” then go down to and click “Preferences.”
You should then see a window appear that looks like this:
Once you reach the “General” Safari Preferences window, you’ll see tabs along to the top row. Obviously, you can find everything you could ever need to customize in order to make your web browsing experience seamless. Down the road, I will break down this Preferences window in a comprehensive post. You’ll be an expert at Safari with that one! 🙂
Again, following suit with security measures, when you click the “Passwords” tab, you’re now (as of macOS Sierra 10.12.1) required to enter your Administrator password that you use to log into your computer upon startup. If you don’t have a password for your computer, you will still see this screen. Simply leave the password field blank and hit the “Enter” key.
You are now seeing a complete list of passwords you have stored in your Keychain. Don’t worry if there is nothing there. People tend to rely heavily on third-party apps like LastPass or 1Password. While I haven’t used either of these extensively, I will say the interface on both are very nice to look at (not that it matters as much as function), and these are the most used apps for password storage. I paid $20 per year for two years to really explore SplashID and although it was a little “clunky” in interacting with the web browser, it did what I needed it to do and allowed me to have access to pretty hassle-free password management.
Now, to wrap up, let’s say you are convinced that you want to use Apple’s built-in password manager as your go-to source. For starters, you have all of your passwords either stored in another system or app, or in your head, most likely. It is my recommendation that you don’t try to tackle this all at once, especially if you have hundreds of accounts online like I do. If you have an app or database (or index card, for goodness sake) and want to block some time to go to each site, let’s do that. For example, you have a Facebook account and the login credentials are:
You need to decide if you want to keep the passwords you’re currently using (not a good idea, especially if you use the same password or two for everything), or allow Safari Keychain to generate a more secure password that it will automatically populate anytime you login using a device tied to your AppleID. I would recommend the latter.
If you choose to follow my advice, let me show you what it looks like to create a new account with a Safari-generated password.
You’ll see under the “Password” field, it says “Use Safari suggested password” and below that, it says “This password will be saved in your iCloud Keychain so it is available for Autofill on all of your devices.” Simply move your mouse over the suggested password, click and it will autofill that password into both password boxes. Once you’ve completed the account setup, you can go back and follow the steps I’ve outlined to confirm that it was saved in your Password bank. It is especially important to do this on all of your devices for the first few that you create or change. I say that as a precautionary measure because I’ve heard of some people who unknowingly may have a different AppleID associated with a device they use (maybe a spouse’s) and unless they’re on Family Sharing (more on that later), it won’t show up there.
Because this is one of the most intimidating tasks that a typical user faces, I am going to open up free one-on-one support to anyone that has questions. Simply click HERE to visit my contact page and I will respond within one business day. Be sure to put “Keychain” in the “Comment” field so that I can put you at the top of the list.
Until next time, be safe and secure!