My computer has afforded me the convenience of shopping and banking from the comfort of my own bathroom. As such it’s loaded with all sorts of important personal information which, according to experts, should be kept from others.
Nine out ten experts agree that your credit card and bank account numbers are things that identity burglars could use to mess up your personal life. The tenth expert has avoided this important issue by slipping out to shop at the mall because he prefers engaging in commerce face-to-face. He’s really more of a people person than the other experts. Normally I’d be out there with the tenth expert, but I finished this years shopping at Amazon after a large high-fiber meal and now have no reason to hit the stores and my computer has even more of my personal information stored inside.
The nine experts advised me that I’d darn well better start using a password to protect my information.
I came up with a simple, easy to remember five letter password which I used for everything. Then I quickly forgot the password as well as the clever basis which I was using to remember my easy to remember password. Fortunately I had written it on a post-it-note which was affixed to the edge of my monitor. It turned out to be a combination of my wife’s name and my favorite monitor cleaning liquid.
I know what you’re thinking, writing my password on a post-it-note is dangerous. Well. It’s not as dangerous as you might think. According to members of the safety community, pasting a post-it-note with all your passwords written on it to your monitor is four times as safe as driving, and twice as safe as flying. And yet despite these encouraging statistics other nervous-nellie experts point out that driving and flying statistics have nothing to do with the safety of your data.
They also insisted that my password was weaker than a packet of Kool-Aid mixed in a cow tank. Five non-random letters was a poor shield against the more clever. My password needed to be longer, more random, and perhaps include numbers or punctuation. Otherwise I might a well simply write out my credit card number on a post-it-note and affix it to the forehead of the nearest stranger. Okay. Fine. But I’m terrible at coming up with memorable passwords that are longer, more random and perhaps include numbers or punctuation?
And so we come to the useful section of this post. How your Mac can help with secure and memorable password picking to protect your data with the Password Assistant.
Inside System Preferences is an icon titled, “Accounts”. If you click on it the Accounts Manager will appear.
Click on the Change Password Button. Type in your current password.
To the right of the New Password line you’ll see an icon of a key. Click on the key, this is the Password Assistant.
Whether you want a password that totally random, something memorable, or all numbers, it will create a password that’s right for you. The longer your password is the more secure it will be.
If you’re not quite happy with what is offered, you can tweak it. A colored bar will let you know how secure your password is, and you’ll be given tips on what’s wrong with your password if it’s a weak one.