Maximize your security and minimize your hassle while creating and managing Macintosh and Web passwords!

Take Control of
Passwords in Mac OS X

Second Edition
Joe Kissell

Suffering from password overload or anxiety? Joe Kissell helps you choose and manage your Mac, Web, and iPhone/iPad/iPod touch passwords efficiently and securely. He also explains Keychain Access, covers password management utilities, and explores common problems.

This product has been discontinued.

Although some aspects of this ebook remain accurate, too many of Joe’s recommendations about password security are dated and even incorrect as of February 2013. We have marked this ebook as obsolete in the Take Control catalog and database. You may instead be interested in the more-general Take Control of Your Passwords, also by Joe Kissell. If you’re interested in discussions of Keychain Access, which hasn’t changed, buy Take Control of Your Passwords, after which you can download Take Control of Passwords in Mac OS X from the Ebook Extras page’s Blog tab.

Suffering from password overload or anxiety? Set your mind at ease with friendly assistance from Mac expert Joe Kissell! You’ll learn how to match your personality type and risk factors to a personal plan for choosing and managing your Mac, Web, and iPhone/iPad/iPod touch passwords efficiently and securely. You’ll also learn how to handle:

  • Passwords on your Mac (login, master, root, firmware, email, AirPort, keychains)
  • Interactions between your Web browser and your stored passwords
  • Syncing passwords between Macs, and with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
  • Use Apple’s Keychain Access password manager
  • Getting started with a third-party password manager
  • Planning for what to do if your software (or your brain) forgets key passwords
  • Solving password-related problems

"Take Control of Passwords in Mac OS X is outstanding. It’s very thoughtful and well presented. I’ve spent more time than the average person thinking about this topic, and still I learned some things from your book."    —James Tummins

Read this ebook for advice on these password-related issues:

  • Coming up with secure passwords that are easily remembered and typed
  • Keeping track of impossible-to-remember passwords
  • Setting up sensible passwords that control access to your Mac
  • Reducing hassle by making your Mac automatically log you in to Web sites
  • Balancing security with the annoyance of frequent password entry
  • Understanding the purpose of the common Mac keychains
  • Finding and viewing the passwords that your Mac has tracked for you
  • Syncing passwords between different Macs (or with an iPhone/iPad/iPod touch)
  • Planning for disaster—what if you’re injured and someone else needs your passwords?
  • Deciding whether you should memorize your passwords, write them down, or have your Mac store them
Joe Kissell

About Joe Kissell

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He also runs Interesting Thing of the Day and is a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld.

What’s New in Version 2.1

In this minor revision, I’ve updated the book to reflect the latest information about Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, iOS devices, 1Password, and other third-party products. Among the most significant changes are these:

  • Revised the discussion of 1Password to reflect the latest version (3.x) at publication time, as well as current versions for iOS
  • Updated the list of Desktop Password Managers with the latest facts, and added mention of the popular LastPass service/ software
  • Corrected information in Biometric Devices about using UPEK’s Eikon fingerprint scanners with 1Password

I haven't bought this ebook or 1Password. To get the 1Password discount, what should I do?

After you buy the ebook, look on the last page of the ebook for the 1Password coupon, which you can click to jump over to the Agile Web Solutions Web site and access the discount on 1Password. The discount appears in the first screen of the cart, so you go through one or two clicks before you see the discount. You should see it before you enter credit card info.

  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • Passwords Quick Start
  • Assess Your Password Needs
  • Learn Password Basics
  • Choose a Password Strategy
  • Generate Good Passwords
  • Understand Mac OS X’s Passwords
  • Use Keychain Access
  • Use Passwords on the Web
  • Use Third-Party Password Tools
  • Keep Your Passwords Secure
  • About This Book
  • Copyright and Fine Print
  • Featured Titles
  • 1Password Coupon
  • March 4, 2013 -- We kept this ebook up-to-date for several years, but for its most recent update, we decided to change the focus from Mac OS X passwords to the overall, general problem of password management on a variety of devices. Because the focus changed, and because technology has changed, too, we created an entirely new ebook. That new ebook is <a href=passwords>Take Control of Your Passwords</a>.

    Additional Information