What is a good password?

Passwords are all over the place in our digital life: securing our e-mail, bank accounts, social media and more. Making positive your online accounts are secure from prying eyes is necessary, however, what makes a sturdy, safe password?

Read our useful guide to learn more about selecting a safe password, utilizing or not utilizing iCloud Keychain and how to handle passwords in your Mac more successfully.

If the issue is that you do not know what your password is, strive How to reset a forgotten Apple ID password and what to do for those who neglect your Mac password. If you forgot the password for the administrator account in your Mac, you could find this article useful: How to Change the Administrator Password on a Mac and How to Find a Password on a Mac.

How to select a good password

What is a good password? Opinions differ, however, there are some basic approaches that everybody can agree on.

Security specialists say that a good password ought to comprise uppercase and lowercase letters, punctuation and a quantity, and must be 8-14 characters lengthy. A stable password is arduous to guess for computers and folks, however, straightforward to bear in mind. If your password is so arduous to bear in mind that you’ve got to write it down or stick it on a word at your desk, it is nearly ineffective.

Try a few of the following methods to generate good passwords:

  • Use an algorithm or password generator. However, it will typically create a hard-to-remember password, so you might have considered trying to use this together with a password supervisor.
  • Use deliberate misspellings of phrases, as they aren’t within the dictionary, or invented phrases / bullshit you’ve got come up with.
  • Use a password supervisor. This will probably be mentioned intimately later on this article.

Things to keep away from

Never use private data corresponding to your date of start, phone quantity, social safety quantity or social safety as a password: with a little analysis, these are straightforward to guess and if cracked, your different data may very well be compromised.

For related causes, it is additionally a dangerous follow to use names or particulars of your family or important others. Prevent the login to your bank is “David” or “April 8”.

Passwords versus passphrases

A passphrase differs from a password in that it is a string of phrases separated by a area. These are typically 3-4 phrases lengthy and nonetheless meet good password requirements, corresponding to uppercase and punctuation. “My neighbor has cats!” or “Vermont is getting very cold” are some passphrase examples.

These are thought-about higher than passwords as a result of they supply a manner to create a complicated password that is straightforward to sort and bear in mind.

Many functions and web sites assist the use of passphrases. As with common password creation, a good passphrase is distinctive to you and never straightforward to guess for anybody else. We suggest utilizing passphrases each time attainable.

How to preserve a password secure

However, even nice passwords (or passphrases) can go dangerous if not managed correctly. Here are some good habits:

  • Never share your password.
  • Don’t let different individuals have a look at you as you sort your password.
  • Log out appropriately after utilizing public or shared programs.
  • Change your passwords each 3-6 months and don’t reuse them.

Should you use Apple’s iCloud Keychain?

Apple launched the iCloud Keychain again in Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9) as a handy manner to retailer and sync your usernames, passwords and credit card data throughout all of your accredited units. Apple states that iCloud Keychain is protected with industry-standard encryption strategies on all of your units, each on the highway and within the cloud. This is about as secure as you will get, so for those who’re involved that your data is not secure sufficient for Apple’s finish, relaxation assured.

Your resolution whether or not or not to use the iCloud Keychain will depend on your wants and the way in which you use your computer (s). The cloud keychain solely works with Safari and never with different browsers corresponding to Firefox or Chrome. Moreover, it is not cross-platform like some password administration software program.

This alone will be deal breakers for a lot of, however, for those who like Safari and solely use Macs then it is a stable and free possibility.

There are some concerns to remember when utilizing iCloud Keychain:

  • If you are involved about cloud storage or simply don’t desire to, you possibly can skip storing your Data in iCloud and simply save your keychain Data regionally. This is up to date by way of WiFi on all accredited units.
  • If you are on a shared computer, understand that everybody in your person account can entry your entire logins or websites. Make positive to signal out or set a password for sleep or display saver.

To use iCloud Keychain in your Mac, go to System Preferences, then click on iCloud and choose Keychain. Enter your Apple ID and password and comply with the directions to full the set up.

iCloud Keychain is helpful, however, not a totally useful standalone password supervisor. If you are searching for 1 thing more strong, think about using a totally useful app as a substitute of or as well as to iCloud Keychain.

Dear password managers

Are password managers best for you? That will depend on a few various factors. If you’ve gotten dozens of accounts or sign up to a number of accounts each day, think about using a password supervisor. They streamline your workflow and switch the tedious technique of coming into all that data into a 1-click course of.

If you are already utilizing iCloud Keychain, a supervisor can present more options corresponding to full browser compatibility, delicate doc storage, group choices, cross-platform compatibility and safety audits.

We take a have a look at 1 of the best choices in particular person articles (see Best Mac Password Managers and Best iPhone Password Managers), however, here is a primary listing of in style software program to get you began – from free apps to superior software program.


Price: Free within the Mac App Store. iOS apps require a paid improve.

If you do not need to spend your hard-earned cash on an app simply but, LastPass is a great spot to begin. What may very well be higher than free?

LastPass is supreme for customers who need more safety with minimal effort. A totally web-based storage strategy makes set up a breeze. The solely disadvantage right here is that the interface lacks a actual Mac feel and appear.


Price: £ 19.99 / $ 19.99 on the Mac App Store. £ 3.99 / $ 3.99 for iOS on the App Store.

OneSafe presents password administration and options at an inexpensive value. Unlike most opponents, OneSafe helps you to select from 4 totally different unlocking mechanisms to entry your Data. It additionally contains a useful drag and drop operate for storing paperwork and data.


Price: Free within the Mac App Store. Free within the iOS App Store. £ 3.49 / $ 3.99 month-to-month membership, £ 34.99 / $ 35.99 annual membership.

1Password, the present king of password administration on the Mac, presents a premium value for premium options. Plugins for any browser, sturdy group, secure sharing and slick interface are all good causes to check out this app.