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Chapter 12. Networking > Forgettable Passwords: The Keychain

12.6. Forgettable Passwords: The Keychain

The information explosion of the computer age may translate into bargains, power, and efficiency, but it carries with it a colossal annoyance: the proliferation of passwords we have to memorize. Shared folders on the network, Web sites, your iDisk, FTP sites—each requires another password.

Apple has done the world a mighty favor with its Keychain feature. The concept is brilliant: Whenever you log into Mac OS X and type in your password, you've typed the master code that tells the computer, "It's really me. I'm at my computer now." The Mac responds by automatically filling in every password blank you encounter in your networking exploits (and in your Web-surfing exploits too, if you use a Keychainsmart browser like Safari or OmniWeb). You can now safely forget all of the passwords required for accessing the various other Macs on your network.


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