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Using keychain access for more than just passwords

From: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Beyond the Basics

Video: Using keychain access for more than just passwords

As you have seen, keychains are important and because they are, it's important that you keep them backed up, you maintain their health and you don't allow others access to them, and that's what this lesson is all about. There is no function within Keychain Access for backing up your keychain so you should do this manually. You will find your keychain by going here. Go menu, go to folder and the path to your keychain is your user folder and that's what this tilde means /library/keychains, click Go and you see within the Keychains folder, here are your keychains.

Using keychain access for more than just passwords

As you have seen, keychains are important and because they are, it's important that you keep them backed up, you maintain their health and you don't allow others access to them, and that's what this lesson is all about. There is no function within Keychain Access for backing up your keychain so you should do this manually. You will find your keychain by going here. Go menu, go to folder and the path to your keychain is your user folder and that's what this tilde means /library/keychains, click Go and you see within the Keychains folder, here are your keychains.

I'd back up this entire folder rather than cherry picking the keychains within it. If there is a keychain in there other than your login keychain, it's likely that you will need it. And yes, Time Machine backs up your Keychain folder along with everything else, but keychains are important enough that I think they are worth a double backup. Back to Keychain Access, if you seem to be getting more keychain alerts than usual or you're being bugged for passwords, when you know you have already entered them and click the Always Allow option that allows the password to be added to the keychain, it's possible that your keychain is corrupted in someway and this is something that you want to fix.

You do so by choosing Keychain First Aid from the Keychain Access menu. In this window, all you have to do is edit your password because your username is already selected, make sure that Verify is enable and then click Start. This is what you hope you see. Verification started, it checks the keychain, verification completed and no problems found. However, if you see red text in here, that means that there is a problem, there is some kind of corruption and to fix that, all you have to do is enable the Repair option, click Start and this Repair function works very well most of the time.

If it doesn't work out, if it continues to show errors, it's time then to pull up your backup. You would replace the current keychain that's corrupted with the older keychain from your backup and hopefully that works. So, we will get out of Keychain First Aid now. When we talked about security, you learned that you could lock down your Mac so that others couldn't use it. You can add yet another layer of security by automatically locking your keychain so that should someone gain access to computer, they won't be able to use items and services that require the password stored in your keychain and this is pretty easily done.

Just right-click on the keychain that you would like to protect and choose Chain Settings for the name of the keychain, here you see a couple of security options. The first is you can lock your keychain after a certain number of minutes of activity. Let's suppose you're in an office environment and a lot of people come wondering by your cube and they have access to your Mac, you have gone off to get a cup of coffee, get a doughnut with it that takes 10 minutes or so and somebody in the meantime sitting on your Mac and they are sending startling e-mail on your e-mail account because they can get in because you are logged in.

Maybe you don't want that to happen and instead, tell the keychain to lock itself after a certain number of minutes of activity. I think 5 is a little too few. If I am working on my Mac and the phone rings and I am on the phone for 10 minutes, it would be inconvenient for me to have my Mac lock its keychain because what happens when it locks down, I would go into something like my e-mail application, I will attempt to get my e-mail and then will say "I think I need your password again." So, make sure this is reasonable amount of time and only you know what that time is going to be.

The other option is you can lock your keychain when the Mac goes to sleep. This is a great little option when you sleep as some kind of security setting. I showed you in security how you could do that before. This is something you can do here as well. So when your Mac goes to sleep, the keychain is unlocked. If somebody comes and wakes up your Mac and they try to access your e-mail or something else that's protected by keychain, they will be prompted for your administrator's password. If they don't know that password, they are out of luck. And finally, you can do this manually, that's also easily done.

Select the keychain you want, right-click on it and lock keychain and then the name of your keychain and it happens immediately. So, if you need to dash away, you choose this, it locks it down. You come back and then try to access something in keychain, you will be prompted for your administrator password. That will unlock the keychain so you can use it again. And that is the complete lowdown on keychains.

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This video is part of

Image for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Beyond the Basics
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Beyond the Basics

76 video lessons · 26678 viewers

Christopher Breen
Author

 
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  1. 2m 34s
    1. Welcome
      2m 34s
  2. 7m 20s
    1. Getting settled into the interface
      3m 47s
    2. Moving more quickly on your Mac
      3m 33s
  3. 18m 44s
    1. Changing languages with the International system preference
      7m 28s
    2. Adding security with the Security system preference
      5m 30s
    3. Configuring a firewall with the Security system preference
      5m 46s
  4. 28m 26s
    1. Adding a Bluetooth device with the Bluetooth system preference
      4m 6s
    2. Configuring your display with the Displays system preference
      6m 46s
    3. Configuring your input devices with the Keyboard & Mouse system preference
      5m 43s
    4. Printing and faxing with the Print & Fax system preference
      8m 15s
    5. Setting the Sound system preference
      3m 36s
  5. 35m 18s
    1. Setting up your MobileMe account with the system preference pane
      8m 36s
    2. Configuring your network connection with the Network system preference
      15m 46s
    3. Sharing your computer with the Sharing system preference
      10m 56s
  6. 41m 33s
    1. Understanding the Accounts system preference
      5m 46s
    2. Creating a new account with the Accounts system preference
      5m 31s
    3. Limiting access with the Parental Controls system preference
      10m 18s
    4. Updating your Mac with the Software Update system preference
      3m 54s
    5. Using Speech
      4m 19s
    6. Changing your startup disk with the Startup Disk system preference
      3m 17s
    7. The Universal Access system preference: The basics
      5m 44s
    8. The Universal Access system preference: VoiceOver
      2m 44s
  7. 33m 14s
    1. Tweaking your account settings
      6m 53s
    2. Organizing and viewing messages
      3m 30s
    3. Filtering mail with Rules
      11m 45s
    4. Importing and exporting mail
      3m 52s
    5. Mail tips
      7m 14s
  8. 14m 2s
    1. Creating complex iCal events
      4m 17s
    2. Publishing and subscribing to calendars
      4m 39s
    3. Importing and exporting calendars
      1m 47s
    4. Expanding iCal
      3m 19s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Creating complex contacts
      4m 22s
    2. Importing, exporting, and sharing contacts
      5m 10s
    3. Organizing with Groups and Smart Groups
      7m 15s
    4. Printing from your Address Book
      2m 8s
  10. 17m 17s
    1. Doing more with Bookmarks
      3m 27s
    2. Covering your tracks
      3m 26s
    3. Working locally
      3m 54s
    4. Expanding Safari with Saft and PithHelmet
      6m 30s
  11. 54m 3s
    1. Monitoring your computer with Activity Monitor
      8m 31s
    2. Configuring an airport base station with Airport Utility
      4m 10s
    3. Configuring manual settings on an airport base station
      6m 16s
    4. Copying files with Bluetooth File Exchange
      2m 36s
    5. Setting up a partition with Boot Camp Assistant
      2m 36s
    6. Console
      5m 40s
    7. Storing your passwords with Keychain Assistant
      3m 45s
    8. Using keychain access for more than just passwords
      4m 22s
    9. Transferring user accounts with Migration Assistant
      4m 0s
    10. Monitoring your network with Network Utility
      6m 43s
    11. Using System Profiler
      5m 24s
  12. 23m 3s
    1. Understanding Disk Utility
      2m 18s
    2. Verify and repairing with Disk Utility
      3m 14s
    3. Formatting and partitioning with Disk Utility
      4m 28s
    4. Configuring a RAID with Disk Utility
      4m 13s
    5. Creating disk images with Disk Utility
      5m 34s
    6. Burning CDs with Disk Utility
      3m 16s
  13. 18m 18s
    1. Introducing the Terminal
      1m 36s
    2. Essential Terminal commands
      9m 58s
    3. Using the manuals
      1m 20s
    4. More useful Terminal commands
      5m 24s
  14. 7m 9s
    1. Changing permissions
      4m 27s
    2. Enabling the root user
      2m 42s
  15. 19m 18s
    1. Automator essentials
      1m 18s
    2. Creating an Automator workflow
      6m 52s
    3. Mailing images easily
      2m 42s
    4. Creating a timed backup system
      3m 10s
    5. Playing songs randomly from iTunes
      2m 27s
    6. Recording automation
      2m 49s
  16. 16m 13s
    1. Using the Calculator
      3m 16s
    2. Using Font Book
      3m 25s
    3. Importing and managing fonts in Font Book
      5m 1s
    4. Syncing your devices with iSync
      4m 31s
  17. 20m 13s
    1. Keeping your computer healthy
      8m 15s
    2. Using Disk Warrior
      3m 41s
    3. Using Onyx
      8m 17s
  18. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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