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Password Strength in Mac OS X Keychain Access


Whether you are a Windows or Macintosh user, you need a strong password. Macintosh OS X provides a useful utility to test the strength of your password -- Keychain Access.

To get to Keychain Access and test your password, follow these steps:

  1. Open Finder from the dock.

    Finder

  2. Open Applications.

    Applications

  3. Open the Utilities folder.

    Utilities

  4. Open Keychain Access.

    Keychain Access

  5. When in Keychain Access (the screen will differ slightly between the Panther and Tiger versions), go to Edit on the menu bar and select Change Password for Keychain "login"...

    Keychain Access Edit Menu

  6. In the Change Keychain Password pane, do the following (Panther | Tiger):

    • In Panther, click the i button and then type in the New Password text box. Keychain Access will display the quality of the password. A red bar (or low number) indicates a poor password. Keychain access also will list problems with the password if any.

      Poor password in Panther
                                           Poor Password in Panther

      The greener the bar (and higher the number), the stronger the password.

      Strong password in Panther
                                           Strong Password in Panther

    • In Tiger, click the key button beside the New Password text box and then type in the New Password text box. Keychain Access will display the quality of the password. A red bar (or low number) indicates a poor password. Keychain access also will list problems with the password if any.

      Poor password in Tiger
                                           Poor Password in Tiger

      The greener the bar (and higher the number), the stronger the password.

      Strong password in Tiger
                                           Strong Password in Tiger

      Tiger also makes suggestions for passwords.