Simple password manager or password protected file

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Multipass, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. Multipass macrumors member

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    Mar 27, 2015
    #1
    I have over 50 logins and passwords to various things that I would like to keep listed on my Mac.

    I would like it to be simple, such as a spreadsheet with password protection. I use OpenOffice which has a spreadsheet program called Calc. Is there any way to secure a Calc file with a password? If not, what about using Apple's spreadsheet program?

    I know there are password managers out there, but I don't need most of the functionality that they have. I just want a secure list of logins and passwords, I don't want it to enter the password for me or update to multiple devices.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #2
    You have Keychain Access in Utilities Folder under Applications. It is simple to use. You will then have your passwords protected and it allows you to auto-fill in passwords on sites that you use. If you do not want auto-fill, just turn it off.
     
  3. Multipass thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Keychain will give me a spreadsheet type display and allow me to enter usernames, passwords, and other info into it so I can pull it up and view the info in a glance?
     
  4. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    #4
    Yes, you can password-protect a file in Apple's spreadsheet, Numbers.

    File menu > Set Password... (Help menu: enter "password" in the search box.)

    As to Keychain Access, why don't you open it and see for yourself (it has a spreadsheet-like display - little different than the List View in Finder)?

    Finder > Applications > Utilities - or type "keychain access" in the Spotlight Search (click the magnifying glass icon in the upper right of your screen).

    Keychain Access is designed with security as top priority, usability about third priority (there's no second priority), so it's harder to reveal the passwords than in password-keeping apps like 1Password and SplashID. Your spreadsheet method is the least secure - by default the password keeping apps will close after a period of inactivity, your spreadsheet will stay open until you close it.
     
  5. Multipass thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Is a password protected Numbers file considered secure? Or is it something that could be easily broken? I'm just a casual internet surfer and not expecting a team of top flight hackers to come after me, but I just want something reasonably secure while also easy to use.

    I've used Keychain before. I am looking at it now. I don't see how it will help me in my situation.
     
  6. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #6
    I would say that Numbers' password protection is secure. But if you're just a "casual internet surfer" why would you even care? (Hint: you really should care!) Get a full fledged password manager. You don't have to use any of the fancy features.
     
  7. Multipass thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 27, 2015
    #7
    I do care, that's why I am wondering if password protected Numbers file (or OpenOffice Calc file) is secure.


    If that is the ONLY option, then it is what I will have to do. But I looked into all of those programs and I really don't like them. They aren't what I am looking for. All I want is a simple password protected list.
     
  8. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #8
    Then the Numbers spreadsheet is probably a great idea.
     
  9. Multipass thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 27, 2015
    #9
    Cool. My only concern is how secure a password protected Numbers file is.

    For example, I thought my MBA was secure with the password that needs to be entered to use it, but then I found that its very easy for even a novice computer user to get around that.
     
  10. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #10
    This is off topic, but I'm not sure what you mean by that. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to bypass the user login.

    Back to the spreadsheet...Numbers password protection does not encrypt the file, so I wouldn't suggest that as a secure method (https://support.apple.com/kb/PH14618?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US). It would be better to store your passwords in an encrypted disk image. But if you're going to that length, you're still better off with a password manager.
     
  11. Multipass thread starter macrumors member

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    #11
    ???
     
  12. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #12
    Good catch. I posted the first comment without doing research. Since I now know it isn't encrypted I have changed my opinion.
     
  13. Multipass thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
  14. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #14
    You keep changing your needs, this makes it difficult to help you with a solution.

    Numbers password is fairly secure. I can hack it in 5 minutes or less. I can hack your Mac in under a minute, your WinBox in 2 minutes. It is part of my job, so I'm pretty good at.

    The best thing is the KeyChain already included with your Mac ( as mentioned). When someone sniffs your line all they get are blank spaces. That is VERY good.

    If you are really paranoid add built in Disk Encryption. This makes it a little harder for me. Actually it doesn't make it harder, just narrows my choices of attack.

    And finally we all should have a Firmware Password. You do right? Without that, the rest of the precautions are just time delays.
     
  15. Multipass thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    Bologna, I haven't changed any of my needs. Jeeze, some of you are just pissy.

    Thanks, but none of this actually helps me. I'm glad I have you a stage to tell us how great you are.
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #16
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT4790

    What might be easier to manage is if you just encrypt the entire disk with Filevault2. It is very easy and transparent once enabled. With FV2 turned on and and a good password, nobody is going to be able to get at your data.

    But if you just want a secure document/list of passwords you can create a secure note in Keychain to do that. Just open Keychain app and look along the left there and you will see Secure Notes. Double click to open the note and you will be prompted for the Keychain password. Once you enter that you will see a blank page where you can enter whatever lists of passwords or whatever you want there.

    If you like you can go to the File menu in Keychain and create additional secure notes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Multipass thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 27, 2015
    #17
    Thanks weaselboy. The Keychain note seems like a reasonable compromise, altho it would be a bit nicer if it had columns like a spreadsheet.

    I can get into the Keychain just by clicking it in the Utilities folder. How do I make it so that it always requires a password?

    Is the password the same as my login password? If not, should it be?

    I'm not really worried about theft of the physical computer, I am more worried about some hacker getting access to my computer and finding a file with all my passwords and CC numbers :p
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #18
    By default the secure notes will be password protected and you will get that prompt asking for the password when you try to open a note.

    Yes, the PW is the same as your login, but if you like you can go into Keychain settings and make it a different password.
     
  19. Multipass thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    I already had all of my passwords and usernames listed in OpenOffice Calc, so I tried copying and pasting it all into a Secure Note in Keychain. It actually pasted all of the cells as well, so I can add or delete info from the cells as if it was a spreadsheet. That was a very nice surprise, I'm very happy with this!

    Keychain is very secure and don't require me to use Filevault2, correct? But I assume I should still set a firmware password?


    I'm not sure where to change the password tho, I can't find it under preferences and not sure where the settings are.
     
  20. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #20
    Yes, Keychain is secure if you are using a good password and does not require FV2, although FV2 is better in that it encrypts everything on the drive.

    Setting a firmware password is a good idea as it blocks a thief from booting to another drive to get in. But still not as comprehensive a fix as FileVault.

    Open Keychain then look in the edit menu and you will see an option there to change the password.
     
  21. Multipass thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 27, 2015
    #21
    OK, so that change the password to all the Keychain stuff (to get into Keychain and see the secure notes) but not my computer login?

    I ask because inside of Keychain it says Login.
     
  22. Multipass thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 27, 2015
    #22
    Every time I Restart I get a message saying that the Messages agents wants to use the login keychain and it prompts for the password.

    Why is that happening now and how do I make it go away?
     
  23. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #23
    Correct.

    This is because ordinarily the Keychain and login passwords are the same, so when you login it unlocks the Keychain so Messages and other apps can access it. By changing the Keychain password to something other than the login password like you did, you will need to manually enter the password each time you login now.
     
  24. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #24
    One could create a new Keychain, and store the secure notes there. Leave the login keychain's password set to the login password.

    To access the secure notes, the new keychain will have to be manually unlocked, or it can be configured to allow access to certain programs. This is done using the Keychain Access app.
     
  25. Multipass, Mar 28, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015

    Multipass thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 27, 2015
    #25
    I ended up changing my iCloud, computer login, and Keychain password to something brand new and pretty long and secure.

    I used the same one for all 3, and I was planning on using it for the firmware password too. But that is the last thing I will use it for.

    Now I have to figure out how to change the firmware password :D

    Nevermind, I got it set. Everything should be good now, thanks!
     

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