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Make your Mac safer online: Five tips for better password security

Gotofail. Heartbleed. Target. Sony's PlayStation Network. The NSA. It seems like every few weeks, there's a new story circulating in the news about major security breach concerning systems that you rely on. What can you do to protect yourself?

The bottom line is that attacks do happen, so it's best to try to minimize the risk you face when these services inevitably are breached. Here are some tips to help you stay as safe as possible by changing your password habits.

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Hey OS X 10.9.2 — where did the iCloud Keychain forced password fill go?

It looks like yesterday's major update to Mavericks removed the ability to force passwords to save in Safari even if a website requested that they not be saved. Previously, users could check a box in the Password section of the Safari settings that read "Allow Autofill for websites that request passwords not be saved".

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How to force websites to save passwords to iCloud Keychain in OS X Mavericks

Not all websites just let you save passwords to iCloud Keychain. Whether for privacy or security reasons, or simple technical misconfiguration, sometimes your best efforts to stay in sync across your Apple devices will be stymied... at least at first. Luckily, Safari can often let you save passwords even if the website itself tries to stop you. Here's how to do it in OS X Mavericks.

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How to delete saved passwords and credit cards from iCloud Keychain

One of the side-effects of an easy-to-use system like iCloud Keychain is that sometimes you accidentally end up saving a password you didn't intend to. That, or you simply stop using a certain site and no longer need its password saved, or some glitch comes up and it's not working properly, and you just want to start over. Regardless of the reason, you can remove the unwanted password, or even credit card number, out of iCloud Keychain easy enough.

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How to force websites to save passwords to iCloud Keychain in iOS 7

iCloud Keychain, which is part of iOS 7, lets you save passwords for sites you visit frequently so you don't have to enter them each time. Unfortunately, you may come across a lot of websites that prefer not to let iCloud Keychain store your passwords. If you really want to, you can override this setting in just a few taps. Here's how:

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How to enable (or disable) iCloud Keychain on iPhone and iPad

iCloud Keychain is part of iCloud an allows you to save passwords, credit card numbers, and forms for easier autofill later. It can even help you generate new passwords for new logins when you need help creating a stronger password. However, before iCloud Keychain can save your personal info, you'll need to enable it. And while it may not be the perfect password manager just yet, it is far, far better than nothing at all.

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How to manually add your credit card information to iCloud Keychain on iPhone and iPad

iCloud Keychain lets you easily store not only your passwords, but your credit card information as well. Any time you pay with a card in Safari, iCloud Keychain will offer to save it for you. However, you can also add cards to iCloud Keychain any time you wish. That way, you can do it when it's most convenient, and avoid having to run for your wallet when it's not. If an ounce of prevention now saving you a pound of effort later sounds good, here's how to do it!

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How to view your saved passwords and credit card numbers with iCloud Keychain

iCloud Keychain will generate and store all your Safari-based passwords and autofill them for you where and as needed. However, there may be times when a website doesn't allow autofill (for example, at public terminals or shared computers), or you want to use a password outside Safari (for example, in another app), and then you'll need to find it, copy it, and paste it in manually. Luckily, you can do just that if you know where to look!

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iCloud Keychain and why it's not going to improve security habits... yet

iCloud Keychain, which ships as part of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks, is Apple's attempt to help mainstream iPhone, iPad, and Mac owner get better at managing and protecting their passwords and credit cards, and with minimal inconvenience. With a random password generation, autofill, and iCloud sync, it holds a lot of promise. Unfortunately, it may not be enough for everyone, at least not yet. Here's why...

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How to generate a password with iCloud Keychain in OS X

iCloud Keychain is meant to be an easy way to manage passwords on your Apple devices. When password management is easier, using stronger passwords is easier. Since it can be tough to come up with strong, unique passwords, good password managers will generate them for you, and iCloud Keychain is no exception. Unfortunately, the passwords generated by iCloud Keychain aren't exceptionally strong, but they are better than using the same password for every site. That makes them an okay starting point for people who want a little more security, but aren't yet to the point of wanting to purchase a full-on password manager.

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