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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Protecting online passwords - best options?


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BBQ MacSteak

 
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In addition to having the Mac firewall on, antivirus and Little Snitch running, I'm wondering what else I can do to protect my information from being compromised.

Specifically, I want to protect the passwords that I use to access sites including email, accounts, forums etc. I would like to know which options are best:
1] allow Firefox to remember passwords and use a master password
2] not allow Firefox to remember passwords and type in passwords each time I access sites
3] if it makes any difference, copy/paste passwords from a text file

Also, some sites will ask for a password but the page that is then launched is not encrypted (according to the alert message). Can a password be intercepted in this case?
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Doug b

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ MacSteak View Post
In addition to having the Mac firewall on, antivirus and Little Snitch running, I'm wondering what else I can do to protect my information from being compromised.

Specifically, I want to protect the passwords that I use to access sites including email, accounts, forums etc. I would like to know which options are best:
1] allow Firefox to remember passwords and use a master password
2] not allow Firefox to remember passwords and type in passwords each time I access sites
3] if it makes any difference, copy/paste passwords from a text file

Also, some sites will ask for a password but the page that is then launched is not encrypted (according to the alert message). Can a password be intercepted in this case?
Why would you think that an anti virus program would have anything to do with protecting passwords? Little Snitch is useless as well, unless you're pirating software and are trying to hide behind it. Get rid of the anti virus crud, it will cause more harm than good. It's fine to allow Firefox to remember passwords. You don't need it to set a master password.

Want a great way to store passwords in case you forget them? Use OSX's built in "keychain" app. You can create secure notes and such. And all you'll need to remember is your administrative password to access each secure note. Your best line of defense is an extremely strong admin password that only you have access to. To make sure no one else ever gets access, make sure you set the Mac to go to sleep and require a password as soon as it is inactive for a minute.

There's also an application called 1passWord which stores and encrypts all of your passwords so you never have to type them in. Everything else you've stated is overkill and useless. Especially the anti virus and little snitch bit....

Doug
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Mini_mi

 
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+1 What Doug B said. I use 1password and it works great.
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+2

1Password wins hands down and well worth the asking price. And it also has IOS Apps for your iPad and iPhone so you are never without your secure stuff.
One of the best Apps i have got and paid my hard earned for.
Heed Doug_b's advice on getting rid of the AV as it really isn't needed. Not so much Little Snitch IMO. I like what it does and i don't use it to hide behind for pirating, it gives a quick look at what you have coming in and going out. It has saved me asking a stupid question in here anyways

Cheers

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Doug b

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
+2

Not so much Little Snitch IMO. I like what it does and i don't use it to hide behind for pirating, it gives a quick look at what you have coming in and going out. It has saved me asking a stupid question in here anyways

Cheers
Fair enough. I've run LS in the past and it was nothing but trouble for me. It blocked legit apps to the point of where even when I uninstalled it, they'd still have trouble gaining access to my network.

Doug
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iOSTom

 
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Never use any kind of 'auto save' feature.

Use 1Password, and keep the master password in your desk on paper, and make sure it is totally random and unrelated to any you have used before.
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Chuckoir

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iOSTom View Post
...and keep the master password in your desk on paper...
If OP is paranoid about his password security, writing them down isn't the best idea either.

Just my tuppence.
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BBQ MacSteak

 
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Thanks for your replies. 1Password sounds like a great program but will it work on my OS X 10.2.8? And keychain stores passwords but will it work with my Firefox 2.0.0.20? I'm not sure if keychain is supposed to fill in my stored passwords in the blank fields on sites that I visit but my test didn't work in Firefox. The FF add on for keychain functionality doesn't seem to be available for my version.

Given the limitations of my old system, and not being in a position to upgrade yet, I'm trying to use whatever I have already ie. Firefox remembering my passwords or typing in passwords as I go. Are there any risks from remote threats? eg. Firefox password cracking or keystroke logging, or would someone need physical access to my Mac to steal this info?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ MacSteak View Post
Thanks for your replies. 1Password sounds like a great program but will it work on my OS X 10.2.8?
Unfortunately only .v back as far as 10.4 (Tiger).

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Not much security for such an old WEP network alas. It really is time to update. If the G4 is +867MHZ processor look for Leopard, under that Lion and try and get 2GB memory installed.

If you have to go to auction sites purchase only the black full retail install DVDs. No silver/grey model specific discs.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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