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  1. #1
    Password Scramble
    hughvane's Avatar
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    Password Scramble
    Any recommendation, suggestion or advice about a simple text scrambling app for MacOS? So many sites, so many passwords, and whenever there's a site requiring a complex combination, the ageing memory cells struggle. Thus I have taken to keeping an ID Doc.

    For the occasional password requiring this, that, and every other letter, numeral and symbol, I would welcome a simple piece of software that will show a scrambled bunch of those items, but, on an input command, will reveal the actual password, thereby saving the blushes when one cannot remember it, and failing to log in successfully.

    I have searched this forum for something resembling password scrambling, but without success.

    Thank you .... Hugh
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    Please post your Mac (or other) specs and MacOS version in your post, your profile or your signature. It helps us to help you better.

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  2. #2
    Password Scramble
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Why not use a password keeper to do that for you, then keep the passwords in an encrypted vault the you protect with ONE password that is the only one you need to remember? Applications like 1Password, LastPass and others do exactly that. I use 1Password on my Macs, iPhone and iPad and it all syncs between them using secured files. Not free, but works well. When I need a new password, there is a password generator.

    In addition to that, Safari has a built-in password generator that suggests a 15 character password anytime you get to a new password entry screen it doesn't already know about. That's pretty good, free and it syncs through iCloud to all your iDevices, too.
    Jake

  3. #3
    Password Scramble
    chscag's Avatar
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    Hugh, there are many password manager programs out there, some for free, some pay as you go. Many of us have used 1Password but now that they have gone to a subscription app, it might not be something you want. Just do a search for password manager apps. All provide scrambled or encrypted passwords. Too much detail about them to mention here but a bit of research at their web pages should suffice.

    The Best Password Managers for 2019 | PCMag.com

  4. #4
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    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Please follow the above recommendations about using a password manager, you do NOT want an app that simply scrambles text since you will still need to store that scrambled text somewhere in a secure manner to login to your sites. With password managers you are only required to think of one really strong password to open the "vault" of all the other passwords. Most, if not all, managers have extensions of the browser which will automatically enter the username/password for you.

    I use LastPass and it's been working great.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  5. #5
    Password Scramble
    Rod's Avatar
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    I resosted the idea of having a password manager for a long time doing what you suggest you have been doing, having a document (MS Word .doc) with a list of passwords but as the list grew and i realised the security risk as well as the plain inconvenience of having to access it more and more frequently I started looking for something better. One of its biggest failings was updates. Occasionally i would need to update or change a password then i would have to update the file, occasionally i would make a mistake and have to repeat the process and it all just became a bit too much bother.
    So i looked at the popular apps but did not like OnePass or a few others because they stored your password in their own data base and were subscription based. I did not try 1Password at the time but I now see that it is quite good although it too is now a subscription model. The best I could find at the time was Enpass, it had a one time fee and only stored passwords locally (on my computer). It had the added advantage of a free iOS version which synced via iCloud.
    Really I cannot see how anyone can manage these days without a Password Manager of some sort. Most have free trial periods so i would suggest you simply try one and see if you like it.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  6. #6
    Password Scramble
    chscag's Avatar
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    In addition to that, Safari has a built-in password generator that suggests a 15 character password anytime you get to a new password entry screen it doesn't already know about. That's pretty good, free and it syncs through iCloud to all your iDevices, too.
    This is something that's overlooked by most folks. Not only does Safari provide what Jake listed above, additionally it stores those passwords in your Keychain where you can always gain access to them later on if need be.

  7. #7
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    hughvane's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the suggestions. Generally speaking, I have little bother, and have a (so far) reliable method of remembering, but there are occasions - and I can do very little about it - when a password I THINK is correct fails repeatedly. Sometimes it's my own fault, eg. the Caps Lock key is activated, other times it's plain and simple memory lapse.

    In respect of the ID Doc, as I'm the only user of my computer setup 99% of the time, the doc serves its purpose, but I also know its weakness should online access to my Mac(s) occur. That is why I prefer the Scrambler idea, but most research so far has shown password generators and managers. I have an inherent reluctance to use paid online password storage service, since by its very nature it carries the risk of hacking. I shall continue investigating.
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    Please post your Mac (or other) specs and MacOS version in your post, your profile or your signature. It helps us to help you better.

    I'm leaving now to go and find myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.

  8. #8
    Password Scramble
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I appreciate the reluctance to paying for something when you don't want to, but let me urge you to reconsider 1Password and some of the others. Nothing has to be stored anywhere except on your Mac/iPhone. You have a choice of syncing between the devices by iCloud, or Dropbox or by a folder to share the data directly. Or you can turn off sync altogether and be responsible for it yourself. And what is moved through iCloud or Dropbox is a highly encrypted file, so even if it is intercepted, it will be unreadable.

    And the Safari keychain syncs through iCloud to all your Safari-enabled devices, using an encrypted file as well. Apple's security is pretty good, the only breeches were through password phishing, and with 2FA, that is much more unlikely now. I don't think it's stored in iCloud, it just passes through as part of the sync. Encrypted as well.

    At this point, I personally know three passwords for all my accounts. The one to log into my Mac, the emergency password for my iPhone 11Pro (for when facial recognition fails, which is almost never), and the one for 1Password. The rest of them are all 15-18 character nonsense generated by 1Password or Safari and which, for the most part, automatically populate. I also keep credit card information there just in case I lose the card, along with software registrations to unlock some of my software if I have to reinstall.

    I know you said you have a scheme to remember them, but why waste brain power on that when there is software to handle it?
    Last edited by MacInWin; 12-03-2019 at 01:08 PM.
    Jake

  9. #9
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    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughvane View Post
    Any recommendation, suggestion or advice about a simple text scrambling app for MacOS?
    Hey there Hugh. Did some investigating into "password scramber's"...and here's a link to something that might work. It appears to be for Chrome...and it is an older article (2014)...so it may or may not still be active. Check it out if you think it will work for you:

    Password Scrambler - Chrome Web Store

    Couldn't find much else. As many have suggested in this thread..."password generators" seem to be the more common tool to use for this sort of thing...and then a "password manager" to track/remember them all.

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  10. #10
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    pine man's Avatar
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    As of today I have 113 passwords and other information that allows me to connect with various sites and organisations, and, without a password manager I would be lost.

    A couple of years ago one of the forum members warned me of the dangers of password protected Excel spreadsheets and suggested Enpass, which I have been using ever since. It synchronises between a mac, PC, two iPhones and an iPad perfectly.

    I couldn't 'manage' without it.
    Peter - I used to be paranoid but now I just worry all the time

  11. #11
    Password Scramble
    Rod's Avatar
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    There is another alternative which i used initially for some time but it does have it's inherent risks. Well, only one risk really, and that is forgetting the "master" password but perhaps you would feel more comfortable with this. It's free and 100% secure.

    You can use Disk Utility to create an encrypted dmg (Disk Image). This is a virtual disk with it's own encryption key which opens like a folder and can contain any type of file you like. You decide the size, name, encryption level and password at creation then you can put it anywhere you like. When you click on it you are asked for the password then it will "mount" a folder on you desktop and open like a folder and remain there until you "eject" it.

    1. Open the Disk Utility app in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder.
    2. At the top of the desktop you will see theFile menu in the Disk Utility menu bar.

    3. Click File and scroll down to "NewImage" and in the submenu select "Blank Image"
    4. In the image below you will see "Save As" give this a name that is fairly innocent it will be the visible part of the folder. That is it will be seen if you put it in the Documents folder asa dmg. file with this name. eg. "My secret folder dmg." (a bit obvious huh?)
    5. Let it save to the desktop for the minute, you can move it later.
    6. The next name is the name of the Disk (.dmg). When you double click the dmg. it will mount what appears to be a Disk Drive. That is your folder and will have that second name.
    7. The size is set at 100 Mb but you can type in what you like for example 1 GB. The size will depend on what you want to put in it. I like about 1 Gb myself but for what you want 100 Mb is probably heaps. You can right click on your current file > Get Info and see what size your password file is now and use that as a guide but remember you cant change it later so a bit more is a good idea.
    8. Select the recommended Encryption 128 bit AES or 256 if that is an option from the encryption drop down menu.

    9. You will now be asked for a password and to verify that password. YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS PASSWORD. I do suggest you write it down somewhere just in case.
    9. Click "Create"
    10. Now on your desktop you will see a dmg. file with the name you gave it and a disk drive icon with the name you gave that. If you don't see it go to Finder menu > Preferences > General and make sure Hard Disc's and External disks are ticked.
    11. Now double click the Disk icon and you will have a blank window. Go to the View Menu at the top of the desktop and select "Icon" "List" "Columns" what ever you like.
    12. you can save to this folder like any other folder window eg. drag and drop.
    13. Now close the window and right click on the Disk Icon and select eject. It will disappear leaving just the dmg. file.Double click the dmg. file and you will be asked for your password, enter itand the Disk Icon will reappear. Eject it again and drag the dmg. file to a safe place.
    Now whenever you want to access your encrypted files click on the dmg. you will be asked for your password and the disk will mount and you can open just like any folder. DO NOT TICK THE "REMEMBER THIS PASSWORD IN KEYCHAIN" BOX or it will become like any other folder and will not require a password to open.
    That's it!
    PS if you made a mistake you can simply unlock the .dmg and trash it. Bear in mind it cannot be trashed without unlocking it first.

    her is a link to an older article with steps in pictures, ther may be some minor variations depending on the version of Om swastiastu you have but it's much the same.
    Creating an Encrypted Disk Image on macOS | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh
    Last edited by Rod; 12-03-2019 at 10:08 PM.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  12. #12
    Password Scramble
    bgaynham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughvane View Post
    Thank you all for the suggestions. Generally speaking, I have little bother, and have a (so far) reliable method of remembering, but there are occasions - and I can do very little about it - when a password I THINK is correct fails repeatedly. Sometimes it's my own fault, eg. the Caps Lock key is activated, other times it's plain and simple memory lapse.

    In respect of the ID Doc, as I'm the only user of my computer setup 99% of the time, the doc serves its purpose, but I also know its weakness should online access to my Mac(s) occur. That is why I prefer the Scrambler idea, but most research so far has shown password generators and managers. I have an inherent reluctance to use paid online password storage service, since by its very nature it carries the risk of hacking. I shall continue investigating.
    I use MyKi Authenticator app. Free and passwords stored locally. Plugins for browsers that authenticates to app on your cellphone.

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