AMITIAE - Friday 21 March 2014
iCloud Keychain - a Troubleshooting Session
By Graham K. Rogers
I had brought the MacBook Pro to work a couple of days this week, but Friday was an end of semester day with meetings and student deadlines, so the notebook stayed at home. In a lull between student visits, I decided to browse some of the web pages that I had open on the MacBook Pro, so clicked on the iCloud icon at the top left of the Safari Toolbar. I opened a couple of the sites listed, but two would not display usernames or enter the passwords automatically.
Once the authorisation had been accepted (a matter of a couple of seconds with my wifi links) I was able to access the login pages of the two sites I had been trying earlier. This time, the user name and password were available to me right away.
Additional notes on securityEarlier in the day I had criticised a student for some unnecessary language that had appeared in his name on a Facebook thread. He had no idea what I was talking about (he said) but one of his friends commented about not logging out. Students here tend to share computers.
I later sent the student a screenshot of the entry and he told me that although it was his account, he was not responsible for writing the words.
With a feature like the iCloud Keychain - and other parts of iCloud - it is of considerable importance that users either keep their accounts to themselves or, if sharing a computer, log out from the user account, otherwise it might not just be unfortunate words on Facebook that appear.
There are some passwords I do not save to the iCloud Keychain: those that are for sites that request Apple not retain the information; and others that I log into for online purchases. I keep those separate and (I hope) safe.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.
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