These authentication-related security features provide additional protection for your computer while still allowing easy and secure verification for authorized users.

Long Passwords

Panther supports account passwords of virtually unlimited length. In practice, however, you shouldn’t set a password that’s longer than you’re willing to type (most authentication windows don’t accept pasted text). Also, command-line utilities can have password length limits of their own. For example, the sudo utility doesn’t accept passwords longer than 256 characters.

Keychain Access

The Keychain Access application (/Applications/Utilities) has other security-related features in addition to its primary function as a repository for your passwords.

Menu extra

Keychain Access has its own menu extra, shown in Figure 13-1, which is activated by selecting ViewShow Status. From the Keychain menu extra, you can lock and unlock your keychains as well as open Keychain Access and the Security preferences pane.

The Keychain menu extra

Figure 13-1. The Keychain menu extra

Additionally, by selecting the Lock Screen option from the Keychain menu extra, you can immediately activate a password-protected screensaver. With this option selected, a password is required to disengage the screensaver, even if you haven’t selected to always use one in the Security preferences pane (see Section 13.4.2).

Secure Notes

You can store any text you ...

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