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Mac® Security Bible by Joe Kissell

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5.3. Understanding Keychain Alerts

Most keychain interaction is indirect: Either you're clicking a check box to indicate that you want a password to be stored in your keychain or you're responding to an alert asking for permission to use something in your keychain. These alerts come in several forms, and because they're so similar, it's easy to lose track of what they're truly asking and how you should best respond. Most keychain alerts fall into one of the following three categories.

5.3.1. Request to use your keychain

If your keychain is locked and an application wants to use something inside it, Mac OS X displays an alert similar to the one in Figure 5.2 Although the alert doesn't include the word unlock, it's actually asking you to unlock your keychain, which affects not only the application mentioned in the alert but everything else on your Mac that uses that keychain. Type your keychain password and then click OK to unlock your keychain or click Cancel to leave your keychain locked (which means you may have to manually type your password in whichever application is requesting it).

Figure 5.2. If an application wants access to something in your keychain while it's locked, you see an alert like this one; if you type your password and then click OK, you unlock your keychain.

5.3.2. Permission to use an existing item

When your keychain is unlocked and an application wants ...

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