Managing your passwords for Apple users for free – using Apple’s Notes and iCloud to store passwords


Desktop, Internet Safety / Friday, July 7th, 2017

Many of you might be going through password hell trying to manage all of the password for yourself and sometimes even your family. This post explains how you can now store private notes using Apple Notes and some suggestions on how you can organise your passwords within notes.

Note:

With an any centralised password system it is important to protect the main password. This is also the case with your Apple ID and the steps mentioned within this guide. It is highly recommended to enable two-factor authentication for your Apply ID.

In Summary:

Apple Notes is technically not a password manager app, but with the update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to iOS 9.3 or later and your Mac to OS X 10.11.4 or later Apple now allows you to keep your notes secure with password-protect. As Apple mentions:

“The Notes app lets you lock any note that you want to keep private from anyone else that might use your device. Notes uses a single password for all of the notes that you want to protect, on all of your devices. And if you have an iPhone or iPad with Touch ID, you can use your fingerprint to open your locked notes.”

This has the following advantages:

  • It’s free; there are alternative apps that are made specifically for storing passwords but I don’t see them providing any extensive functionality that you could not apply to notes
  • It’s accessible; if your notes are store in iCloud you will then have your passwords available from all of you devices

To lock a note on an iPhone, iPad iOS or Mac OS X refer to Keep your notes secure with password-protection.

The following steps are a guide for Apples users as there can be other way to manage your secured notes and other ways you can manage your passwords.

  1. Start Notes on your phone or Mac
  2. Create a new folder in your notes called “Secure” to store passwords within.
  3. Tip: Create a separate new note for each password. This makes it easy to see the listing of passwords.
  4. Create a new note with the following format:
    1. The first line of the note is the URL of the site. This is what will be displayed in the listing of the notes under the folder. (Be sure not to put the password on the first line)
    2. In the second line of the note like I usually like to enter the user name such as “User: <user name>”, where <user name> is the actual user name or email for the account
    3. In the third line is the password formatted as “p/w: <password>” where <password> is the actual password.
    4. You can then store any other relevant information below in the same note

I now use this approach for storing all of my own passwords and those of my family, each within their own iCloud account.

Tips:

  • It is highly recommended to ensure your passwords are unique.If someone figures out your password for one account, it’s possible they could get access to your personal information, or other online services like shopping or banking.
  • You can also access your notes via iCloud.com: Notes. This is useful in particular if you don’t have access to your iPhone/iPad or Mac
  • If you want to change your password this can be done via Notes settings on both iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac.

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