Using Credential Manager in Windows 7

Credential Manager enables you to manage your usernames and their associated passwords (collectively called credentials) for servers, Web sites, and programs. These credentials are stored in an electronic virtual vault. When you access a server, site, or program that requests a password, Credential Manager can submit the credentials for you so that you don’t have to type them yourself. If your password cache has dozens of sets of credentials in it, as mine does, you’ll be more than happy to put Credential Manager to work for you.

Credential Manager can’t interact with every Web site that requests credentials. For example, when you log in to your online banking site, the site probably displays a form in which you enter your credentials. Credential Manager can’t store this type of forms-based credentials, but you can have Internet Explorer remember the credentials for you.

Although you can add credentials to your vault directly, you don’t need to do so in most cases. Instead, you can let Windows do it for you. To do so, navigate to a server or other computer on your network, or to a Web server that prompts you for credentials. Enter the username and password in the Windows Security dialog box, select Remember My Credentials, and click OK. Windows stores the credentials in Credential Manager.

You can add credentials to your vault yourself if you want to. For example, if you have lots of credentials you use with multiple servers or sites, you might want to prepopulate your credential vault so that you don’t have to enter them the next time you visit that resource.

To add credentials, open the User Accounts and Family Safety item in the Control Panel and then click Credential Manager. Click Add a Windows Credential and in the resulting form, enter the following:

• Internet or Network Address: Type the path to the resource. For example, enter
\\fileserver\Docs to specify the Docs share on a server on the network named fileserver.
Or, enter portal.mycompany.tld if your company intranet portal is located at
https://portal.mycompany.tld.

• Username: Enter the username you want to use to log on to the specified service.

• Password: Enter the password associated with the username.

You can also add a certificate resource, which associates a network resource with a certificate that is already installed in the Personal certificate store on your computer. In this case, verify that you have already installed the certificate, click Add a Certificate-Based Credential, type the resource URL, and click Select Certificate to select the certificate. You can also choose to use a smart card certificate (a certificate installed on a smart card that you insert in your computer).

The third type of credential you can add is a generic credential, which are credentials used by applications that perform authentication themselves rather than rely on Windows to perform the authentication. As with a Windows credential, you specify the URL, username, and password for a generic credential.

You can specify a port number in the resource path, if needed. For example, if an application is connecting to a SQL Server at sql.mydomain.tld on port 1433, you would specify sql.mydomain.tld:1433 in the Internet or Network Address field in Credential Manager.

Source of Information : Windows 7 Bible (2009)

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