Macintosh Security

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Desktop Black.png Macintosh

This page is part of a category. To see more pages like this, go to the Macintosh index.

Eight Tips for Securing Your Mac

  1. Update your Operating System with the latest security patches.
    Click on Apple > Software Update or go to the Software Update preference pane in Apple > System Preferences.
    Note: You can also set your computer to check for updates daily, weekly, or monthly.
  2. Download and install the latest virus protection.
    McAfee VirusScan 8.5 is available for free at the URI Antivirus website. Be sure to keep your virus definitions up to date.
  3. Password-protect your computer.
    Under Apple > System Preferences, click on the Accounts preference pane. Then click Change Password to make changes. If you cannot think of a strong password, you may click the key icon to generate a password for you.
  4. Enable physical security settings
    Go to the Apple > System Preferences and click on the Security preference pane.
    Check the following boxes:
    • Disable automatic login
    • Log out after sixty minutes of inactivity
    • Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver.
  5. Turn your computer's firewall on.
    OS 10.4: Go to Apple > System Preferences and click on the Sharing preference pane. Click Stop to turn off file sharing. Then select the Firewall tab and click Start.
    Optionally: Click Advanced and check Block UDP Traffic and Enable Firewall Logging.
    OS 10.5+: Go to Apple > System Preferences and click on the Security preference pane. Then select the Firewall tab and click Start.
  6. Backup your hard drive to a secure location (i.e. encrypted medium)
    There are three easy ways to backup files:
    • Copy files to a USB or Firewire external storage device.
    • Use TimeMachine
    • Burn CD or DVD backups with the burning capabilities of OS X.
  7. Turn off bluetooth and wireless.
    Both bluetooth and wireless systems are easy targets for local hackers. Turn them off when not in use; simply click the bluetooth or wireless logo on the top menu bar and select on or off.
  8. Uphold copyright laws.
    See Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Optional Security Settings

  • Setup two user accounts.
    Go into System Preferences, make a second account, give it administrator rights (this is a check box on the account password tab), then log back into the first account and take away the administrator rights on the first account. When prompted to give a password to install or update a file, you will need to supply the username and password of the second account.

External Links

Software

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