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February 5, 2012

Quick Mac Tutorial – Make Your Mac More Secure

by Colin Jones

If you are anything like me, you will have a lot of personal data and sensitive information on your Mac (documents, bank details, photos…etc) which you wouldn’t want anyone to see, if heaven-forbid your Mac should fall into the wrong hands – If you use your Mac in public places, it’s a very wise idea to increase your security, to limit the chances of prying eyes seeing your information.

One easy way to increase the security on your Mac, is to customise and tighten your log-in credentials. In this tutorial, we will look at the best way of doing it.

The default option on Macs is to automatically log you in and take you to your desktop when you boot your system up – while this is fast and convenient at home, if you are out and about, your Mac will not always be in a secure location and it is sensible to have more robust login security.

Go to System Preferences on your Mac and select Users. You will need to click on the padlock and enter your system password to enable changes to be made.

If you feel your password could be more secure, click on change password and change it accordingly – If you struggle to think of suitable passwords, you can always click on the key icon, which will generate a random password.

Once you are happy with your password, click on Log In Options and turn off Automatic Login – Now this box has been un-ticked, your Mac will no longer go straight to your desktop when you fire it up.

You can also change the log in display, to further tighten security – In Login Window, change the preference to Name and Password instead of displaying a list of users. Once you have made this switch, your username will no longer be shown when logging-in.

There is also an option to ‘Hide the buttons’ – by un-ticking ‘Show buttons’, nobody will be able to use the mouse to restart, sleep or shut-down your system, without first logging-in.

If you share your Mac with other users, you may also want to turn-off Fast User Switching, so when someone else logs into their account, you will need to be logged out of yours.

Once you have made all the required changes, click back on the padlock to save them.

If you are serious about security on your Mac and who wouldn’t be in this day and age? – following the simple-steps in this tutorial, will instantly make your Mac more secure.

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