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Fast Ways to Secure Your Mac

Enabling Your Mac's Built-in Security Features Only Takes Minutes

Mac OS X is capable of providing strong security right out of the box; however, some of OS X's best security features are disabled by default, requiring the user to set them. This guide will walk you through configuring the most important settings you need to make your Mac more secure.

To access Mac OS X security settings, click the "System Preferences" icon from the Mac OS X dock at the bottom of your screen.

Select the "Security" icon from the "Personal" settings area.

Note: If any of the options are grayed out, click the lock icon at the bottom of each settings page.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 5-10 minutes


Here's How:

 1. Request Password on Login and Disable Screensaver. This setting requires the system password to be entered before using the system or when returning from the screen saver or waking from sleep mode.

 1. From the "General" tab, select the following options:

 2. Check the box "Require Password after Sleep or Screen Saver Starts" and select "Immediately" from the drop-down menu.

 2. Check the box for "Disable Automatic Login."

 3. Check the box for "Use Secure Virtual Memory."

 4. Enable FileVault Data Encryption. FileVault secures and encrypts the contents of the home folder so that no one other than the owner can access the data, even if the hard drive is wiped and connected to another Mac or PC.

     1. From the "FileVault" tab, select the following:

     2. Create a Master Password by clicking the "Set Master Password" button under the FileVault menu tab.

 5. Enter the password you want to use as your Master Password in the "Master Password" box and verify it in the "Verify box".

6. Add a password hint in the "Hints" box.


 1. Click the "Turn File Vault On" button.

 2. Turn on the Mac OS X Firewall. The OS X firewall can selectively block incoming and outgoing connections and allow users to choose which connections to allow or deny. Users can approve or deny connections temporarily or permanently.

 1. From the "Firewall" tab in the Security Menu, select the following:

 2. Click the "Start" button to activate the Firewall.


Tips:

 1. Optionally, you can choose to log out the current user's OS X after a certain number of minutes of inactivity, disable location services, and disable the remote infrared sensor by checking the appropriate box in the "General" Tab.

 2. To make your Mac harder for Hackers to find, Check the box for "Enable stealth mode" in the Firewall tab. This option will prevent your Mac from responding to Ping requests from scanning port malware.

 3. To have the Firewall always ask if an application can access the network, check the box for "Automatically allow signed software to accept incoming connections."

 4. To lock all security settings so that other users cannot change them, click the lock icon at the bottom of each settings page.

 5. If you want more details on how to configure these and other Mac OS X security features, you can check out Apple's OS X Security Configuration Guide available on its support site.

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