A Basic Security Tip That Any Beginner Should Practice

Saturday, July 19, 2008, 12:14 AM – Tips and Hints

Mac OS X is a secure operating system, and that by itself is a challenge to some people. But rather than worry about what some snarky person is doing to try and hack into your Mac, it is much more productive to do everything you can do to proactively protect your own machine. It is not just hackers you have to worry about. Computers do get stolen.

One of the most basic things you can do concerns your System Preferences. These are a set of directions and instructions that you get to put in place to customize your Mac. You find them listed under the Apple Menu (top left corner of your window). Choose Apple Menu > System Preferences and a new window will open that shows you the icons for all the System Preferences for the version of the operating system that you are running. Leopard comes with 26 standard, and of those, 10 have the lock option. Some you may choose to keep locked just to prevent any changes. Others you should keep locked for security purposes.

As my security experienced friends point out “System Preferences are not something you use every day. The minor inconvience of having to use a password to access one of them is far outweighed by the protection you gain by keeping them locked.” In Leopard, the System Preferences with lock options are:

Energy Saver
Print & Fax
Date & Time
Parental Control
Startup Disk
Time Machine

The highlighted preferences are the ones that can make your machine the most vulnerable and therefore, the ones you should always keep locked.

You lock them by clicking on the icon of a padlock located in the bottom left corner of the window of the appropriate preference window.

To make a change in a locked preference you click on the locked padlock and then enter your administrator password when asked to do so. Don’t forget to lock it again when you are finished. It won’t lock again automatically.

This truly is a basic protection. There are others that you should adopt that will give you more security and I will add them shortly.



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One Response to A Basic Security Tip That Any Beginner Should Practice

  1. Sue Bailey says:

    I need to secure my wi-fi with a password. Where do I go in my computer to do that? Thank you!

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