Essential Mac Privacy Settings and Changes

Here is a guide on how to secure your privacy on your Mac with the essential Mac privacy setting changes that users need to review.

This will help you figure out the important macOS Sierra security and privacy options that users need to think about and explore.

Using the built-in tools on your Mac, you are able to get a good handle on the different ways to safeguard your computer from outside penetration or malicious software.

How to Secure Your Privacy On Mac

Here are the steps to make sure your security preferences are set up to protect you.

Important macOS Sierra Security & Privacy Settings

The best place to start when it comes to securing your Mac is right within the System Preferences. Navigate to the Security & Privacy settings and click the Lock to authenticate and make changes.

You will notice the first tab, General, has information regarding immediate security for the computer including the Password. You will also have the ability to require a password immediately after a screen saver or sleep begins, or in incremental time periods.

Authenticate to Make Changes

This is a setting you will definitely want to activate if you frequently are using your portable Mac in public and want to make sure your screen is locked after sleep or screen saver. You can also showcase a message on the screen when locked. This is a great resource for putting contact information if lost or stolen and the computer is powered on. Your data will be secure via password but you will be able to showcase this lock message for recovery purposes.

It is also advised to disable automatic login if you use your computer in public. If by chance you lose your machine or someone else apprehends it, you probably don’t want them being able to log in automatically. This is a great way to make sure your account will stay locked yet will take an extra second to log in upon restart.

Lock Message For Locked Screen

The last section of the General is in regards to allowing apps to be downloaded to the Mac. This will allow you to choose between App Store and App Store and identified developers. This is designed to protect you from malicious programs installing themselves on the computer without your knowledge and will even prevent some third-party apps from installing altogether. If you are sure of the developer, you can always navigate to this tab to Allow the installation.

FileVault is designed to secure your data on your hard drive by encrypting everything automatically. Mac’s running macOS Sierra and newer will often have this setting enabled automatically during the computer’s initial setup process. If you have important and privacy-intensive data on your hard drive, this is definitely recommended. It will, however, slow the overall performance of the unit as it is encrypting your data constantly. This is however very secure as it does require your password and recovery key and if these are forgotten or lost, all data is lost forever. The encryption is designed to be extremely secure so do not use FileVault lightly.

The Firewall tab is where you will be able to control the incoming connections to your computer. Turning the Firewall on will allow you to click Firewall Options allowing certain types of connections such as file sharing with your networked computers, or sharing information with some third-party applications like Dropbox. It will allow you to customize each incoming connection or even use stealth mode to not respond or acknowledge attempts to access the computer.

Firewall Information for Your Mac

The final tap is for Privacy and this has to do with your personal information being permitted for use in various applications. Items such as Location Services will breakdown the different apps that will request to use your location. Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders will all have lists of applications that have requested access to this information. You can choose to decline any apps you may have already authorized or unchecked the boxes for those you don’t want to give permission to anymore.

Privacy Settings for Personal Information

After you have finished filling out your privacy settings to your satisfaction, make sure you click the Lock again to prevent further changes. The built-in security tools for the Mac are pretty simple to interact with and inclusive of most worries you might have.

You do not necessarily need to purchase or use an Anti-virus software yet if you are frequently on the internet and downloading information, it may be advised. These different layers of protection, while helpful, sometimes will limit the functionality of the computer or slow down its overall speed. Security is vitally important in today’s day and age, however, so definitely take measures that will help you feel comfortable as you use your Mac.

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