A Slice of Apple: Mac Tips & Tricks

4/9/2012 11:22:43 AM

Description: A Slice of Apple: Mac Tips & Tricks

If you’re like many PC users, you have one or more Macs in your home or office. Here are some tips to help you work faster and have a little more fun on your Mac. This month we'll look at some of Mac OS X Lion's security features.

Mac OS X has built-in antivirus and malware protection, but there are other features you might want to turn on, depending on your desired level of privacy and security.

Check For Updates Daily

Mac OS X updates usually fix bugs and other problems, but they also respond to security issues and new threats. By default, OS X checks for updates weekly, but that means if a new threat arises, you might be without the security update for a week. For a little extra protection, check for these updates daily.

Click the Apple icon on the main menu bar. Select System Preferences and under System, click Software Update. If it's not checked, check the box next to Check For Updates and then select Daily from the drop-down list.

Description: Set Auto Update to check for updates daily.

Set Auto Update to check for updates daily.

Lock Your Mac When You're Not Around

As an extra measure of security, you can lock your Mac when you're away for a while and require a password when the Mac starts up.

Click the Apple icon on the main menu bar. Select System Preferences and then click the Security and Privacy icon under Personal, bringing up the Security and Privacy preferences window. Check the box next to Require A Password... After Sleep Or Screen Saver Begins. There's a drop-down list between "password" and "after." You can adjust how long after the screensaver starts before a password is required. (Don't forget to turn on your screen saver, if you haven't already.) Check the box next to Disable Automatic Logins to require an account password at startup. If this option is grayed out, click the lock on the bottom left of the preferences window to unlock this option.

Description: Under Security & Privacy, you can set your Mac to prompt you for a password when it starts up.

Under Security & Privacy, you can set your Mac to prompt you for a password when it starts up.


            Use Password Assistant To Create Strong Passwords

Are you having trouble coming up with your own passwords? Are you unsure if the ones you have are strong enough? Mac OS X Lion's Password Assistant can help you.


Click the Apple icon on the main menu bar. Select System Preferences. Under System, click Users and Croups. Click the Plus sign as if you're going to create a new account, bringing up the New Account dialog box. Click the Key icon next to the Password field to bring up Password Assistant. (If you mouse over it, you'll see it says Password Assistant.)

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