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More Security with More Account Options

Mac OS X Lion has a lot to offer us. Is it enough? Not at all. The defaults are too generous. People can still disable too much security. Open the Security and Privacy applet in System Preferences, beginning with the General tab (see Figure 4).

Figure 4

Figure 4 Super security account settings

  1. Configure your computer to require a password after sleep or screen lockup. Without this, your expensive information is easy to steal. An external drive—or innocent-looking iPod—can raid your information in minutes. And now, crucial settings for all accounts on your computer[el]
  2. Disable automatic login. Without this, there is no good logging—no way to check how your data was stolen, and no way to keep hacker attacks from having Admin access.
  3. Don't let anyone but an admin account reconfigure your security. Insist on an admin password being used to authorize system settings.
  4. Automatic logout is something you should enable. Family members and roommates are eager to try out your expensive computer. Ensure your settings keep them away.
  5. You should communicate clearly that unauthorized system use by others isn't welcome.
  6. Automatic updates to the safe download list. Isn't this something you want?
  7. Disable remote control infrared receiver, if your computer supports it. It's always good to disable any interface that isn't specifically needed. This helps performance and security in many cases.
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