Chapter 8. Security

When you first boot that new Mac and set up a user, the system is configured to automatically log in. That is probably fine if you’re the only person using your Mac, but not so great if your Mac is sitting out where a lot of people have access to it. Customize your security (log in and log out options) to fit the environment where you’ll be using your Mac. If it is a desktop machine and you’ll only be using it at home, you probably don’t have much to worry about. If it is a MacBook that you plan on hauling everywhere you go, you’ll want a little more security.


See Logging In to find out how to disable automatic login.

Security with Mac OS X usually comes down to passwords. Passwords for services, passwords for your account, passwords for websites, passwords for email. Once you have your Mac secured in a comfortable fashion, you will want to turn your attention to managing all those pesky but necessary passwords.

Password Management

The more you do online, the more you need passwords. Ideally, you want different passwords for everything; having your bank account password be the same password you use to post to a third-rate message board isn’t the best idea. However, with so many passwords running around, it is easy to forget them. We’ve all been faced with the situation where we were sure we typed in the right password only to be repeatedly denied access. Fortunately, Mac OS X can help.

Recovering a Forgotten Password

So you’ve forgotten a password to some rarely ...

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