Chapter 12. Accounts, Security & Gatekeeper

In an era when security is the hottest high-tech buzzword, Apple was smart to make it a focal point for macOS. It was already virus-free and better protected from internet attacks than Windows. But macOS Catalina is the most impenetrable Mac system yet, filled with defenses against the dark arts. This chapter covers the whole range of them.

On the premise that the biggest security threat of all comes from other people in your home or office, though, the most important security feature in macOS is the accounts system.

Introducing Accounts

The concept of user accounts is central to macOS’s security approach. Like the Unix under its skin (and also like recent versions of Windows), macOS is designed from the ground up to be a multiple-user operating system. That is, you can set up your macOS so that everyone must log in—click his name and type his password—when the computer turns on (Figure 12-1).

Upon doing so, you discover the Macintosh universe just as you left it, including these elements:

  • Your documents, files, and folders.

  • Your preference settings in every program you use: web browser bookmarks and preferred home page; desktop picture, screen saver, and language; icons on the desktop and in the Dock—and the size and position of the Dock itself; and so on.

  • Email account(s), including personal information and mailboxes.

  • Your personally installed programs and fonts.

  • Your choice of programs that launch automatically at startup.

This ...

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