MacOS Settings: Relaxed privacy set

How to protect your Mac

Create a strong Mac password

What for: So you don't get hacked.

If you use a short or easy-to-guess password, hackers will be able to crack it and gain access to your computer. The longer and more complex your password, the stronger it is. Use a reliable password that:

  • Consists of 8 or more characters,
  • Contains lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters ($, @, and others),
  • Is not an actual word or well-known phrase,
  • Is not the same as your password for any other account, including your Apple ID,
  • Does not consist of information that strangers could easily find out (your name, date of birth, pet's name, etc. — or those of your relatives and friends).

To change your current password:

  1. Open the Apple menu by clicking the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences in the drop-down list.
  3. Go to the Users & Groups section.
  4. If you enabled protection, click the padlock in the bottom left corner of the screen, enter the administrator password, and click Unlock.
  5. Click Change password.
  6. In the resulting window, enter the current password and then enter the new password. If necessary, create a hint in case you forget the password.
  7. Click Change password.


Configure automatic locking

What for: To prevent strangers from gaining access to the system while you are away.

If you are not using the computer for a certain amount of time, macOS can lock it. In this case, the screen will show a login window and you will have to enter your password again to continue working on the computer. The sooner the computer is locked, the less chance that someone else will be able to use it.

To configure the time to wait before locking the computer:

  1. Open the Apple menu by clicking the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences in the drop-down list.
  3. Go to the Security & Privacy section.
  4. Select the General tab.
  5. If you enabled protection, click the padlock in the bottom left corner of the screen, enter the administrator password, and click Unlock.
  6. Click Advanced… in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  7. In the resulting window, select the check box on the left of Log out after … minutes of inactivity and set a time interval that is convenient for you.
  8. Click OK.

You can also configure the computer to lock when it goes to sleep:

  1. Open the Apple menu by clicking the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences in the drop-down list.
  3. Go to the Security & Privacy section.
  4. Select the General tab.
  5. If you enabled protection, click the padlock in the bottom left corner of the screen, enter the administrator password, and click Unlock.
  6. Select the check box next to Require password… after sleep or screen saver begins and select the amount of time after the computer goes to sleep when the application should start requiring a password.

If you set an interval that is too large and leave your computer unattended, other people will be able to use it.

Enable protection against modification of your system preferences

What for: So that no one can change important settings on your computer.

If you are sharing your computer with someone else, you can disable their capability to change system preferences and security settings. To do so:

  1. Open the Apple menu by clicking the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences in the drop-down list.
  3. Go to the Security & Privacy section.
  4. Select the General tab.
  5. If you enabled protection, click the padlock in the bottom left corner of the screen, enter the administrator password, and click Unlock.
  6. Click Advanced… in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  7. In the resulting window, select the check box on the left of Require a password to unlock each System Preferences pane.
  8. Click OK.


Turn on the Find My Mac feature

What for: To find your computer or erase its data in case it is lost or stolen.

The Find My Mac service will help you find your computer in case it is lost. You can use it not only to determine the location of your device and turn on its alarm, but also to remotely lock it or wipe its memory. This will protect your data from prying eyes if your computer was stolen.

The device search feature works even when there is no Internet access and location services are turned off. In this case, the computer sends a signal over Bluetooth that other nearby Apple devices receive. After receiving this signal, these devices send their location to Apple and the company forwards this data to your account. Using this feature, you will be able to see the approximate location of your computer in the Find My app.

To enable the Find My Mac feature:

  1. Open the Apple menu by clicking the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences in the drop-down list.
  3. Click the Apple ID button in the upper right corner of the screen.
  4. Select the iCloud tab.
  5. Select the check box next to Find My Mac.
  6. In the resulting window, click Allow.
  7. Click the Details... button.
  8. Make sure that the Offline Finding function is enabled.

If you don't want to rely on unfamiliar Apple gadgets, grant Find My Mac access to your location:

  1. Open the Apple menu by clicking the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences in the drop-down list.
  3. Go to the Security & Privacy section.
  4. Select the Privacy tab.
  5. If you enabled protection, click the padlock in the bottom left corner of the screen, enter the administrator password, and click Unlock.
  6. Select Location Services.
  7. Select the Enable location services check box.
  8. Find System services at the end of the list and click Details...
  9. In the resulting window, select the check box next to Find My Mac.
  10. Click Done.

After the Find My Mac service is enabled, Activation Lock is turned on automatically. This function will prevent other users from logging in to the system with their own Apple ID, which means they will not be able to use your computer or sell it even if they delete all data from the device.

You can find, lock, or wipe a lost or stolen device by using the built-in Find My app on your iPhone or at iCloud.com. When you find your Mac, log in to it with your Apple ID to unlock it.

Please keep in mind that your Apple ID account credentials are also deleted along with the files when the drive is formatted, so in this case you will not be able to see the location of your computer. Therefore, use this option in extreme cases only.

How to protect your Apple ID

Create a strong password

What for: To prevent your data and devices from being hacked.

An Apple ID account lets you synchronize music, photos, contacts, and other data on different devices. If your account is hacked, criminals will gain access to all of that data. Once they have access to your Apple ID, they can also remotely lock your device or format your hard drive.

Make sure that your account is protected by a strong password that complies with the following requirements:


  • Consists of 8 or more characters,
  • Contains lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters ($, @, and others),
  • Is not an actual word or well-known phrase,
  • Is not the same as your password for any other account, including your Apple ID,
  • Does not consist of information that strangers could easily find out (your name, date of birth, pet's name, etc. — or those of your relatives and friends).


To change your Apple ID password on a Mac computer:


  1. Open the Apple menu by clicking the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences in the drop-down list.
  3. Click the Apple ID button in the upper right corner of the screen.
  4. Select the Password & Security tab.
  5. Click Change password...
  6. Enter the current password of your Apple ID account.
  7. Create a new password and confirm it.
  8. Click Change password.

You can also change or reset your password for your Apple ID on the Apple website.

Enable two-factor authentication

What for: Greater protection against hacking.

Two-factor authentication helps provide additional security for your Apple ID. If you enable it, the system will prompt you for a one-time code each time you attempt to sign in from a new device. It will also show a notification on all gadgets on which you are authorized.

  1. Open the Apple menu by clicking the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences in the drop-down list.
  3. Click the Apple ID button in the upper right corner of the screen.
  4. Select the Password & Security tab.
  5. Click Turn On….
  6. In the resulting window, click Continue.
  7. Enter your phone number and choose how you want to receive the code: Text message or Phone call.
  8. Click Continue.
  9. In the resulting window, enter the verification code that you received on your phone, and click Continue.
  10. Click Done.