Configuring a Personally Owned Mac

Many students on campus use a Mac as their personal machine for schoolwork and general use.

Here are four simple steps you can take to secure your Mac:

  1. Turn on the firewall — Go to System Preferences, Security & Privacy, Firewall and activate the host-based firewall
  2. Turn on encryption — Go to System Preferences, Security & Privacy, FileVault, and activate FileVault.  Make sure you write down and keep the master key someone safe.
  3. Start Screen Saver and require a password — Go to System Preferences, Security & Privacy, General and set the system to require a password in sleep or screen saver, then go to System Preferences, Desktop & Screen Saver, Screen Saver and set the screen saver to start after 20 or less.
  4. Backup — You can use an external hard drive with Time Machine (which is built in to Mac OS X) or if you want to backup your files online, you can use one of the cloud storage solutions supported by OIT.

We do not currently recommend any antivirus products for personal student Macs on campus. However, XProtect and Gatekeeper are built into Mac OS X and are enabled by default to serve this function to an extent.