Configuring a personally owned Mac

One question Cyber Security frequently hears from students is something along the lines of “I just bought a new Mac laptop.  What do I do next?”

Here are four simple steps you can take to secure your new 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 via

We do not currently recommend any antivirus products for your Mac other than XProtect and GateKeeper, both of which are built into Mac OS X and are enabled by default.