The digital world has never seemed more riddled with danger, even as Apple has done a fairly remarkable job across decades at keeping our Macs safe. But the best foot forward with security is staying abreast of past risks and anticipating future ones. Take Control of Securing Your Mac gives you all the insight and directions you need to ensure your Mac is safe from external intrusion and thieves or other ne’er-do-wells with physical access.
Security and privacy are tightly related, and Take Control of Securing Your Mac helps you understand how macOS has increasingly compartmentalized and protected your personal data, and how to allow only the apps you want to access specific folders, your contacts, and other information.
Also available: You can save money by buying this book as part of a three-book bundle, which also includes Take Control of Wi-Fi Networking and Security and Take Control of iOS & iPadOS Privacy and Security. Buy all three books for $25.78, which is 40% off the combined cover prices of $42.97. Add 3-Book Bundle to Cart
Here’s what this book has to offer:
- Master a Mac’s privacy settings
- Calculate your level of risk and your tolerance for it
- Learn why you’re asked to give permission for apps to access folders and personal data
- Moderate access to your audio, video, and other hardware inputs and outputs
- Get to know the increasing layers of system security through Catalina, Big Sur, and Monterey
- Prepare against a failure or error that might lock you out of your Mac
- Share files and folders securely over a network and through cloud services
- Set a firmware password and control other low-level security options to reduce the risk of someone gaining physical access to your Mac
- Understand FileVault encryption and protection, and avoid getting locked out
- Investigate the security of a virtual private network (VPN) to see whether you should use one
- Learn how the Secure Enclave in Macs with a T2 chip or M-series Apple silicon affords hardware-level protections
- Dig into ransomware, the biggest potential threat to Mac users, but still a largely theoretical one
- Decide whether anti-malware software is right for you
What’s New in Version 1.3
Version 1.2 appeared while Monterey was in the last stages of beta testing. While the release version varied barely at all from the beta, I was able to complete testing of some features and learned more about others after the operating system shipped. Minor changes throughout the book reflect those changes.
Notably, I updated details around using FileVault with an external startup volume with M-series Macs (see “Encrypt External Drives” and “Enable and Manage FileVault”) and noted that you can install multiple systems on an external volume starting in Monterey in “System File Protections.”
I also added a sidebar that explains four reasons macOS might disable Apple Pay on your Mac with Touch ID capability in “Apple Pay Disabled? Here’s Why.”
What Was New in Version 1.2
This version of the book updated details throughout for changes that appeared in macOS 12 Monterey’s public releases through early October 2021. This book will be updated with any changes required when Apple ships Monterey’s production release.
Many of the changes were superficial, but more significant ones that require rethinking how you set up and use macOS include:
- Touch ID: With the addition of Touch ID as an option for M1 Macs through the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, I’ve added a recommendation to enable Touch ID and provided more details in one place about how it works to the chapter “Set Up Basic Security: Enable Touch ID.”
- Changes and expansions to Gatekeeper: Apple has made some subtle changes to its Gatekeeper software-installation guardian relating to opening virus-free apps from known developers that aren’t in the App Store. I also expanded slightly on some of the and added more screenshots to them. See “Apple Protects with Gatekeeper” and “Override Gatekeeper.”
- iCloud Private Relay: Apple now offers an anonymity-protecting relay service for Safari browsing that’s included with iCloud+, their new name for the upgraded paid tiers of iCloud service. Because this helps protect both your privacy and aids in security, I cover it in “Protect Anonymity via a Private Relay.”
- Verification codes and password changes: Safari 15 for macOS and Monterey both introduce changes in how you interact with passwords for websites in macOS. This is covered in “Where Do Your Passwords Reside?” and “2FA Codes via SMS, Voice, and Authentication Apps.’
- Monterey Passwords preference pane: Apple added a Passwords pane to System Preferences, providing access to the password manager that was formerly found solely inside Safari’s preferences. This is noted as appropriate.
- Find My: This book originally included a small section on using Apple’s Find My ecosystem to recover lost and stolen items. However, the subject has become so large and complex—and isn’t actually about the kind of security discussed in this book—I took the portion in Take Control of iOS and iPadOS Privacy and Security and this book, we released it as its own, expanded multi-platform title: Take Control of Find My and AirTags.
Posted by Joe Kissell on April 23, 2021
Glenn Fleishman joined Chuck Joiner on MacVoices in a massive, three-part series to discuss updates to several of his books, including Take Control of Your M-Series Mac, Take Control of Securing Your Mac, Take Control of Your Apple ID, and Take Control of Home Security Cameras. The three episodes are:
You can also watch them right here: