Every week brings more news of another security breach; the government, a large retail store, a major bank, or perhaps your next door neighbor’s PC has been hacked and is operating as an email spam bot. Regardless of the situation or method, security is a growing issue with few solutions in sight. Unless you’re a Mac owner, a member of a collective of computer users who worry less about security than or Windows PC-owning neighbors (and certainly far less than those who manage government, bank, and retailer servers).
Still, a Mac should be locked down tight to prevent thievery, either over the internet, or from a co-worker, friend, stranger, or household member.
One way to do that is to turn on the Mac’s built-in software firewall (open System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, click Firewall, click Turn On Firewall (and check the Firewall Options…).
Another layer that can help out is one that is most useful if your Mac is used in a shared setting, whereby Shared means there’s someone else nearby who could use your Mac while you’re away. For that there’s the popular iLock app. It doesn’t password protect your Mac. That’s already built in to OS X. iLock password protects the apps on your Mac so even if someone gains access to the Mac while you’re away from your desk, they won’t be able to use the apps you’ve locked up.
Install iLock, start it up with a double-click, add a master password, and the app locks a few of the Mac’s built-in apps that could be used to cause damage to your Mac.
Add other apps that you’d prefer not to be used by someone who accesses your Mac, and you’ve added another layer of security on top of the regular password. All the apps you’ve selected won’t open without the password you gave to iLock.
What’s also cool about this kind of solution is that it works in the background so a snooper is not likely to notice what’s going on, and it takes up very few system resources, even on a Mac notebook.
You can assign a customized keyboard shortcut to reveal iLock if you want to make changes.
iLock is not just another utility that inhibits access to files and apps on your Mac. There’s some fun built in, too. For example, iLock keeps rack of where someone tries to access protected apps so you’ll know something was going on.
Well, something is one thing, but who is something else, and iLock captures photos on iSight camera equipped Macs so you can see who tried to use an app on your Mac (and when). iLock uses AES encryption so if the person trying to use an app on your Mac doesn’t know the password, it will be tough to impossible to crack before you get back with handcuffs and a security guard.
This extra layer of security is a nicely done, easy to install app that just works to block unauthorized users from using apps on your Mac.