Kids and computers go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or like crayons and white-painted walls… My point is that kids start using computers earlier and earlier, and many of them become very adept and quite precocious at an extremely young age.
There are significant dangers out there: the online world is a new place to be concerned about what your kids are up to, and we’ve all heard too many stories already of youngsters getting into trouble online. Happily, your Mac comes with a few bits of protection built in, and there are some good applications available to help you extend those controls.
I’m going to talk you through three different ways that you can go about putting in place better online safety precautions: via OS X’s built-in Parental Controls, with an external application, and by getting to the heart of how your computer interfaces with the internet, by taking control of your DNS settings.
When was the last time you counted how many online services you are a part of? 20? 50? Most likely you either have dozens of sticky notes scattered with random passwords, or use one password for all of your services.
This is where password managers come in handy. Recently, we have seen two of the more popular options: 1Password from Agile Web Solutions and Wallet from Acrylic Software, hit version 3. Both Wallet and 1Password also have corresponding iPhone / iPod touch Applications available for download.
This review will take an in-depth look at both applications, and hopefully guide you in the right direction for choosing a password manager to lock down your online identity. If you’re more interested in reading about all the different apps available, check out our roundup of 8 Password Managers for Mac.
So you were one of the lucky ones who received (or bought yourself) your first Mac over the holiday period. Congratulations, and welcome to the Mac community! Perhaps, like more and more people, you’ve made the move from that other operating system – you know, the one that’s a little more popular, but also not quite as well-designed, and more prone to security issues.
The one where you’re considered a brave person to go online without the full metal jacket of antivirus, antispam, antimalware, and firewall in place. If so, then chances are that you’ve already started thinking about what you need to do in order to protect your new machine from viruses, trojans, and other kinds of nasties that you may have encountered previously.
Many will tell you not to bother – Macs don’t get viruses, right? It’s true to say that there are fewer such issues with Macs (after all, smaller market-share means less incentive to antisocial types), but it’d be foolish not to take even the most basic precautions in order to keep your data and your personal information safe.
When I made the switch, I immediately went in search of the kinds of protection I was used to having in place before I would bring my computer anywhere near a network connection of any kind. But friends talked me down, reassured me that I didn’t really need the same level of protection for my shiny new MacBook. But they did offer a few little tips, which I will pass on in this article, just to cover the basics…
Out of the box, your Mac is a relatively secure piece of equipment. It comes with a firewall, is more-or-less immune to viruses, and can be locked in a number of different ways. Airlock is a new piece of software that aims to add an extra level of security, in conjunction with an iPhone or iPod touch.
Whenever your phone moves a certain distance away from your computer, Airlock can automatically lock the screen. When you return, your Mac unlocks automatically. It’s a very simple idea, but one that could prove useful in many different circumstances.
Your Mac can be the center of your life, with all of your pictures, music, movies, and more stored inside. What would happen if you Mac was stolen? Would it even be possible to get it back?
This is where Undercover from Orbicule steps in. This application hides deep inside your Mac and waits until your the computer gets listed as stolen. If the Mac goes back online, it will tell Orbicule’s headquarters it’s IP address, which can be used to find the computer’s location.
This review will take an in-depth look at Undercover, explain how tracking works, and also outline a few other solutions available.
Anyone who has owned or operated a computer for any period of time knows the importance of a password. We have them for everything; your OS X account password, online banking, email, shopping sites and the rest. The result can often be a big mess of difficult-to-remember passwords, especially as sites often require the inclusion of numbers and special characters in your password.
If you have this problem, I suggest you check out these password management applications. They allow for the storage and retrieval of these passwords in an easy and secure environment, and can go a long way towards preventing a security induced headache.