Carnegie Mellon University

Secure Your macOS Computer

macOS Ventura 

  1. Click Apple menu > System Settings > General > Software Update
  2. Click the information icon.
  3. Click the slider for each of the following settings to enable it:
    1. Check for updates
    2. Download new updates
    3. Install macOS updates
    4. Install Security Responses and System files
      Note: Security Responses are security improvements applied between normal updates without a restart.
  4. When prompted, enter the Administrator userID and password for your account and click Modify Settings.
  5. If any software updates are available for installation, click Update Now. Follow the prompts to download and install the software.

macOS Monterey

  1. Click Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update.
  2. Click Automatically keep my Mac up to date to enable it.
  3. When prompted, enter the Administrator userID and password for your account.
  4. If any software updates are available for installation, click Update Now. Follow the prompts to download and install the software.
  1. Update other software applications you may have. Most applications can be updated by selecting Check for Updates in one of the App Store, System Preferences or System Settings, or Help.
  2. Run QUALYS Browser Check regularly. This tool will walk you through updating any browser-related applications; and will help you protect your computer from those actively exploiting security flaws through the web.

macOS operates a multi-layer threat intelligence process that includes tools like Gatekeeper and XProtect. macOS Ventura users also have access to new features like Rapid Security Response and Lockdown Mode.

For an extra layer of protection, we recommend installing antivirus software.

Password Protect Your Computer

macOS Ventura

  1. Select Apple menu > System Settings > Users & Groups
  2. Click the information icon on the account you want to protect with a password. If others use this computer, create a separate account and password for each person.
  3. Click Change Password.
  4. Follow the on-screen steps.

macOS Monterey

  1. Select Apple menu > System Preferences > Users & Groups.
  2. Click the lock icon and enter an Administrator username and password when prompted.
  3. Select the account you are using and click Change Password. If others use this computer, create a separate account and password for each person.
  4. Follow the on-screen steps.

Turn on the Firewall

macOS Ventura

  1. Select Apple menu > System Settings > Network.
  2. Click Firewall.
  3. If the firewall is not on, click the slider to enable Firewall.
  4. Click Options.
  5. Verify the following settings and click OK.
    1. Uncheck - Block all incoming connections.
    2. Check - Automatically allow built-in software to receive incoming connections.
    3. Check - Automatically allow downloaded signed software to receive incoming connections.
    4. Uncheck - Enable stealth mode.

macOS Monterey

  1. Select Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy.
  2. Click the lock icon and enter an Administrator username and password when prompted.
  3. Click Firewall. If the firewall is not on, click Turn On Firewall.
  4. Click Firewall Options.
  5. Verify the following settings and click OK.
    • Uncheck - Block all incoming connections.
    • Check - Automatically allow built-in signed software to receive incoming connections.
    • Check - Automatically allow downloaded signed software to receive incoming connections.
    • Uncheck - Enable stealth mode.

Password Protect Your Screen Saver

macOS Ventura 

  1. Select Apple menu > System Settings > Lock Screen.
  2. Change Require password after screen saver begins or display is turned off to Immediately.
  3. When prompted, enter the Administrator userID and password for your account and click Modify Settings.
  4. Change Start Screen Saver when inactive to For 10 minutes.
  5. Close the window.

Note: These options will ONLY apply to the current account.

macOS Monterey

  1. Select Apple menu > System Preferences > Security and Privacy > General
  2. Click the lock icon and log in when prompted.
  3. Check Require password and choose immediately from the drop-down menu.
    Note: This option ONLY applies to the current account.
  4. Verify that the following are selected (checked):
    • Disable Automatic login
    • Allow applications downloaded from: App Store and identified developers.
  5. Click the lock icon to prevent further changes and then click the back arrow.
  6. Select Desktop & Screen Saver, then the Screen Saver tab.
  7. Select 10 Minutes from the Show screen saver after drop-down menu.
  8. Close the window.