Carnegie Mellon University

Secure Your Computer: macOS

  1. Do one of the following:
    • macOS Mojave - select Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update
    • macOS High Sierra - select Apple menu App Store.
  2. Click Advanced.
  3. Ensure the following options are “checked”:
    • Automatically check for updates
    • Download newly available updates
    • Install system data files and security updates
  4. Click Check Now. Install updates. Enter the Administrator password for your computer, if prompted.
  5. As necessary, click Agree for software license agreements and restart your Mac.
  6. As necessary, run Software Update (Apple menu > About this Mac > Software Update) until you see “No Updates Available.” After installing all updates, Apple Software Update will run daily.
  1. Update other software applications you may have. Consider the following:
    • Adobe products (e.g., Acrobat, Flash, Reader, etc. as well as any plug-ins)
    • Web browsers
    • Java
  2. Most applications can be updated by selecting Check for Updates in one of the following menus: Application, Preferences or Help.
  3. When you update these applications, please make sure to select the “Automatically install updates” option.
  4. 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.
  1. Remove all other antivirus software before installing.
  2. Install recommended antivirus software.

Password Protect Your Computer

  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.
  4. Follow the on-screen steps.

Turn on the Firewall

  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 Start or Turn Firewall On.
  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 connections.
    • Check - Automatically allow downloaded signed software to receive incoming connections.
    • Uncheck - Enable stealth mode.

Password Protect Your Screen Saver

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