Setting Up OS X


This is a collection of OS X configuration options that I recommend for new setups. Most of these recommendations are security related. Currently, this information is based on OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) options but may be applied to older versions.

These are general recommendations. Obviously you may a need to choose different settings (for example, don’t disable the remote control if you use one).

Simple Desktop Lock

  • In Exposé & Spaces Set a Hot Corner to “Start Screen Saver”
  • Under Security -> General enable “Require password [immediately] after sleep or screen saver begins

System Preferences -> Security -> General

  • Enable “Disable automatic login”
  • Enable “Log out after [30] minutes of inactivity”
  • Enable “Disable remote control infrared receiver” (or pair with a specific remote)

System Preferences -> Security -> Firewall

  • Ensure that your firewall is on and review the specific settings under “Advanced”.

System Preferences -> Network

  • “Ask to join new networks” should be enabled (I think this is on by default)

System Preferences -> Bluetooth

  • Turn off Bluetooth when it’s not needed

System Preferences -> Sharing

  • Change “Computer Name” to something more relevant
  • Choose “Edit” and also change the computer name there
  • Turn off all services that are not needed
  • Ensure that enabled services can only be used by the proper accounts
  • In public networks it his highly recommended that all services are disabled

System Preferences -> Accounts

  • Disable the “Guest Account”

System Preferences -> Date & Time -> Time Zone

  • Ensure the time zone is correct

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