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Chapter 12. Accounts, Parental Controls, and Security

Chapter 12. Accounts, Parental Controls, and Security

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Chapter12.Accounts,ParentalControls,

andSecurity

Inanerawhensecurityisthehottesthigh-techbuzzword,

ApplewassmarttomakesecurityafocalpointforLeopard.Mac

OSXwasalreadyvirus-freeandbetterprotectedfromInternet

attacksthanWindows.ButMacOSX10.5isthemost

impenetrableMacsystemyet,filledwithnewdefensesagainst

thedarkarts.

You'llspotbigandsmallsecurityenhancementsallover

Leopardandtheprogramsthataccompanyit.Thischapter

coversthewholerangeofthem.

Onthepremisethatthebiggestsecuritythreatofallcomes

fromotherpeopleinyourhomeoroffice,though,themost

importantsecurityfeatureinMacOSXistheaccountssystem.



12.1.IntroducingAccounts

TheconceptofuseraccountsiscentraltoMacOSX'ssecurity

approach.LiketheUnixunderitsskin(andalsolikeWindows

XPandVista),MacOSXisdesignedfromthegrounduptobea

multiple-useroperatingsystem.YoucanconfigureaMacOSX

machinesothateveryonemustlogin—thatis,youhavetoclick

ortypeyournameandtypeinapassword—whenthecomputer

turnson(Figure12-1).

Upondoingso,youdiscovertheMacintoshuniversejustasyou

leftit,includingtheseelements:

Yourdocuments,files,andfolders.

Yourpreferencesettingsineveryprogramyouuse:Web

browserbookmarksandpreferredhomepage;desktop

picture,screensaver,andlanguage;iconsonthedesktop

andintheDock—andthesizeandpositionoftheDock

itself;andsoon.



Emailaccount(s),includingpersonalinformationand

mailboxes.

Yourpersonallyinstalledprogramsandfonts.

Yourchoiceofprogramsthatlaunchautomaticallyat

startup.

Thissystemmeansthatseveraldifferentpeoplecanuseit

throughouttheday,withoutdisruptingeachother'sfilesand

settings.ItalsoprotectstheMacfromgettingfouledupby

mischievous(orbumbling)students,employees,andhackers.

Ifyou'retheonlypersonwhousesyourMac,youcansafely

skipmostofthischapter.TheMacneverpausesatstartuptime

todemandthenameandpasswordyoumadeupwhenyou

installedMacOSX,becauseApple'sinstallerautomaticallyturns

onsomethingcalledautomaticlogin(Section12.5).Youwillbe

usingoneoftheseaccounts,though,whetheryourealizeitor

not.

Furthermore,whenyou'restuckinlineattheDepartmentof

MotorVehicles,youmayfindtheconceptspresentedhereworth

skimming,ascertainelementsofthismultiple-usersystemmay

intrudeuponyoursoloactivities—andfigureinthediscussions

inthisbook—fromtimetotime.

Tip:Evenifyoudon'tshareyourMacwithanyoneanddon't

createanyotheraccounts,youmightstillbetemptedtolearn

abouttheaccountsfeaturebecauseofitsabilitytopasswordprotecttheentirecomputer.Allyouhavetodoistoturnoffthe

automaticloginfeaturedescribedonSection12.5.Thereafter,

yourMacisprotectedfromunauthorizedfiddlingwhenyou're

awayfromyourdeskorwhenyourlaptopisstolen.



12.1.1.TheFirstAccount



WhenyoufirstinstalledMacOSX,whetheritwas10.5oran

earlierversion,youwereaskedforanameandpassword.You

maynothaverealizeditatthetime,butyouwerecreatingthe

firstuseraccountonyourMacintosh.Sincethatfatefulday,you

mayhavemadeanumberofchangestoyourdesktop—

adjustedtheDocksettings,setupyourfoldersanddesktopthe

wayyoulikethem,addedsomefavoritestoyourWebbrowser,

andsoon—withoutrealizingthatyouwereactuallymaking

thesechangesonlytoyouraccount.

You'veprobablybeensavingyourdocumentsintoyourown

Homefolder,whichisthecornerstoneofyourownaccount.This

folder,generallynamedafteryouandstashedintheUsers

folderonyourharddrive,storesnotonlyyourownwork,but

alsoyourpreferencesettingsforalltheprogramsyouuse,

specialfontsthatyou'veinstalled,yourownemailcollection,

andsoon.

Nowthen:Supposeyoucreateanaccountforasecondperson.

Whensheturnsonthecomputerandsignsin,shefindsthe

desktopexactlythewayitwasfactory-installedbyApple—

stunningEarth-in-spacedesktoppicture,Dockalongthe

bottom,thedefaultWebbrowserhomepage,andsoon.She

canmakethesamekindsofchangestotheMacthatyou've

made,butnothingshedoesaffectsyourenvironmentthenext

timeyoulogin.

Inotherwords,themultiple-accountsfeaturehastwo

components:first,aconvenienceelementthathideseveryone

else'sjunk;andsecond,asecurityelementthatprotectsboth

theMac'ssystemsoftwareandeverybody'swork.

Figure12-1.Whenyousetupseveralaccounts,youdon't

turnontheMacsomuchassignintoit.Acommandin

the

menucalledLogOutsummonsthissigninscreen,

asdoestheAccountsmenudescribedlaterinthis

chapter.Clickyourownname,andtypeyourpassword

(ifany),togetpastthisboxandintoyourownstuff.



PartIV:TheTechnologiesofMacOSX

Chapter12

Chapter13

Chapter14

Chapter15

Chapter16

Chapter17



Chapter12.Accounts,ParentalControls,

andSecurity

Inanerawhensecurityisthehottesthigh-techbuzzword,

ApplewassmarttomakesecurityafocalpointforLeopard.Mac

OSXwasalreadyvirus-freeandbetterprotectedfromInternet

attacksthanWindows.ButMacOSX10.5isthemost

impenetrableMacsystemyet,filledwithnewdefensesagainst

thedarkarts.

You'llspotbigandsmallsecurityenhancementsallover

Leopardandtheprogramsthataccompanyit.Thischapter

coversthewholerangeofthem.

Onthepremisethatthebiggestsecuritythreatofallcomes

fromotherpeopleinyourhomeoroffice,though,themost

importantsecurityfeatureinMacOSXistheaccountssystem.



12.1.IntroducingAccounts

TheconceptofuseraccountsiscentraltoMacOSX'ssecurity

approach.LiketheUnixunderitsskin(andalsolikeWindows

XPandVista),MacOSXisdesignedfromthegrounduptobea

multiple-useroperatingsystem.YoucanconfigureaMacOSX

machinesothateveryonemustlogin—thatis,youhavetoclick

ortypeyournameandtypeinapassword—whenthecomputer

turnson(Figure12-1).

Upondoingso,youdiscovertheMacintoshuniversejustasyou

leftit,includingtheseelements:

Yourdocuments,files,andfolders.

Yourpreferencesettingsineveryprogramyouuse:Web

browserbookmarksandpreferredhomepage;desktop

picture,screensaver,andlanguage;iconsonthedesktop

andintheDock—andthesizeandpositionoftheDock

itself;andsoon.



Emailaccount(s),includingpersonalinformationand

mailboxes.

Yourpersonallyinstalledprogramsandfonts.

Yourchoiceofprogramsthatlaunchautomaticallyat

startup.

Thissystemmeansthatseveraldifferentpeoplecanuseit

throughouttheday,withoutdisruptingeachother'sfilesand

settings.ItalsoprotectstheMacfromgettingfouledupby

mischievous(orbumbling)students,employees,andhackers.

Ifyou'retheonlypersonwhousesyourMac,youcansafely

skipmostofthischapter.TheMacneverpausesatstartuptime

todemandthenameandpasswordyoumadeupwhenyou

installedMacOSX,becauseApple'sinstallerautomaticallyturns

onsomethingcalledautomaticlogin(Section12.5).Youwillbe

usingoneoftheseaccounts,though,whetheryourealizeitor

not.

Furthermore,whenyou'restuckinlineattheDepartmentof

MotorVehicles,youmayfindtheconceptspresentedhereworth

skimming,ascertainelementsofthismultiple-usersystemmay

intrudeuponyoursoloactivities—andfigureinthediscussions

inthisbook—fromtimetotime.

Tip:Evenifyoudon'tshareyourMacwithanyoneanddon't

createanyotheraccounts,youmightstillbetemptedtolearn

abouttheaccountsfeaturebecauseofitsabilitytopasswordprotecttheentirecomputer.Allyouhavetodoistoturnoffthe

automaticloginfeaturedescribedonSection12.5.Thereafter,

yourMacisprotectedfromunauthorizedfiddlingwhenyou're

awayfromyourdeskorwhenyourlaptopisstolen.



12.1.1.TheFirstAccount



WhenyoufirstinstalledMacOSX,whetheritwas10.5oran

earlierversion,youwereaskedforanameandpassword.You

maynothaverealizeditatthetime,butyouwerecreatingthe

firstuseraccountonyourMacintosh.Sincethatfatefulday,you

mayhavemadeanumberofchangestoyourdesktop—

adjustedtheDocksettings,setupyourfoldersanddesktopthe

wayyoulikethem,addedsomefavoritestoyourWebbrowser,

andsoon—withoutrealizingthatyouwereactuallymaking

thesechangesonlytoyouraccount.

You'veprobablybeensavingyourdocumentsintoyourown

Homefolder,whichisthecornerstoneofyourownaccount.This

folder,generallynamedafteryouandstashedintheUsers

folderonyourharddrive,storesnotonlyyourownwork,but

alsoyourpreferencesettingsforalltheprogramsyouuse,

specialfontsthatyou'veinstalled,yourownemailcollection,

andsoon.

Nowthen:Supposeyoucreateanaccountforasecondperson.

Whensheturnsonthecomputerandsignsin,shefindsthe

desktopexactlythewayitwasfactory-installedbyApple—

stunningEarth-in-spacedesktoppicture,Dockalongthe

bottom,thedefaultWebbrowserhomepage,andsoon.She

canmakethesamekindsofchangestotheMacthatyou've

made,butnothingshedoesaffectsyourenvironmentthenext

timeyoulogin.

Inotherwords,themultiple-accountsfeaturehastwo

components:first,aconvenienceelementthathideseveryone

else'sjunk;andsecond,asecurityelementthatprotectsboth

theMac'ssystemsoftwareandeverybody'swork.

Figure12-1.Whenyousetupseveralaccounts,youdon't

turnontheMacsomuchassignintoit.Acommandin

the

menucalledLogOutsummonsthissigninscreen,

asdoestheAccountsmenudescribedlaterinthis

chapter.Clickyourownname,andtypeyourpassword

(ifany),togetpastthisboxandintoyourownstuff.



12.2.CreatinganAccount

SupposesomebodynewjoinsyourlittleMacfamily—anew

worker,student,orloveinterest,forexample.Andyouwantto

makethemfeelathomeonyourMac.

BeginbyopeningSystemPreferences(Section4.5.1).Inthe

SystemPreferenceswindow,clickAccounts.Youhavejust

arrivedatthemastercontrolcenterforaccountcreationand

management(Figure12-2).

Tocreateanewaccount,startbyunlockingtheAccountspanel.

Thatis,clickthe

atlower-left,andfillinyourownaccount

nameandpassword.

Nowyoucanclickthe+buttonbeneaththelistofaccounts.

ThelittlepanelshownatbottominFigure12-2appears.



12.2.1.Phase1:ChooseanAccountType

Asthoughthisbusinessofaccountsandpasswordsisn't

complicatedenoughalready,MacOSX10.5offersmoretypes

ofaccountsthanever.Andyou'reexpectedtospecifywhich

typeeachpersongetsatthemomentyoucreateanaccount.

Todothat,opentheNewAccountpop-upmenu(Figure12-2,

bottom).Itsfiveaccounttypesaredescribedonthefollowing

pages.

Figure12-2.Top:Thescreenlistseveryonewhohasan

account.Fromhere,youcancreatenewaccountsor

changepasswords.Ifyou'renewatthis,there'sprobably

justoneaccountlistedhere:yours.Thisistheaccount

thatMacOSXcreatedwhenyoufirstinstalledit.You,

theall-wiseadministrator,havetoclickthe

to

authenticateyourselfbeforeyoucanstartmaking

changes.

Bottom:IntherevampedLeopardaccount-creation



process,thefirststepischoosingwhichtypeofaccount

youwanttocreate.



12.2.1.1.Administratoraccounts

IfthisisyourownpersonalMac,justbeneathyournameonthe

AccountspaneofSystemPreferences,itprobablysaysAdmin.

This,asyoucouldprobablyguess,standsforAdministrator.

Becauseyou'rethepersonwhooriginallyinstalledMacOSX,

theMacassumesthatyouareitsadministrator—thetechnical

wizardinchargeofit.You'retheteacher,theparent,the

residentguru.You'retheonewhowillmaintainthisMac.Only

anadministratorisallowedto:



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