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Chapter 13. Accounts, Parental Controls, & Security

Chapter 13. Accounts, Parental Controls, & Security

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Chapter13.Accounts,ParentalControls,

&Security

Inanerawhensecurityisthehottesthigh-techbuzzword,

ApplewassmarttomakesecurityafocalpointforLeopard.Mac

OSXwasalreadyvirus-freeandbetterprotectedfromInternet

attacksthanWindows.ButMacOSX10.5isthemost

impenetrableMacsystemyet,filledwithnewdefensesagainst

thedarkarts.

Onthepremisethatthebiggestsecuritythreatofallcomes

fromotherpeopleinyourhomeoroffice,though,themost

importantsecurityfeatureinMacOSXistheaccountssystem.



13.1.IntroducingAccounts

TheconceptofuseraccountsiscentraltoMacOSX'ssecurity

approach.LiketheUnixunderitsskin(andalsolikeWindows

XPandVista),MacOSXisdesignedfromthegrounduptobea

multiple-useroperatingsystem.YoucanconfigureaMacOSX

machinesothateveryonemustlogin—thatis,youhavetoclick

ortypeyournameandtypeinapassword—whenthecomputer

turnson(Figure13-1).

Upondoingso,youdiscovertheMacintoshuniversejustasyou

leftit,includingyourdocuments,files,andfolders;your

preferencesettings(Webbrowserbookmarks,desktoppicture,

screensaver,iconsonthedesktopandintheDock,andsoon);

emailaccount(s),includingpersonalinformationandmailboxes;

yourpersonallyinstalledprogramsandfonts;yourchoiceof

programsthatlaunchautomaticallyatstartup;andsoon.

Thissystemmeansthatseveraldifferentpeoplecanuseit

throughouttheday,withoutdisruptingeachother'sfilesand

settings.ItalsoprotectstheMacfromgettingfouledupby

mischievous(orbumbling)students,employees,andhackers.

Ifyou'retheonlypersonwhousesyourMac,youcansafely



skipmostofthischapter.TheMacneverpausesatstartuptime

todemandthenameandpasswordyoumadeupwhenyou

installedMacOSX,becauseApple'sinstallerautomaticallyturns

onsomethingcalledautomaticlogin(page396).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

automaticloginfeaturedescribedinSection13.5.Thereafter,

yourMacisprotectedfromunauthorizedfiddlingwhenyou're

awayfromyourdeskorwhenyourlaptopisstolen.

Figure13-1.Whenyousetupseveralaccounts,youdon't

turnontheMacsomuchassignintoit.Acommandin

the menucalledLogOutsummonsthissign-inscreen,

asdoestheAccountsmenudescribedlaterinthis

chapter.Clickyourownname,andtypeyourpassword

(ifany),togetpastthisboxandintoyourownstuff.



13.1.1.TheFirstAccount

WhenyoufirstinstalledMacOSX,youwereaskedforaname

andpassword.Youmaynothaverealizeditatthetime,butyou

werecreatingthefirstuseraccountonyourMacintosh.Since

thatfatefulday,youmayhavemadeanumberofchangesto

yourdesktop—adjustedtheDocksettings,addedsome

favoritestoyourWebbrowser,andsoon—withoutrealizingthat

youwereactuallymakingthesechangesonlytoyouraccount.

You'vebeensavingyourdocumentsintoyourownHomefolder,

whichisthecornerstoneofyourownaccount.Thisfolder,

generallynamedafteryouandstashedintheUsersfolderon

yourharddrive,storesnotonlyyourownwork,butalsoyour

preferencesettingsforalltheprogramsyouuse,specialfonts

thatyou'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.



Part4:PuttingDownRoots

Chapter13

Chapter14

Chapter15

Chapter16



Chapter13.Accounts,ParentalControls,

&Security

Inanerawhensecurityisthehottesthigh-techbuzzword,

ApplewassmarttomakesecurityafocalpointforLeopard.Mac

OSXwasalreadyvirus-freeandbetterprotectedfromInternet

attacksthanWindows.ButMacOSX10.5isthemost

impenetrableMacsystemyet,filledwithnewdefensesagainst

thedarkarts.

Onthepremisethatthebiggestsecuritythreatofallcomes

fromotherpeopleinyourhomeoroffice,though,themost

importantsecurityfeatureinMacOSXistheaccountssystem.



13.1.IntroducingAccounts

TheconceptofuseraccountsiscentraltoMacOSX'ssecurity

approach.LiketheUnixunderitsskin(andalsolikeWindows

XPandVista),MacOSXisdesignedfromthegrounduptobea

multiple-useroperatingsystem.YoucanconfigureaMacOSX

machinesothateveryonemustlogin—thatis,youhavetoclick

ortypeyournameandtypeinapassword—whenthecomputer

turnson(Figure13-1).

Upondoingso,youdiscovertheMacintoshuniversejustasyou

leftit,includingyourdocuments,files,andfolders;your

preferencesettings(Webbrowserbookmarks,desktoppicture,

screensaver,iconsonthedesktopandintheDock,andsoon);

emailaccount(s),includingpersonalinformationandmailboxes;

yourpersonallyinstalledprogramsandfonts;yourchoiceof

programsthatlaunchautomaticallyatstartup;andsoon.

Thissystemmeansthatseveraldifferentpeoplecanuseit

throughouttheday,withoutdisruptingeachother'sfilesand

settings.ItalsoprotectstheMacfromgettingfouledupby

mischievous(orbumbling)students,employees,andhackers.

Ifyou'retheonlypersonwhousesyourMac,youcansafely



skipmostofthischapter.TheMacneverpausesatstartuptime

todemandthenameandpasswordyoumadeupwhenyou

installedMacOSX,becauseApple'sinstallerautomaticallyturns

onsomethingcalledautomaticlogin(page396).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

automaticloginfeaturedescribedinSection13.5.Thereafter,

yourMacisprotectedfromunauthorizedfiddlingwhenyou're

awayfromyourdeskorwhenyourlaptopisstolen.

Figure13-1.Whenyousetupseveralaccounts,youdon't

turnontheMacsomuchassignintoit.Acommandin

the menucalledLogOutsummonsthissign-inscreen,

asdoestheAccountsmenudescribedlaterinthis

chapter.Clickyourownname,andtypeyourpassword

(ifany),togetpastthisboxandintoyourownstuff.



13.1.1.TheFirstAccount

WhenyoufirstinstalledMacOSX,youwereaskedforaname

andpassword.Youmaynothaverealizeditatthetime,butyou

werecreatingthefirstuseraccountonyourMacintosh.Since

thatfatefulday,youmayhavemadeanumberofchangesto

yourdesktop—adjustedtheDocksettings,addedsome

favoritestoyourWebbrowser,andsoon—withoutrealizingthat

youwereactuallymakingthesechangesonlytoyouraccount.

You'vebeensavingyourdocumentsintoyourownHomefolder,

whichisthecornerstoneofyourownaccount.Thisfolder,

generallynamedafteryouandstashedintheUsersfolderon

yourharddrive,storesnotonlyyourownwork,butalsoyour

preferencesettingsforalltheprogramsyouuse,specialfonts

thatyou'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.



13.2.CreatinganAccount

SupposesomebodynewjoinsyourlittleMacfamily—anew

worker,student,orloveinterest,forexample.Andyouwantto

makethemfeelathomeonyourMac.

BeginbyopeningSystemPreferences(Chapter15).Inthe

SystemPreferenceswindow,clickAccounts.Youhavejust

arrivedatthemastercontrolcenterforaccountcreationand

management(Figure13-2).

Tocreateanewaccount,startbyunlockingtheAccountspanel.

Thatis,clickthe atlower-left,andfillinyourownaccount

nameandpassword.

Nowyoucanclickthe+buttonbeneaththelistofaccounts.

ThelittlepanelshownatbottominFigure13-2appears.



13.2.1.Phase1:ChooseanAccountType

Asthoughthisbusinessofaccountsandpasswordsisn't

complicatedenoughalready,MacOSX10.5offersseveraltypes

ofaccounts.Whenyoucreateanaccount,you'reexpectedto

specifywhichtypethatpersongets.

Todothat,opentheNewAccountpop-upmenu(Figure13-2,

bottom).Itsfiveaccounttypesaredescribedonthefollowing

pages.



13.2.1.1.Administratoraccounts

IfthisisyourownpersonalMac,justbeneathyournameonthe

AccountspaneofSystemPreferences,itprobablysaysAdmin.

This,asyoucouldprobablyguess,standsforAdministrator.

Becauseyou'rethepersonwhooriginallyinstalledMacOSX,

theMacassumesthatyouareitsadministrator—thetechnical

wizardinchargeofit.You'retheteacher,theparent,the

residentguru.You'retheonewhowillmaintainthisMac.Only

anadministratorisallowedto:



InstallnewprogramsintotheApplicationsfolder.

Addfontsthateverybodycanuse.

Figure13-2.Top:Thescreenlistseveryonewhohas

anaccount.Fromhere,youcancreatenewaccounts

orchangepasswords.Ifyou'renewatthis,there's

probablyjustoneaccountlistedhere:yours.Thisis

theaccountthatMacOSXcreatedwhenyoufirst

installedit.You,theall-wiseadministrator,haveto

clickthe toauthenticateyourselfbeforeyoucan

startmakingchanges.Bottom:Intherevamped

Leopardaccount-creationprocess,thefirststepis

choosingwhichtypeofaccountyouwanttocreate.



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