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Secure your Mac: Disable automatic login

Scott McNulty

Most doors have locks on them. Shocking, I know, but they are there for a good reason: to keep people out. It would be nice if we all lived in a Norman Rockwellian world where our doors would never be locked and we would all be busy painting self portraits, but that's not the world we live in.

Sadly, in our world your Mac might get stolen. When this happens bad guys have the potential to get their hands on lots of your information. One easy way to thwart them is by disabling automatic login for all accounts on your Mac. This means that when your Mac boots up you will be prompted by a dialog asking for a password (at the very least, you can change the settings on this dialog, but that is a matter for a follow up post). Not the most comprehensive way to Secure your Mac, but it is a start.

Read on to learn how to do this.

This is actually very easy to do:

  1. Launch System Presences.
  2. Click on 'Security,' which will offer up a wealth of options available to you. We are only interested in one at the moment.
  3. Click the checkbox labeled 'Disable automatic login,' which is under 'For all accounts on this computer.'
  4. There is no step 4!
Keep in mind that this, as the name suggests, disables the automatic login option for all users on your Mac, which is a good thing in my opinion. You should also be aware that you need to have administrative privileges on the Mac to enable this option.

Sure, it is a little inconvenient to have to enter your password after booting up your Mac, but really how often do you have to reboot?

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