Locking an Active Mac OS X Workstation

UT Tyler Office of Information Security

The easiest way to lock down your Mac is by using a screen saver and password protecting it. Here's how in three easy steps:

  1. Select a Screen Saver

    * First, you'll need to select a screen saver to activate. Open System Preferences and click the "Desktop & Screen Saver" icon. Pick any screen saver.

  2. Enable Password Protection* Now you'll need to password protect your screen saver. Navigate back to System Preferences and this time select the "Security" icon. Ignore all the FileVault settings, about halfway in the pane there is a check box for "Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver" - click the box next to it so a check appears.

    Try it out - Now anytime you drag your mouse cursor into the activated Hot Corner, you will activate the screen saver, which requires a password to return to the desktop. Also, if your machine is put to sleep it will bring about the same password prompt.

    To further secure your Mac workstation, you can also require a password on system boot. Doing so is easy, just check the Login Options under the Accounts preference pane.