Passwords have been conventionally used for securing computers and other user accounts. However, passwords have certain limitations and hence it is important to have additional levels of security when it comes to user accounts and devices. Using a strong password is essential for you to secure your Mac, but it is equally critical to have additional security layers in order to protect your Mac and the data stored on it.
The password can be reset by booting Mac in the recovery mode or using an external drive. This not only compromises the security of your data but leaves you vulnerable to several other security breaches such as access to your credit cards, bank account details and email accounts. Such instances may even lead to identity thefts and can get you into trouble.
To avoid such possibilities, it is feasible to use methods which provide additional security levels and ensure that your Mac and the data are protected and beyond the reach of any such security breach!
Encryption Of The Disk By Using FileVault:
FileVault is a data encryption utility tool which protects the files on your Mac by encrypting your data. For users who have OS X Yosemite installed on their Mac, FileVault is already bundled along with the operating system. While installing Yosemite, users are asked if they want to enable this tool. You can check if this utility is enabled by opening ‘System Preferences’ and clicking on ‘Security and Privacy’. By clicking on the ‘FileVault’ tab, the status is displayed.
If this utility is not enabled, you need to click on the lock icon on the lower left hand side corner and unlock it by entering the admin login id and password and further clicking on ‘Turn-On FileVault’ tab. This generates a recovery key which either you can save with Apple or store it in a secure location. This key is essential for resetting the password. If it is stored with Apple, you need to answer three questions as a security measure for gaining access to this key. FileVault is an efficient utility which is highly effective in securing the data on your Mac.
Setting A Firmware Password:
Setting up a Firmware Password is useful in protecting your Mac in case of theft. While the encryption passwords can protect the data, it does not protect the hardware. In case of a theft, the data can be formatted and fresh OS X can be installed. Hence, the device can be used though the data remains inaccessible. To protect the device, Firmware Passwords are crucial as it is an encryption utility for hardware. This encryption requests for a password every instance of booting to the Recovery Mode or while booting using an external drive.
The process for setting up a firmware password is simple. You are required to boot your Mac in Recovery Mode by holding the Command-R. In the OS X Utilities screen, you are needed to click on the Utilities menu and select the Firmware Password utility. You are then required to click the option ‘Turn-On Firmware Password’, enter a password of your choice and click on the ‘Set Password’ tab. Once this step has been completed, click on ‘Quit Firmware Password Utility’ and restart the system. It is important to remember the password because if forgotten, it can only be reset at an authorised Apple store.