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Tips index

Stop services to improve security

Any services that are running, such as file or web sharing, pose a security threat to your computer because they are possible entry points into the system.

OS X is a very secure operating system anyway, but even so, it is best to disable any services that you aren't using just to close any possible open doors for hackers.

Click the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen and select System Preferences. Click Sharing and then either Services or Firewall. There is a long list of services that can be enabled or disabled. Make sure that they are all off unless you specifically need them.

(OS X 10.5 looks a little different to the OS X 10.4 screen shot shown here, but the service list is the same.)

Prevent network security changes

After setting the network and internet security options in the previous tips, you don't want someone changing them and reducing security, if someone else uses your computer for example. You can lock the settings to prevent any changes. Click the Apple logo in the top left corner and select System Preferences. Click Sharing and then click the open padlock icon in the bottom left corner. If you ever need to change the setup, just click the padlock and you'll be prompted to enter your password. Providing you don't tell anyone your password, only you will be able to change the settings.

Clean up your desktop

Is it useful being able to dump stuff on the desktop, like mounted drives, disks, connected servers and so on, or is it simply a distraction? Why not try working with a clean desktop and see if it's better? Click the Finder menu and then select Prerences. On the General tab, clear the ticks against Hard disks, CDs, DVDs and iPods, and Connected Servers. Of course, you still need some way of accessing these things, so select the Sidebar tab and tick all the boxes. Now the desktop is clear and when you want to access drives, DVDs and other things you just open a Finder window and everthing is on the left in the sidebar.

Tips index