How to Use Apple’s Built-in Features to Encrypt Files and Folders

The best way to protect your data is to encrypt your files, ensuring that, even if they get into the hands of hackers or cybercriminals, your personal data is safe. macOS provides a suite of tools to protect you, and, in this article, I’ll discuss the many ways you can use built-in macOS features to provide unbreakable encryption. (Unbreakable with current computing power; it’s possible that future quantum computers will be able to break the robust encryption algorithms that macOS uses.)

In this article, I’ll explain how to encrypt your startup disk with FileVault; how to encrypt other disks; and how to create encrypted disk images to store files securely in the cloud or send by email; and how to encrypt PDF files.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Prepare Your Mac to Upgrade to macOS Big Sur: the Ultimate Guide

Another year, another new version of macOS. Apple has released macOS Big Sur, also known as macOS 11. Apple’s new desktop operating system features the biggest interface change since the release of Mac OS X, and while there aren’t a lot of flashy new features, everything will look different.

Should you upgrade your Mac to Big Sur? Is your Mac compatible with the new operating system? And how should you prepare for this big change? In this article, I’ll answer all those questions, so you can be ready to upgrade your Mac to macOS Big Sur when Apple officially releases its new operating system.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Enter and Exit Full Screen Mode and Use Split Screen in macOS

The size of your Mac’s display can affect the way you work. If you have a capacious 27-inch iMac, you’ve got lots of room to stretch out. You can have several windows visible, large and small, each organized efficiently. On the contrary, if you have a smaller Mac, like a 12-inch MacBook, there’s not much room for multiple windows, and you may want to make each one as large as possible. Fortunately, macOS offers a “full-screen mode,” which you can use for most of your apps.

When you’ve got limited screen space available, it’s a good idea to use every pixel of it. By default, macOS displays the Dock at the bottom of the screen, and it’s always visible. When you open an app, its window only stretches from the top of the display to the top of the Dock, so you’re missing out on some valuable space.

In an article about getting to know your Mac’s Dock, I explained how you can either position the Dock to the left of the display—getting more vertical space at the expense of slightly less horizontal space—or hide it entirely.

In this article, I’m going to discuss how you use full-screen mode in macOS, and how you can get the most out of this feature to work efficiently on a small display.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Configure and Use Control Center in macOS Big Sur

macOS has long had provided quick access to certain system settings in the menu bar, but when you have lots of these menu extras, your menu bar can get cluttered. iOS offers a different way to access these settings, such as volume, brightness, and toggling Bluetooth and wi-fi: Control Center.

macOS Big Sur brings Control Center to the Mac. With one click, you can display a panel containing buttons and sliders that you can use to adjust and toggle certain system settings. Here’s how to set up and use Control Center in macOS Big Sur.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Understanding User Accounts in macOS

Everyone who uses a Mac has a user account. If you’re the only person using your Mac, then there will only be one account. But if you share your Mac with other users — your family or coworkers, for example — your Mac will contain multiple user accounts. At least one of these is an administrator account, and that account is allowed to change any settings on the Mac. Others can be standard user accounts, who can change settings that affect some of what they do on the computer. You can also have accounts that are managed with parental controls; these are designed so your kids can use your computer safely. Finally, there are sharing only accounts, which you can create to allow users to access some files on your Mac over a network.

In this article, I’m going to explain how to create user accounts, when and how to use each of these different types of accounts, and how to delete them when you don’t need them any longer.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Prepare Your Mac to Upgrade to macOS Big Sur: the Ultimate Guide

Another year, another new version of macOS. Apple has released macOS Big Sur, also known as macOS 11. Apple’s new desktop operating system features the biggest interface change since the release of Mac OS X, and while there aren’t a lot of flashy new features, everything will look different.

Should you upgrade your Mac to Big Sur? Is your Mac compatible with the new operating system? And how should you prepare for this big change? In this article, I’ll answer all those questions, so you can be ready to upgrade your Mac to macOS Big Sur when Apple officially releases its new operating system.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Set Up a Custom Start Page in Safari 14

It’s useful to have quick access to the websites you visit often, and in Safari 14, you can create a custom Start Page with your favorites, sites you visit often, and much more. Not only can you configure this on your Mac, but your favorites sync via iCloud to your other devices, so you can access the same sites easily on your Mac, iPhone and iPad.

Here’s how you can make your start page really useful in Safari 14.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

How to Prepare Your Mac to Upgrade to macOS Big Sur

Another year, another new version of macOS. In a couple of months, you’ll be able to upgrade your Mac to macOS Big Sur, also known as macOS 11. The forthcoming version of Apple’s desktop operating system features the biggest interface change since the release of Mac OS X, and, while there aren’t a lot of flashy new features, everything will look different.

Should you upgrade your Mac to Big Sur? Is your Mac compatible with the new operating system? And how should you prepare for this big change? In this article, I’ll answer all those questions, so you can be ready to upgrade your Mac to macOS Big Sur when Apple officially releases its new operating system.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Save Settings in Safari for Websites You Visit Often

You most likely have a number of websites you visit regularly: sites you use to shop, bank, get the news, and more. If you use Safari on the Mac, you may know that you can change the way you view these websites, changing the font size, using Reader mode, and more. But what you may not know is that you can apply these changes permanently for any site that you visit, so when you view a website, you can see it and interact with it comfortably. Here’s how.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

macOS 11 and iOS 14 – New Security and Privacy Features

In a socially-distanced keynote address to open Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference yesterday, the company presented new features for the next versions of all of its operating systems. Apple announced new features for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS, and security and privacy features were prominent across the various operating systems. In this article, I’ll give you an overview of what’s coming in these new operating systems to help ensure your security and privacy on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.