The school where my husband and I work as computer system administrators, troubleshooters, security experts, application field testers, and occasional anti-virus advocates (on Windows PCs) has hundreds of Macs, PCs, Chromebooks, and iPads.
Every one of those devices can have security compromised in many ways and usually it involves a password. Through the years we’ve grown accustomed to helping students, faculty, and staff get back into their devices but always repeat the same thing. Keep it locked up. If security is an issue, try this Mac utility.
Lock It Up
For Mac and Windows PC users there are many ways to lock up a device. iPhone and iPad users have it easier, thanks to the auto lock timer and Touch ID. For the Mac, we have a lengthy list of recommendations because there are more ways to lock down a Mac. TokenLock is the Mac app that makes it all easier.
- Lock on USB device removal.
- Lock on Bluetooth device disconnect.
- Lock on Bluetooth device minimum signal strength
- Lock with a hotkey.
- Lock with your Apple IR Remote.
- Lock by clicking the TokenLock dock icon.
- Lock by selecting Lock from status bar menu.
My favorite, of course, is the traditional lock with screensaver, but when a teacher walks away from a Mac and leaves the room, the screensaver usually takes a few minutes to turn on and lock the Mac.
TokenLock has a few useful ways to unlock a Mac, too.
- Unlock screen saver on return of USB device.
- Unlock screen saver on return of BlueTooth device.
- Unlock with your Apple IR Remote.
Perhaps my favorite security measure is what is called Sleep Aware.
When the computer sleeps, this causes USB disconnections. TokenLock is smart enough to realize this and avoids “Double locking” your computer when the USB device you choose has not re-initialized yet after sleep mode.
TokenLock can monitor nearby Bluetooth devices, built-in USB devices, the Apple IR remote, as well as a Bluetooth smartphone (doesn’t have to be an iPhone). Walk back into range, and the Mac unlocks. Walk away, and it locks up. The app can recognize specific safe Wi-Fi networks, and both screensaver and sleep work with TokenLock locked up.
Few of our staff or faculty use the USB approach because those plugins tend to get lost, but for ultra security it works well because it checks the device’s serial number against the Mac.
iPhone X has the TrueDepth camera system which manages Face ID’s facial recognition and mapping system. This likely will show up in future Macs and not a minute too soon. Imagine a fully locked Mac that only opens whenever you sit down in front and smile.