12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (2023)

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12 Tips for Changing Your Mac's Privacy Settings: An Overview

Mac is great for privacy and security, enjoyBetter protection against malwarerather than Windows devices. However, you can make some adjustments to further improve your privacy, such as:

  1. use one ofThe best VPNs for Mac.
  2. Create an account for each Mac userSeparate access rights.
  3. Follow best practice guidelinescreate loud,unique password.
  4. Use a password managerto rule them all.
  5. Prevent your Mac fromAutomatically connect to Wi-Fi networks.

We recommend using a Mac VPN as the first tip in your list of Mac privacy settings because it gives you flexible protection against online threats.

NordVPN is the highest rated Mac VPN because it canhide your locationeffectively at the same timeencrypt your data.

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For a full list of Mac privacy tips, check out the rest of the article below!

Online security and privacy must go hand in hand. While using top-notch internet security software is vital, it's also important to properly configure your devices. Using your Mac's default settings will give you some privacy, but you can adjust your Mac's privacy settings to improve your online safety.

How to check and update your privacy settings in macOS Venture

12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (2)

First, let's take a look at some of the more basic tweaks you can make to your Mac's security settings. One of the best places to start is your Mac's privacy and security settings. We can help you achieve this in three short steps:

  1. clickapple iconin the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. select "System Options".
  3. select "Security and privacy".

Here you'll find options to configure a variety of settings, including location services and individual app permissions. Apple gives you broad permissions to determine the extent to which individual apps can access different parts of the system.

we will introduce12 tips for changing privacy settings on Mac. But first, let's dive into basic and more advanced Mac settings that you can configure right away for better Mac security.

Mac security and privacy settings

If you followed the three-step method above, openSystem OptionsThis will immediately give you access to some basic Mac privacy and security settings. Most focus on app permissions, which show which apps have access to your data, including Bluetooth, calendar, contacts, microphone, and screen recordings.

Go through each section andStrict requirements for apps that access your data. It is often obvious if an application needs to access certain parts of the system – e.g.Access Microsoft Teams on your camera.

Here are some of the most important ones to focus on.

cameraApps like video conferencing platforms need to access your camera to stream. However, malicious apps can use your camera to spy on you. Make sure every app that uses your camera actually needs access - if not, uncheck the box.
files and foldersSome programs need access to your files. For example onevirus protection scannerAccess to the files is required to scan them for threats. Check for unknown programs accessing your personal files.
full disk accessFull disk access is an upgrade to files and folders. As the name suggests, it allows applications to access the entire system. Again, this setting should be limited to software such as virus scanners.
location serviceThis section shows which apps have access to your location. In our settings we can see obvious options like Find My Apps as well as Google Chrome and Zoom. Be strict with apps that can see your location and use itVPNHide your real location.

Advanced Mac security and privacy settings

Some security settings on your Mac are stored in separate menus. You can click on "advanced"button on yours"Security and privacy" in the

An administrator password is required to access system-wide settingsWe recommend enabling this feature if you share your Mac with other people, especially children. It will prevent others from changing the system settings without the administrator password.
Automatic logout after inactivityIf you work in a public space, we recommend using this setting to automatically log out when your Mac is idle.
exit afterwardsSimilar to the above, this setting allows you to be more specific about how quickly you want your Mac to lock up when you're not using it.
Enable the screen saver after deleting the login tokenYour Mac supports smart cards, which allow you to physically identify yourself to the device. For most regular Mac users, you probably don't need to worry about this.

12 Mac privacy and security tips and settings

Let's continue looking at some hidden privacy and security settings on your Mac that you can use to protect yourself. We've listed the simple steps below so you can do it easily and improve your security in just a few minutes.

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1. Use a Top VPN for Mac

VPN (Virtual Private Network) erThe best way to ensure security and privacy online. In this article we discuss banning location sharing andencryptionMake your data as strong as possible to improve your Mac privacy settings –VPNs do this by default.

Connecting to a VPN means that your internet traffic is encrypted and your real location and identity are hidden. However, while you have some networking options available,There is no built-in VPN on Macs. So it is better to use one of themThe best VPNs for Mac, like NordVPN.

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you can tryFree NordVPN– Comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. it's so far awayThe fastest and easiest way to increase your Mac's securityNo need to adjust countless other options.

2. Separate Apple users into different accounts

Like Windows,Mac allows you to create individual user accountsUse their own separate login names. advantage? You can grant administrator rights to yourself without giving them to everyone. It's a great way to change your Mac's privacy settings and protect sensitive information.

By separating users, you also separate files and apps - other users won't have access to them. It even protects your data if other users accidentally download certain types of malicious software (malware).

Below we describe how to do it quicklySet up a new user on the Mac:

  1. clickapplemenu.
  2. exists"System Options," select "users and groups".
  3. Click on the lock and enter your password.

    12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (5)

  4. Click on "Add to".
  5. select "Account".
  6. Fill in the details and select "create user".


Check that the dropdown menu is set correctly. Non-admin users must be created as "role model"user.

3. Protect these accounts with strong passwords

Creating strong passwords may seem like an obvious privacy recommendation, but passwords like "123456" are still common. To make matters worse, hackers are abusing the rise of artificial intelligence to crack weak passwords in record time.

reachKeep your account as secure as possible, we have collected information about the creationSecurity code. Changing your Mac password is easy:

  1. clickapple iconfirst.
  2. Enter "System Options".
  3. Next to your username, click onApple-id" button.
  4. Click on "Passwords and security".
  5. select "Change password".
  6. Enter your existing password and click "allow".

    12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (6)

  7. Create a new secure password at "The"and"verify"Mark.
  8. Click on "Change password"second time.

4. Use one of the best password managers for Mac

For some, the downside of longer, more secure passwords is remembering them. Therefore, we recommend that everyone use a password manager. softwaresave your password for youandI recommend it, the ultra safe option. You can even use a password manager to store your Mac's recovery key.

NordPass isbest password managerNow available for Mac. we have completelyNordPass tested, we're impressed - not just a password managersafety functionalso with his ownlow subscription. You can even get NordPass for free.

Get NordPass for secure password management

5. Turn off automatic connection to Wi-Fi networks

Notice how your Mac automatically connects to your home Wi-Fi when it starts up? The same happens when you start your device within range of a network you've used before, no matter where.

This is not always ideal. ThisThe danger of public Wi-Fiit can expose youIdentity fraud and data theft and compromising your privacy. Hackers can impersonate the unique identifier (SSID) of a public Wi-Fi network. If your device tries to connect to this known network, it may end up connecting to a malicious network, allowing hackers to access your information.


Using a VPN on public Wi-Fi can essentially eliminate the risk of encrypting your data and connecting anonymously.

Protect your device and privacy by turning off auto-login on Mac:

  1. Click on "applemenu".
  2. exists"System Options"Open"network".
  3. Make sure you have "Wireless internet” in the menu on the left.

    12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (7)

  4. Uncheck the box "request to join a new network".

When using a public Wi-Fi network, double check that the option to connect automatically in the future is turned off. But generally speakingPublic Wi-Fi is not always reliable. If you must use a public network, we strongly recommend that you douse a VPNProtect your connection, data and identity.

Protect yourself on public Wi-Fi with NordVPN

6. Use two-factor authentication for enhanced security

two-factor authenticationAs the name suggests. It's about using a different way to sign in to your account than your password.

By setting up two-factor authentication (2FA) on your Mac,you are much safer. Even if a hacker cracks your password, they won't be able to get into your account. Most 2FA solutions rely on email addresses, mobile phone or smartphone apps as secondary methods.


There is no charge for using 2FA. It's built into your Mac and you can use any email or phone as a backup method.

How to use 2FA built into your Mac:

  1. Enterapple iconMenu again.
  2. Enter "System settingsand then click on "Apple-id" button.
  3. select "Passwords and security"" and then turn it on "two-factor authentication” – you may need to log in again.

    12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (8)

  4. Your answerSecurity questionif you have set them.
  5. Enterphone numberandSelect an authentication method, then click on"To continue".
  6. Finally, confirm the code sent to your phone and you're good to go.

7. Encrypt your personal data to keep it safe

file directoryis a great feature that comes with your Mac out of the box. This feature isBuilt-in encryption for all files. FileVault uses 128-bit AES encryption to hide your files behind strict security, preventing anyone from copying, deleting or even viewing your personal files.

You can do the followingTurn on FileVaultIt only takes a few seconds:

  1. clickapple iconin your taskbar.
  2. Enter "System Options, "Afterward"Security and privacy".
  3. Click on "file directory” tab and then the lock.

    12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (9)

  4. write your passwordAllow the changes and then select "Open FileVault".

We're big fans of encryption – after all, it's built into every VPN by default. use one of the best VPNs like NordVPN andAll your data is encrypted by default. This prevents packet sniffing,man in the middle attackand other cyber security risks.

Encrypt your data with NordVPN

8. Use your Mac's native firewall

Your Mac has a built-in firewall - but this oneIt is not enabled by default. A firewall protects your device by filtering Internet traffic for threats, which can greatly protect your privacy. The software is capable of filtering suspicious packets, unreliable connections and other threats.

The Mac firewall isn't the best, but it's better than nothing. How to activate it:

  1. screw youapple icon.
  2. select "System Options, "Afterward"Security and privacy".
  3. Click on "Firewall"Ticket.
  4. I willSelect a lock and enter your combination- Otherwise, you can't interact with anything.

    12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (10)

  5. Now click on "open firewall” to activate the function.


There are also some additional options available. We recommend hitting "hide modethrough the Advanced Settings menu This prevents your Mac from responding to anonymous pings, such as hackers trying to probe your network and look for devices that can be attacked.

9. Only install apps from the Apple Mac Store

Apple's impeccable security settings for third-party apps provide ample protection for your privacy. Developers have less freedom on a Mac than on an Android or Windows operating system. That means your Mac isIt is not easily infected by malicious applicationsfromhackerthan most other non-Apple devices.

However, you canImprove data protection and securityAdditionally, app downloads are only allowed directly from Apple's Mac App Store. This is:

  1. Choose yoursapple menu icon.
  2. Open "System Options, "Afterward"Security and privacy".
  3. inde "General” tab, unlock the lock with your password.

    12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (11)

  4. make sure"Allows downloading apps from:"has been set"App Store".


Remember that the App Store is the only place you can get new iOS or macOS software. Never download so-called free software from unknown websites or emails.

For better protection, use one of theseThe best antivirus software for Mac to protect your Apple Mac. Advanced Mac antivirus software can scan files before you open them, making sure you don't unknowingly install Mac malware on your device.Norton 360is an excellent Mac antivirus that consistently scores highly in our regular tests.

Protect your Mac from malware with Norton 360

10. Be careful with newly installed app permissions

MikesGood at handling app permissionsRight down to the individual application level. When you install new software, you may be asked to grant different permissions, depending on the program. This is so common that many installation wizards will now show you exactly where to drag an icon or click a button.

12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (12)

But be careful what software you're dealing with. The best antivirus software and other Internet security tools for Mac will ask for advanced permissions, including "full disk accessThis is not something you should give every application.

Download only the recommended software, and if in doubt, ask us if you should give the program full disk access.

11. Limit targeted ads on Mac

Targeted advertising uses your shared interests and browsing habits to tailor advertising to you. If you just went to the doctor and discussed a problem, your device may have heard you. Then you may start seeing ads for related drugs or other products. In a way, this is an invasion of privacy.

While it won't stop you from receiving ads, there is an option in the Mac menu that willLess personalization of Apple ads. Enabling this option will block targeted ads, which can be useful if you're worried about something annoying appearing.

To reduce the personalization of Apple ads:

  1. clickapple iconand select "System Options".
  2. I'm going toGeneral"Ticket.
  3. Scroll down to "advertise".

    12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (13)

  4. Check the boxIn addition to targeted advertising.

Fortunately, there is another way to completely limit ads. Controlbest ad blockerBuilt-in browser software to prevent ads from appearing on your device.

12. Make sure you have macOS automatic updates enabled

Keeping your operating system up to date is vital to your privacy and security. youngVulnerabilities are constantly being discovered, security patches are essential to stay protected.

when youEnable automatic updates, your Mac will be updated as soon as patches are released. You don't have to worry about forgetting to check Apple's website.

To enable automatic updates:

  1. Openapple iconmenu.
  2. I am going"System Options".
  3. Click on "Software update".

    12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (14)

  4. If you see an option to upgrade, select "upgrade now".
  5. Click the check box toEnable automatic updates.

Final thoughts: Mac VPN is best for your privacy

Using one of the best VPNs for Mac is an all-in-one approach when considering how to change your Mac's privacy settings to protect sensitive information online. The best Mac VPN you can find right now is NordVPN,Strong encryption and location lockThis will protect your privacy.

Improve your privacy with NordVPN on Mac

Nevertheless, it isBest paired with internet security softwareContains optimized Mac privacy settings for the strictest approach. So, to recap, check and update your Mac's privacy settings by following our top 12 tips:

  1. use one ofThe best VPNs for Mac.
  2. cabinetEach Mac user has a different account.
  3. Come up withstrong,unique password.
  4. save your password in one of thembest password manager.
  5. Shut upAutomatically connect to Wi-Finetwork.
  6. Enable two-factor authenticationon your Mac.
  7. Use FileVaultFor strong data encryption.
  8. OpenBuilt-in Mac firewall.
  9. Limit the apps you downloadon your device.
  10. review yoursapplication permissionsblow.
  11. limit targeted advertisingso as not to reveal your interest.
  12. activateAutomatic macOS updates.

To learn more about protecting your device's privacy, see the following articles:

  • Smartphone privacy: Know the risks and protect yourself
  • Privacy Risks of Fitness Trackers
  • Smartwatch privacy risks: Protecting your wearable

12 Tips for Changing Your Mac's Privacy Settings: Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for more answers about Mac privacy settings? See the Mac privacy FAQ below.

Where is security and privacy on the Mac?

You can find the security and privacy settings in the System Settings menu.

  1. clickapple iconin the upper left corner of the screen.
  2. clickSystem Options.
  3. Now you would seeSecurity and privacyas an option.

If you want to get the most out of the security and privacy settings on your Mac, read our full articleOptimize your Mac privacy!

How do I change the privacy settings on my Mac?

You can make basic Mac privacy changes by visitingSystem OptionsTo yourapple menu icon. Just click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner of the screen.

You can also make advanced changes, just click the relevant button below yoursSecurity and privacysettings menu. It works best with a strong Mac VPNMac antivirus software.

How do I add apps to the security and privacy settings on my Mac?

You canAssign individual app permissionsGo to the System Preferences menu and click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen.

Click each option, such as Camera and Microphone, and check which apps are allowed to access them. You just canuncheck each boxIf you don't want apps to access this system area.

12 tips for changing your Mac's privacy settings (15)

Chris Bluestein

Cyber ​​Security Reporter

Chris is a technology journalist with years of experience in online privacy and cyber security. He is also a published author and has worked as a product manager at some of the most innovative software development companies.

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