How to Configure Secure User Options on Your Mac

By Mark L. Chambers

You can configure El Capitan for tighter login security, making it much harder for anyone to sit down at your Mac and break into your system. The secure login options are located on the System Preferences Security & Privacy pane, so click the System Preferences icon on the Dock and then click the Security & Privacy icon. Click the General tab to display the settings.

For tighter security, enable these options:

  • Require Password <time> After Sleep or Screen Saver Begins: Select this option to add an extra layer of password security to a laptop (or a Mac in a public area). OS X El Capitan then requires that you enter your login password before the system returns from a sleep state or exits a screen saver. The pop-up menu specifies the amount of time that must pass before your password is required.
  • Disable Automatic Login: Enable this option to force a full login every time you boot your Mac. (Laptop owners, take note: Turn on this option to prevent a thief from accessing your data!) You should also disable automatic login if you’re using FileVault encryption.
  • Allow Apps Downloaded From: Click the Mac App Store radio button to select it, which prevents any application that has not been checked and approved by Apple from running on your Mac.