By Anonymous High School Student

At the end of last school year, my current laptop was starting to have things break. It is really hard to be in a class Zoom with broken speakers (luckily my headphones still worked). As the new school year was about to start I decided to use my savings to purchase a new laptop for myself, a MacBook Pro.

While I was waiting for my new MacBook to arrive, I started researching how to set up my new laptop with security and privacy in mind. There are way too many creepers out there trying to connect to me through various accounts so I wanted to set my security and privacy settings correctly from the start to minimize any information people I don’t know could find on me based on my MacBook activities.

While these are not exactly step-by-step directions for setting privacy and security settings, if you read these first and keep them up as you configure your laptop, they will help guide you.

Initial setup of MacBook Pro on startup

  • Express Setup – Do NOT allow location services on your mac
  • Select Your Time Zone – Do NOT allow it to set time automatically based on location
  • Analytics – Do NOT share mac analytic with apple or share crash and usage data with app developers
  • Siri – Do NOT enable ask siri
  • Touch ID – Don’t set up touch ID

Once logged in to MacBook

  • Go to System Preferences and select security and privacy
  • Click General, located under the words security and privacy (you will need to click the lock at the bottom of the window to allow changes to be made)
  • Require the password immediately
  • Then click Firewall to turn it on
  • Next, click Advanced under the Firewall tab
  • I set my device to log out after 10 minutes of inactivity
  • Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner and click System Preferences in the drop down menu
  • Then click on the Software Update icon
  • Select the automatically keep my mac up to date
  • Then click update now if it shows you there is an update available. Every time you are prompted to install a new update save the work you are doing and install the update (if this is during homework time or school make yourself a note to do it after)

Safari privacy settings

  • Open Safari
  • Click Safari next to the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen and click Safari Extensions in the drop down menu
  • Search DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials and install (It blocks trackers and prevents companies from collecting your data)
  • Once you open the DuckDuckGo app click to enable privacy protection and privacy dashboard
  • Then follow the rest of the instructions to set up DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials

Settings in other apps

You should then go into each of your individual apps to update your privacy and security settings according to each app

Install anti-virus

Based on all the research I did to set up my new MacBook Pro with security and privacy in mind, I found that there are a number of viruses out there for Macs. So I installed Anti-Virus software designed for Macs, Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9.

I am sure I will find other settings and software along the way, but making these changes makes me feel more comfortable using my new MacBook Pro.

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