(These directions are for Mac OS 10.6. Other versions may vary.)
From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences, and then go to the Security pane. Select “Require password immediately after sleep or screen saver begins.” This will also secure a laptop when you close the lid.
Go to the Desktop & Screen Saver pane in System Preferences. Select the Screen Saver tab. Move the slider to start the screen saver after 15 minutes or less.
Additionally, you can choose a shortcut so your screen saver starts when you move the pointer to a corner of the screen. To do so, click on “Hot Corners” and select a corner to Start Screen Saver. This allows you to lock your computer by moving the mouse to the specified corner of the screen.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to setup a menu bar shortcut from the Keychain Access application:
Open the Keychain Access application. It’s located in Applications/Utilities. Or you can use the search mechanism, “Spotlight” at the top right hand corner of the Desktop, highlight the magnifying glass, and search for “Keychain”.
Select the Preferences from the Keychain Access menu.
Select “Show Status in Menu Bar.”
Notice a new menu bar on the top right of the screen. Select “Lock Screen” from this menu to secure your computer.
Data will only be completely deleted when it is overwritten by other data. If you merely delete a file and empty the Trash or Recycle Bin, you would think that the data would cease to exist. But no, it continues to live on the hard drive and can be retrieved easily enough. When you need to be sure that confidential data will be completely deleted from your hard drive, ask your IT Support group for help with secure deletion of files or secure disposal of your device.
Data on any electronic device can become corrupt and unusable, not to mention lost and/or stolen or encrypted by online criminals. Doing regularly scheduled backups can save you much time and headache in trying to recover that data.
For major Mac OS upgrades, if your Mac is running PGP encryption software or any specialty software, please check first with your IT support group and/or software vendor if it is safe to upgrade the OS .
Open System Preferences and select “Software Update.”
Ensure “Check for updates” is checked and a reasonable time period is selected.