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OS X Mountain Lion: Guard your privacy

Guard your privacy

Privacy is an important concern when using apps that exchange information across the web. OS X includes security features to ensure your privacy and control the amount of information about you and your Mac that’s exposed over the Internet.

Here are some ways you can protect your privacy:

  • Prevent apps from accessing information about your computer’s location using location services.

  • Choose not to share diagnostic and usage information about your computer.

  • Use the privacy features in Safari to ensure your privacy on the web by preventing sites from storing cookies, blocking pop-up windows, limiting location services, and more.

  • Limit and monitor who your kids can chat and email with.

  • Create a firewall between your Mac and the network, and prevent your Mac from responding to queries from unauthorized users.

For more information, see the topics below.

Control information about your computer’s location

Location services let apps, such as web browsers, gather and use information based on your location.

You can turn off location services completely, or you can select which apps can see information about your location. To manage your location services preferences, use the Privacy pane of Security & Privacy preferences.

Privacy preferences

For more information on location services, see:

About managing Location Services

Choose not to share diagnostic and usage information

Apple would like your help improving the quality and performance of its products and services. OS X can automatically collect diagnostic and usage information from your Mac and send it to Apple for analysis. The information is sent only with your consent and is submitted anonymously to Apple. For more information, see the help topic:

Send diagnostic and usage data to Apple

To choose whether diagnostic and usage data is sent to Apple, use the Privacy pane of Security & Privacy preferences.

Use Safari’s privacy features

Safari provides numerous features to help you control your privacy on the Internet. You can browse privately, so there’s no record of where you’ve browsed and what you’ve downloaded. You can block pop-up windows, stop sites from storing cookies on your Mac, and more. To find out more about privacy protection in Safari, see these topics:

Browse privately

Remove cookies and other data

Block pop-ups and unnecessary content

Use parental controls

You can use parental controls to monitor your children’s computer use, control who can contact them using email or chat, and limit their access to websites.

Filter inappropriate Internet content

Monitor children’s computer usage

Set limits on email

Set up a firewall

You can use a firewall to protect your privacy by blocking unwanted network communications with your computer. If the firewall is turned on, you can also use “stealth mode,” which prevents your computer from being discovered by others on the web.

To set up and customize your firewall, use the Firewall pane of Security & Privacy preferences.

Prevent unwanted connections with a firewall

Prevent others from discovering your computer

Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
  • Article: PH11362
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