Set up security options for Back to My Mac

Help protect your data on the Macs you use with Back to My Mac. 

Back to My Mac uses these methods to protect your security:

  • IPSec and SSL encrypt and secure communication between your Macs and the Back to My Mac servers. Anything you transfer between Macs is protected.
  • Kerberos with digital certificates provide secure and trusted authentication to help verify identity. An added benefit: with Kerberos, you won’t have to enter your user name and password every time you connect to another Mac in your Back to My Mac network.

You can make your network even more secure by changing a few optional settings. See the tips below.

Use strong passwords for user accounts

Set strong passwords for your iCloud account and Mac OS X user account, and keep those passwords safe. Anyone who knows your user names and passwords might be able to access Mac computers that are signed in to your iCloud account. 

Require a password after sleep or screen saver begins

On every Mac in your Back to My Mac network, turn on the option to require a password. Then anyone who wants to access your Mac has to enter your password before they can start it, wake it from sleep, or exit the screen saver.

To require a password, follow these steps:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple () menu, then click Security & Privacy.
  2. Select "Require password immediately after sleep or screen saver begins.”

Lock the screen manually

On every Mac in your Back to My Mac network, set the Lock screen option to appear on the desktop. When you're sharing the screen with a remote Mac, you can lock the screen manually before you end the session. No one can access your remote Mac before the screen saver comes on.

Here's how you set the Lock screen to show on the desktop: 

  1. Open Keychain Access, located in /Applications/Utilities. 
  2. Choose Preferences from the Keychain Access menu, and click the General tab.
  3. Select "Show keychain status in menu bar.” A padlock icon appears in the menu bar at the top of your desktop.

To lock the screen manually, click the padlock icon and choose Lock Screen. 

Turn off automatic login

When you turn off automatic login, anyone who tries to log in to a user account on your Mac has to enter the password. You can turn off automatic login for all user accounts that are signed in to iCloud:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the  menu, and click Users & Groups. 
  2. Click the lock icon at the bottom of the window.
  3. Enter your administrator name and password, and click Unlock.
  4. Click Login Options (located above the lock icon), and set Automatic login to Off. 
  5. Click the lock icon again and close the window.
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