Improve the security of your Back to My Mac network

Help protect information on your Mac.

Back to My Mac* uses these security methods:

  • IPSec and SSL encrypt and secure communication between your Mac and the Back to My Mac servers, which protects anything that you transfer between your Mac computers.
  • Kerberos with digital certificates provides secure and trusted authentication to help verify identity. (And with Kerberos, you won’t need to enter your user name and password every time you connect to another Mac in your Back to My Mac network.)

* Back to My Mac isn't available on macOS Mojave. Explore alternatives for file access, screen sharing, and remote desktop access.

Make your network even more secure with these optional settings

Here are some extra settings that you can use to make your network even more secure.

Use strong passwords for user accounts

Set strong passwords for your Apple ID account and Mac macOS 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 iCloud with your Apple ID. 

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 needs your password before they can start or wake your Mac, or exit the screen saver.

Here's how to require a password:

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

Lock your screen

On every Mac in your Back to My Mac network, set the Lock-screen option to appear on the desktop. When you share your screen with a remote Mac, you can lock your screen manually before you end the session. Then, 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 from the Utilities folder in your Applications folder.
  2. Choose Preferences from the Keychain Access menu, then click the General tab.
  3. Select "Show keychain status in menu bar." A lock icon appears in the menu bar.
  4. To lock your 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 your user account on your Mac needs your password. To turn off automatic login, follow these steps:

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