Computer security is one feature that always catches the attention of tech users and analysts. The reason being computer security is never done. With the increase in cybercrimes and the use of innovative hacking techniques, the need to upgrade security features becomes a necessity. To offer a smooth experience to users, tech firms spend millions in research and development to bring the best security feature in the tech industry. And, when it comes to security, no one can beat Apple. With the aim to reduce cyber threats and risk of data loss, Apple introduced MacOS 10.15 Catalina with impressive security features. MacOS Catalina is live and ready for the users to download and enjoy the best viewing experience. The latest operating software gives powerful ways to do amazing things. It allows users to create and discover like never before.
After spending time and effort, Apple is all set to introduce new security features in its latest operating system. The latest MacOS update focuses on safeguarding user data by decreasing the risk of data thefts. Mac OS Catalina comes with impressive new security controls. For instance, now Apple users will have to give permission to apps for accessing the parts of their drive where users store their critical data. Whether you are a developer or a loyal Apple customer, you must be well acquainted with the latest security features in MacOS Catalina. Some of the changes may look familiar, the reason being some of the Apple improvements follow the Apple policy of bringing MacOS with the mobile operating system, iOS for iPhones, and its new iPadOS.
If you are curious about MacOS Catalina’s latest security features and how they work, this guide will hopefully help you.
- Apps now need permission to access your files: The latest feature of MacOS Catalina makes the apps to ask for permission before accessing certain parts of your file system. When we talk about file system, we are refereeing to your documents, desktop folders, iCloud drives, and external storage devices that are connected to your device. This security feature is gaining attention from all corners. With permission-based access, Apple aims at reducing the risk of cyber-attacks and loss of data due to malware or virus attacks. However, users must note that when they go for the first upgrade to Catalina, they will encounter blizzard of permission request dialog boxes that can be frustrating. This is the reason why many users compare the new security feature with Windows Vistas full-screen security prompts. But, trust us, in reality; it’s nowhere near as egregious.
- Weak password warning: Both MacOS and iOS focus on creating better password security. With Catalina’s arrivals, now users will get warning related to weak passwords. For instance, if you sign in to a website with a weak password, you will get security alerts. You will get a notification to change the password to something stronger, which is difficult to crack. When you sign up for a new website, safari will recommend a unique, strong password that you will remember for future use. If you want to see all the passwords and to know which password is weak or duplicated, you can open preferences from the safari menu and choose passwords.
- Better screen time limits: Mac OS Catalina comes with the screen time feature, which tracks users’ screen time activity. With the screen time limit feature, users can determine how much time they spend on Netflix or social media platforms daily. Parents can also put time limits on the usage by making use of strong passcodes. To set limits, users can open screen time by clicking on the system preferences from the Apple menu on MacOS. With this tool, you can set limits on specific apps or websites. Parents can also restrict the viewing of adult content on the web as well as video purchases from Apple. Also, it’s interesting to note that the feature not only limits the hours of usage by kids but also helps parents in keeping a check on what their children are doing.
- Input monitoring, screen recording, and safari: With the new security feature, apps have to ask for permission to log keyboard input and perform screen recording. These options are available under system preferences security and privacy, with the name of input monitoring and screen recording. Input monitoring refers to any text input that the operating system will not handle like the “Allow Full Access” setting on iOS for third-party keyboards. . The new feature will protect users against keyloggers. Screen recording restrictions will block apps from recording anything without permission. The restriction affects apps like Apple’s own Quick time player, asking users to Open System Preferences, click the lock to authorize the changes and then manually grant permission to apps. Users can also allow or deny requests to download files from specific domains. Users have the option to fine-tune their choices like clicking Safari, preferences, website. Users can also grant permission, deny outright, or even prompt the website to ask every time using the provided controls.
- Improvement in gatekeeper technology: The most significant security upgrade that is catching the attention of both users, as well as tech experts, is the enhanced gatekeeper technology. Gatekeeper is that component of the OS, which is responsible for reducing the risk of virus and malware attack. With the up-gradation of gatekeeper technology, it will now become harder for malicious software to cause damage to your device. With the new security feature, every software user will install outside the app store will be checked every time to see if there are some securities threats. Earlier, this would happen for the first time when users will try to open the app. With the gatekeeper technology, programs now need to take permission to record what users are typing or even to record what’s happening on the screen. All this comes in addition to the existing permission management, which Apple uses for accessing Mac’s location. Webcam, and more.
- Activation lock with a T2 chip: Activation lock is one feature that Apple introduced to reduce the chances of thefts. With this feature, users can lock their devices with the Apple ID. And, users will have to provide their login credentials if they want to restore the device. This is done to prevent thieves from stealing your phone, reset the setting, and then sell the device. The same technology will now be present in MacOS Catalina. But, note that the security feature only works for those Macs which come with T2 chip, custom piece of silicon, image signal processor, and audio controller and SSD controller in a single piece of hardware. Some of the Mac computers that contain T2 chip include:
1. MacBook pro-2018 or later
2. MacBook Air 2018 or later
3. iMac Pro (all models)
4. Mac mini 2018 or later
Find My Smarts: Want to know where your device is? Want to keep a check on your friends and family? Now, it will become easy with the Find My Smarts application present on iOS 13, iPadOS, and MacOS Catalina. With the new feature, if you lose your Mac or if it gets stolen, you can track down the location. What the best part is that even if the device is not connected to the internet, you can find your device. Apple uses iPhones, MacBooks, and other Apple devices used by other people to detect your Mac’s low energy Bluetooth signal. This means if any Apple product passes by your device you will be able to track the location.
More secure home video: With the new security features in MacOS Catalina, the Apples HomeKit smart home has introduced tighter security guidelines. According to recent security guidelines, HomeKit will carefully scrutinize any home security camera asking for permission to join the platform. Another security feature in MacOS Catalina is the view-only notes sharing. Under the new feature, users can share notes with read-only access. This means you can freely share your notes with friends without worrying about any changes made by them. To activate the view only note sharing you have to click on the add people button on the toolbar. Click on “only people you invite “can view from the permission drop-down menu.
Apart from the security changes, there are small changes that users might not notice at first. For instance, the ability to approve admin requests on your Apple Watch. Apart from these security changes, Mac OS Catalina offers a wide range of improved accessibility features like voice control, accurate dictation, and the ability to add custom words. Trust us; these security changes are going to change the tech game in 2020. Apple is known for creating the best experience for its users, whether it’s the security or the easy to use user interface. With these security changes, Apple has raised the bar for other tech firms. What’s interesting to see is how users will respond to these changes in the coming years?