Gatekeeper makes downloading apps safer.
Gatekeeper makes it safer to download apps by protecting you from inadvertently installing malicious software on your Mac. The safest place to download apps for your Mac is the Mac App Store. Apple reviews each app before it’s accepted by the store, and if there’s ever a problem with an app, Apple can quickly remove it from the store. When you download software from any other place on the Internet, Gatekeeper makes that safer, too. Developers can get a unique Developer ID from Apple and use it to digitally sign their apps. The Developer ID allows Gatekeeper to block apps created by malware developers and to verify that apps haven’t been tampered with. If an app was developed by an unknown developer — one with no Developer ID — Gatekeeper can keep your Mac safe by blocking the app from being installed.
Gatekeeper gives you more control over what you install.
Gatekeeper gives you three security options. Just like today, you can download and install apps from anywhere on the web. Or you can choose the safest option and download and install apps only from the Mac App Store. Or use the default option, which allows you to download apps from the Mac App Store as well as those signed with a Developer ID. If an app is unsigned, Gatekeeper blocks the app from being installed and warns you that it did not come from an identified developer. If you’re sure the app is safe, you can manually override Gatekeeper by Control-clicking the app and choosing to open it.
Software updates keep your Mac safe.
The best way to protect your Mac is to keep your software up to date, and OS X Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever. It unifies software updates for apps in the Mac App Store and updates to OS X. When new updates are available, Mountain Lion sends you a notification. Just accept the updates with a click and they download automatically. OS X now checks for new updates every day, so it’s easy to always have the latest and safest version of OS X.
FileVault 2 encrypts your data.
With FileVault 2, your data is safe and secure — even if it falls into the wrong hands. FileVault 2 encrypts the entire drive on your Mac, protecting your data with XTS-AES 128 encryption. Initial encryption is fast and unobtrusive. It can also encrypt any removable drive, helping you secure Time Machine backups or other external drives with ease. Want to start fresh or give your Mac to someone else? FileVault 2 makes it easy to clean data off your Mac. Instant wipe removes the encryption key from your Mac — making the data completely inaccessible — then proceeds with a thorough wipe of all data from the disk.
Parental controls protect your kids.
As a parent, you want your kids to have a safe and happy experience on the computer. OS X keeps an eye out even when you can’t. With a simple setup in Parental Controls preferences, you can manage, monitor and control the time your kids spend on the Mac, the sites they visit and the people they chat with.
Privacy controls protect your privacy.
System Preferences now contains privacy controls for location sharing and diagnostic information sharing. And Safari preferences include a privacy pane that allows you to limit or block cookies and limit website access to location services. It also includes a “do not track” setting that asks websites not to track your movements as you surf.
Sandboxing blocks malicious code.
The App Sandbox in OS X helps ensure that apps do only what they’re intended to do. App sandboxing isolates apps from the critical system components of your Mac, your data and your other apps. Even if an app is compromised by malicious software, sandboxing automatically blocks it to keep your computer and your information safe. OS X Mountain Lion delivers even better sandboxing protection in Safari. And it adds sandboxing to new apps like Notes, Reminders and Game Center, as well as existing apps such as Mail and FaceTime.
Runtime protections defend at the core.
The technically sophisticated runtime protections in OS X Mountain Lion work at the very core of your Mac to help keep your system safe. Built right into the processor, the XD (execute disable) feature creates a strong wall between memory used for data and memory used for executable instructions. This protects against malware that attempts to trick the Mac into treating data the same way it treats a program in order to compromise your system. Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) changes the memory locations where different parts of an app are stored. This makes it difficult for an attacker to do harm by finding and reordering parts of an app to make it do something it wasn’t intended to do. Mountain Lion brings ASLR to the memory used by the kernel at the heart of OS X, so the same defenses now work at every level in your Mac.
Antiphishing protects you
from fraudulent websites.
Phishing is a form of attack in which online thieves try to acquire sensitive information such as user names, passwords and credit card details by creating fake websites that look like sites from legitimate companies — like your bank or a social networking site. The antiphishing technology in Safari can protect you from such scams by detecting these fraudulent websites. And if you try to visit a suspicious site, Safari disables the page and displays an alert warning you about its suspect nature.
Your Mac stays on the alert.
Innocent-looking files downloaded over the Internet may contain dangerous malware in disguise. That’s why files you download using Safari, Mail and Messages are screened to determine if they contain applications. If they do, OS X alerts you, then warns you the first time you open one. You decide whether to open the application or cancel the attempt. And if a file contains software identified as malicious, OS X offers to move it to the Trash.
OS X helps create stronger passwords.
OS X makes it easy to stay safe online, whether you’re checking your bank account, sending confidential email or sharing files with friends and coworkers. Features such as Password Assistant help you create stronger passwords to thwart identity thieves, while built-in encryption technologies protect your private information and communications.
OS X and iCloud can help find your missing Mac.
OS X and iCloud can help keep your Mac safe even when you misplace it. Sign in to iCloud.com from another computer or use the Find My iPhone app on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to locate your missing Mac on a map. If your Mac is offline when you try to find it, you can ask to receive an email as soon as it makes a Wi-Fi connection. You can also display a message on your Mac screen so whoever has it knows how to get it back to you. And until your Mac is back in safe hands, you can set a passcode lock remotely or even initiate a remote wipe to delete your personal data and restore your Mac to its factory settings.