Can you ever have too much security? Well, as they say, ‘only the paranoid survive.’ Whether true or not, there are ways to lock down your Mac and prevent unauthorized usage (whether your Mac is stolen, confiscated, or merely borrowed by a family member or co-worker while you’re away).
In my never ending question for extra security measures one of the more unique apps I’ve come across recently is iLock (we have iEverything else and iDevices, so why not iLock?) which does something unique to protect your Mac. It can password protect any app on the Mac from unauthorized usage. If the app is locked and a thief or family member or co-worker doesn’t have the password, the app won’t run.
iLock couldn’t be much easier to use, either. Drag and drop the apps you want to lock onto iLock and adjust settings as needed.
iLock works in the background of OS X and in my tests CPU usage was nominal so battery life on a Mac notebook should not be an issue. The app keeps track of every attempt to open and use a locked app, too. Plus, AES encryption is employed to keep the app itself locked down. No password. No app.
There are keyboard shortcuts to bring up the iLock window.
How does an app like iLock fit into your security scheme? Well you should be using a locked Mac with a screensaver that triggers quickly after you step away from the Mac. However, there might be a window of opportunity of a few moments when your Mac is vulnerable to usage from a co-worker, someone who walks by, or even a family member intent upon finding all those incriminating photos you’ve been storing.
iLock won’t keep someone out of your Mac, but they will prevent access to specific applications on your Mac, which means someone cannot use Safari or whatever browser you use. That also means Mail is locked down. Ditto for Calendar, Contacts, the iWork trio of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, or pretty much anything else which could cause you grief if someone else could use the app while you’re away on a bathroom break.
There are a few apps that do not work with iLock, but most dedicated, standalone apps will. One example of one that will not is Time Machine which isn’t really an app in the traditional sense, but part of OS X.
Otherwise, what you get is another last minute layer of protection that can prevent someone from using your Mac while you’re not.