The Best Security Features of macOS Sierra

We’ve discussed various pros and cons of macOS Sierra through a series of articles. But, we haven’t covered a very important aspect of mac Sierra that Apple wants to put on top – security. Here’re some of the best of macOS Sierra’s security and privacy features.

Welcoming HTML5

In Sierra, Apple has brought up a big change in Safari’s setting. It’ll no longer reveal the installed plugin data to other websites. Adobe Flash plugin will be turned off by default to encourage websites to use HTML5 based videos. Its reason is simple – Flash is easily exploitable than HTML5. Most of you have already read about the vulnerability of flash content in Mac systems.

But, still, there are some websites such as Pandora, Spotify, etc. that need Flash support. So, if you try to play these websites in Safari, it’ll ask you to download Flash.

Apple Pay

From macOS Sierra, Apple Pay – the digital wallet/mobile payment service – is available through Safari browser. It’d be a great opportunity for Mac users who are searching alternatives for web payment services like PayPal. Apple claims that Apple Pay is one of the most secure ways to pay with your credit/debit cards.

To use Apple Pay on the web, you need an iPhone 6/phone running under iOS 10 or an Apple Watch running WatchOS 3.  To ensure the security of Apple Pay, Apple recommends you to have a passcode set on your device and an optional touch ID. For greater security, using a complex passcode is recommended.

Unlocking your Mac with Apple Watch

If you have an Apple Watch, you can set this option now itself. For that, go to Settings > General > Security & Privacy > and find general tab. Uncheck the option to allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.

If this feature isn’t working for your Mac, it’s the time to check your Macs hardware compatibility. This unlocks feature only work with Macs from 2013 or later. And your Apple Watch must be running under watchOS 3.

One thing is very important – to enable this auto to unlock feature, you’ll need two-factor-authentication. And your Mac and Apple Watch should be signed into the same iCloud account.

Gatekeeper in Sierra

Gatekeeper is a security feature of macOS Sierra that prevents the user from launching potentially harmful applications. It was first introduced in OS X Mountain Lion. In macOS Sierra, Apple has made some important changes to this tool.  In Sierra, Gatekeeper options won’t let you choose to allow any and all apps. Only signed apps and Mac store apps are allowed by default. Anyhow, by right clicking on an unsupported app, you can still open that app on sierra.

New File System

Previously we already discussed Apple's new file system. The so-called Apple File System isn’t available till now. Anyhow, it’s expected to debut in 2017 before next major macOS update so that you can get it on Sierra itself. This new file system is expected to be optimized for SSDs and flash storage with strong encryption, cloning, and space sharing features.

The Best Security Features of macOS Sierra was last modified: November 24th, 2016 by John Harris

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