Smart way to keep your Mac safe if you have to bring it in for service

Hopefully, you never have to send your Mac in for repair. But if things go bad, you may have no choice. And usually, when something goes wrong, the last thing you think about is protecting your personal information.

While your Mac may not be working at all when tech finally gets it back up again, they’ll have access to all of your details. So how do you keep your information safe from prying eyes? Tap or click here to see seven tech support scams.

That’s exactly the question Kim recently got on her show. One listener had to send her Mac to the service, and she was worried about all of her passwords. On Macs, any saved passwords are stored in Keychain. Is there a way to password protect your entire keychain? Read on to find out how.

here is the answer
Making your Mac work when you’re not around can be a worrying experience. Essentially, you will need to provide your user password to the technician. This will allow them to test software and update anything that is causing problems.

But if they have your user password, they can use it to access your keychain because it’s the same password. So, the solution to that problem is simple: Create a different password for the keychain.

create another mac account/user
There’s another way to restrict access to your files, folders, and passwords unless the technician needs access to your specific Apple Account. Create a separate account on your Mac that the technician can use.

This would allow them to access your machine but would be limited to roaming around in that environment only. This will keep all your files and passwords securely away from your account.

“We have maintenance accounts. If a malicious technician resets your user profile password, it will not change your Keychain password. They will effectively have no access,” Kim explained to the caller.

Last resort for ultimate safety
There is another option available, but it can be a bit extreme. Kim suggested that the best protection during service is to back up with Time Machine and do a clean reinstall of OSX. This will erase everything from the Mac including your passwords. When you get your machine back, restore it with a backup.

If the drive is connected, your Mac will automatically create hourly backups for the last 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months. Keep in mind that when you do a backup for the first time, it will take some time.

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