How to find group membership in OS X

AccountsIconXGroups in OS X are special account entries that act as umbrellas under which user accounts may exist, allowing single adjustments of access permissions to immediately apply to numerous users. As a result, the use of groups when setting up a multi-user Mac can be exceptionally useful, but then again may also leave open security holes if not done correctly. Continue reading

How to create hidden administrative accounts in OS X

AccountsIconXIf you have a system that is used by other people, you may want to give them managed user accounts and then reserve a separate administrative account for installing apps and changing system settings. This is especially true for situations where many people may be using one computer, such as in classrooms. While you can always create an administrative account, by default such accounts will show up along with others at the login window, in the Fast User Switch menu, and other locations; however, you can set this up to be hidden from most of these locations. Continue reading

How to quickly target shared computers by name in OS X

NetworkIconXEven though in most cases Apple’s Bonjour networking technology allows your Mac to discover relevant services that are broadcast by nearby systems (e.g., shared systems showing in the Finder sidebar), there are times when you may need to enter computer names manually to connect. In these cases, you will have to specify the full name of the system you are targeting, including its domain. For Mac systems, this means append the “.local” suffix to a computer name in order to target it on the local network. However, there is a quick way to avoid having to do this. Continue reading

How to take a screenshot of another user’s desktop in OS X

DesktopAndScreenSaverIconXOne of the popular features of OS X is its built-in screenshot ability, where by pressing Shift-Command-3 you can capture an image of your current screen output to your desktop. This ability allows you to save a record of whatever you are looking at, which has numerous conveniences. By default screenshots will only capture what you see on your screen; however, if needed you can also take a screenshot of another user’s screen without needing to switch your view. Continue reading

How to quickly combine multiple Photos libraries in OS X

PhotosIconXAs of OS X Yosemite, Apple is encouraging everyone to use its new Photos program for managing pictures in OS X. While Photos has a number of pros and cons, it does share a limitation of its “iPhoto” predecessor, in that while it uses a library system for managing photos and offers an option to create multiple libraries, it can only have one open at a time. This means that if you wish to consolidate libraries, you might find yourself jumping through hoops; however, there is a relatively simple way to get this done. Continue reading

How to verify app signatures in OS X

ApplicationIconXOne potential route by which an attacker can compromise your Mac is to modify a legitimate software package to contain malware. While this is difficult to do through official software distribution channels (e.g., the Mac App Store), it can be done through popular alternative approaches like peer-to-peer networking and third-party software distribution Web sites. Continue reading