How To Enable the Firewall in Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Whether you want to admit it or not, Macs running OS X can be compromised by hackers. If you’re a longtime Windows user and switching to Mac, you know the importance of having the built in firewall enabled. But did you know OS X comes with a Firewall as well? Here we take a look at how to enable and set it up.

For this article we’re using a Mac Mini running OS X Snow Leopard version 10.6.7, but the steps are essentially the same on older versions of OS X as well.

1. Open System Preferences from the Dock or by clicking the apple icon and selecting System Preferences.

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2. When System Preferences opens, click on the Security icon.

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3. When the Security screen opens click on the Firewall tab…you’ll notice it’s turned off by default. To turn it on you’ll need to click the lock icon located in the lower left corner.

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4. You’ll be prompted to enter in your password to allow System Preferences to make changes.

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5. Now click on the Start button.

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6. Once the firewall is turned on, it will come up with a few programs that might be running. In this case it’s the Plex Media program, since I know what it is I can click Allow. If something comes up and you’re not sure what it is. don’t allow incoming connections, use Google to find out what the process is, then take the appropriate actions based on your findings.

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7. If you click on the Advanced button, it brings you to additional selections to really lock it down…the average user should be fine with the defaults. Also from here you can add or remove programs that you want to allow incoming connections to.

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That’s all there is to it. Macs are generally not prone to attacks, however, as they get more popular they will be targeted by hackers more. You can never be to safe, so having a security strategy like configuring the Firewall, will give you peace of mind.

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