Enhancing macOS Security: A Guide to Enabling and Configuring the Firewall

This comprehensive guide is specifically tailored for securing your personal home PC or Mac. It's essential to note that Seattle University's managed devices come equipped with state-of-the-art security measures pre-configured, ensuring an elevated level of protection by default.

Enabling the macOS firewall helps protect your computer from unauthorized incoming network connections. It can be an essential security measure to prevent unauthorized access to your system. To turn on the macOS firewall, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen.

  2. Select "System Preferences" from the drop-down menu.

  3. In the System Preferences window, click on "Security & Privacy."

  4. Go to the "Firewall" tab at the top of the Security & Privacy window.

  5. Click on the lock icon in the bottom-left corner of the window to make changes. You'll need to enter your administrator password.

  6. Once the lock is open, click on the "Turn On Firewall" button.

  7. By default, the firewall is set to block all incoming connections. This is the recommended setting for most users, as it provides the highest level of security.

  8. If you need to allow specific apps to receive incoming connections, click on the "Firewall Options..." button.

  9. In the Firewall Options window, you can see a list of apps and their current settings regarding incoming connections. You can customize the access for individual apps by selecting them from the list and choosing "Allow incoming connections," "Block incoming connections," or "Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connections."

  10. After making any changes, click the "OK" button to apply the settings.

  11. Close the System Preferences window.

That's it! Your macOS firewall is now turned on, protecting your computer from unauthorized incoming network connections. Keep in mind that the firewall primarily focuses on incoming connections, so it won't affect outgoing connections or your ability to browse the internet or use applications. It is a valuable security feature to keep your system safe while connected to the internet.