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Mac OS® X Snow Leopard™ All-in-One for Dummies® by Mark L. Chambers

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Chapter II.4. You Mean Others Can Use My Mac, Too?

In This Chapter

  • Understanding how multiuser systems work

  • Configuring login settings

  • Changing the appearance of the login screen

  • Tightening security during login

  • Starting applications automatically when you log in

Whether you're setting up Mac OS X for use in a public library or simply allowing your 12-year-old to use your Mac in your home office, configuring Snow Leopard for multiple users is a simple task. However, you must also consider the possible downsides of a mismanaged multiuser system: files and folders being shared that you didn't want in the public domain, users logging in as one another, and the very real possibility of accidental file deletion (and worse).

Therefore, in this chapter, I show you how to take those first steps before you open Pandora's Box — setting login options, configuring the personal account that you created when you first installed the operating system, and protecting your stuff. (Network administrators call this security check-up locking things down. Better start using the terminology now, even before you buy your suspenders and pocket protector.)

How Multiuser Works on Mac OS X

When you create multiple users in Mac OS X, each person who uses your Macintosh — hence the term user — has a separate account (much like an account that you might open at a bank). Mac OS X creates a Home folder for each user and saves that user's preferences independently from those of other users. When you log in to Mac OS X, you ...

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