What you store on your Mac is valuable, right? Photos, movie clips, music, an overstuffed Documents folder with every file you’ve saved for the past 15 years. Those files are valuable so it pays to add a few layers of security.
Think of these well known phrases.
First up, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ Thieves can be persistent, right? Second is Murphy’s Law, ‘Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.’ Even your best efforts at security will have a hole. Finally, ‘Only the paranoid survive.’
When it comes to securing files on your Mac from prying eyes you cannot be too careful. In addition to encryption tools, usernames with secure passwords, and other devices, here’s an inexpensive one to add to your list of options to massage your paranoia. This utility has been around a few years. The name is TokenLock— an app which locks down your Mac quickly and easily, and, if your smartphone has Bluetooth, it can unlock your Mac when you come back.
Wait. Don’t new Macs and iPhones already have a feature like that? Yeah, kinda mostly, but this is more than a little bit different. What TokenLock does is somewhat unique among security apps. Remove a USB device from your Mac and TokenLock locks the Mac. Remove a Bluetooth device and the Mac gets locked again. Or, lock the Mac with a specific hotkey, a click, or even Apple’s InfraRed Remote Control. And there’s more. Let me run through the list.
Lock With TokenLock – Your Mac gets locked up with a black screen. The password box is the only way to enter. You can setup a lock screen message. It also stops the Mac from sleeping the display.
Display Sleep – You still need a password to get it, but the Mac’s screen sleeps (this requires System Preferences changes to require a password when the Mac sleeps).
Screensaver – Every Mac has one and TokenLock can launch the screensaver whenever it locks the Mac. This is also the one that gets used the most frequently.
System Lock – This is different, more secure, but comes with a caveat. It uses the Mac’s system locking functionality, but TokenLock won’t automatically unlock the Mac. You’ll need to enter the password.
No Lock – TokenLock has an option to run apps or scripts whenever a specific Bluetooth device comes within range (or moves out of range).
One more thing. TokenLock will lock your Mac when a connected Bluetooth device reaches a specific minimum signal strength. That’s the feature that caught my eye. Pair TokenLock on your Mac to Bluetooth on your iPhone. Get up from the Mac and walk away. As the signal strength fades, TokenLock will lock your Mac automatically based on the proximity of your iPhone. How cool is that?
The manual for TokenLock is surprisingly detailed, especially so considering the nominal price tag. There are lots of options. A Mac user should never have a single way of protecting files, so add this one to your arsenal and have it do all those deeds automatically.