macOS 13 Ventura

Lockdown Mode & Other Security Features in macOS 13 Ventura

Science and Technology

The latest operating system by Apple was released in October 2022. Compared to Big Sur and other operating systems over the years, macOS 13 Ventura does not come with loads of features and improvements.

However, there are some interesting security and private updates in Ventura that you must know. Here’s what’s new.

Lockdown Mode

The Lockdown mode is Apple’s headline security feature for macOS and iOS. It is a setting that enables users to put in place much more robust stricter security protections on their devices. It is designed for the rare few who are always targeted by hackers and cybercriminals.

The security feature received widespread attention as an attack reduction tool. You can enable the Lockdown mode by going to the System Settings application > Privacy & Security > Lockdown mode > Turn on. Then, you must restart your device in Lockdown mode.

You can even enable this feature separately on your devices. Some of the Apple services on your device will change as you allow the lockdown mode, such as:

  • FaceTime – Incoming calls will be blocked unless the person has been previously contacted by you. This is in response to FaceTime bugs like the exploit in 2019 that allowed attackers to listen in on your mic before the call was picked up.
  • Messages – The message attachments will be blocked, besides particular video, image, and audio attachments. This will include iMessage apps like in-conversation games. The link previews will also be disabled.
  • Photos – In iCloud Photos, the new Shared Albums functionality is blocked, and the invitations are rejected automatically. The Shared Albums will work on devices where the Lockdown mode isn’t enabled.

Besides these, Home and other Apple services will reject incoming invitations when the Lockdown mode is enabled unless you have interacted with the sender before.

Enhanced anti-malware Suite

With macOS 13 Ventura, Apple is improving XProtect, which is macOS’ native anti-malware suite. Also, a new malware tool has been added called XProtect Remediator.

Although Apple is taking malware on Mac systems seriously, users must continue exercising vigilance. If you think your system has slowed down or you see an increase in unwanted ads, learn to remove malware by clicking  https://setapp.com/how-to/spyware-removal-guide.

Improved Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper is improved, and in Ventura, it will perform code signing checks whenever an application is run. Previously, it would do this only when an app was launched for the first time.

Therefore, Gatekeeper will prevent bad actors from messing with your applications after installation.

However, since Apple’s automated application security tools have been found to have some vulnerabilities in the past, you must not let your guard down.

Rapid Security Response

When you upgrade your Mac to Ventura, you will automatically receive security patches. The new feature is called Rapid Security Response, which is already available in iOS 16.

Enabling Rapid Security Response is the right choice for most users as it helps to prevent gaps in coverage between Apple issuing an official security patch and the disclosure of a vulnerability.

Go to System Settings > Software Update, find the Rapid Security Response feature, and enable it.

Improved Password Editing

After you have updated your system to Ventura, you can create strong and unique passwords in Safari and even edit them according to the requirements of specific websites.

The password editing feature is essential because many websites have decided that they don’t want passwords containing special characters or they want passwords that do contain specific numbers, special characters, etc. Therefore, users are in a tricky position because it is difficult to come up with complex, random passwords.

Thanks to the strong password editing feature, you can use Keychain to generate strong passwords and edit them to meet the specific requirements of the website.

You can find the feature by going to Other Options when you are setting up an account and then clicking the options to see Edit Strong Password or No Special Characters.

Passkeys

Passkeys is a new feature introduced by Ventura, and this revolutionizes the use of passwords. You don’t need to remember complicated, long passwords anymore because you can enter a website or log in to your account using a passkey. Passkeys are digital keys that remain on the device where they were created. Therefore, they are much safer than passwords and will prevent cyber criminals from stealing your data.

The Bottom Line

Cybercriminals and hackers have become much more active than before. They have been targeting macOS users using sophisticated technologies and techniques. If you want to keep your personal data secure, upgrade your system and take advantage of the above-mentioned security improvements.

However, before upgrading, find out if your Mac model is compatible or eligible for the update. Also, ensure there’s enough storage space for installing macOS Ventura and connect your system to a stable Internet connection.