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12. Accounts, Firewalls, and Security > Introducing Accounts

Introducing Accounts

The concept of user accounts is central to Tiger’s security approach. Like the Unix under its skin (and also like Windows XP and Windows 2000), Mac OS X is designed from the ground up to be a multiple-user operating system. You can configure a Mac OS X machine so that everyone must log in—that is, you have to click or type your name and type in a password—when the computer turns on.

Upon doing so, you discover the Macintosh universe just as you left it, including these elements:

  • Your documents, files, and folders

  • Your preference settings in just about every program you use: Web browser bookmarks and preferred home page; desktop picture, screen saver, and language; icons on the desktop and in the Dock—and the size and position of the Dock itself; and so on


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