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How to prevent user on my network from hacking my Macbook Air, High Sierra.


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Hi all, Please keep in mind I'm not real tech savvy and I'm a newer Mac user. I've been PC for 20 years.

I need help preventing my ex-husband from gaining access to my Macbook Air while he's at my residence and using my network. He is an IT security specialist so I don't know if I can ever outsmart him, but I can try! On my previous laptop (a Dell pc) he loaded spyware and he's hacked my Droid phone. Long story, but I have to allow him in my home to have visitation with our kids here. 

I have the High Sierra operating system. I also have Kaspersky Security on my Macbook and I run scans regularly. Here's another wrench in the ex-husband gave me the Macbook Air I'm currently trying to protect as a gift just before the divorce. It appeared all new in the box but I don't trust him. I love the laptop and don't want to ditch it. Of course, I fear he's loaded something onto it or is accessing it through my router, so I run Kaspersky scans frequently.

I just enabled the disk encryption. I see there is an option to turn on the firewall. Will that protect me from him using his laptop to view my activity on my macbook through the router?

What would you do? The obvious is to change the password on the router, but he'll get it from the kids. Do I have a chance of blocking him from accessing my laptop?



5 Answers

If the Macbook Air arrived in a sealed box, AND you never let your ex physically touch the Mac, then there is a good chance you are safe.

If you suspect he has had physical access to the Mac, then the best thing to do is backup your Mac to an external device.  Erase the Mac.  Install a clean version of macOS, then restore your data from the backup.

Also change the passwords on all your online accounts (email, banks, investment firms, online shopping sites, etc..., especially your Apple ID

The firewall and the anti-virus are not going to help if your ex had installed something or you allow your ex physical access to your Mac.

But if he does not have access, then just being on the same network is not going to allow him in.  He would have to have had physical access to enable future network access.

NOTE:  You may be able to get the Genius Bar at your local Apple Store to help you with the clean install and restore after you make the backup.  The backup is very important as you do not want to lose any personal information, pictures, etc...


I agree with @datafornothingandbitsforfree, if your ex has had ANY physical access prior to giving it to you, consider it compromised. If it came in a sealed box directly from the shipping company or the store you should be good. 

If he had access, I agree with @datafor... make a backup on an external hard drive using carbon copy cloner or super duper (if you just use TimeMachine, you won't be able to wipe your HD clean). I guess you could get help at the apple store for such a thing though especially if you explain the situation.

Change your admin password, check if there are other admin accounts on the computer. I would also consult Apple on all those things since it can get messy if not done properly. If Apple won't do it, then consider hiring an apple specialist in your region. 

If your ex is really pissed, make sure he doesn't touch your computer at anytime, and be sure to enable FileVault as soon as you have made a clean install, that way, even if he has access to the machine, he won't be able to read or modify the internal disk. Again, consult Apple on all this, I'm sure they will help you.

Ditto both the above.

But in general, based on several clients I have had with a similar concern, the level of fear of malfeasance is not matched by the actual spying. And for those clients just ensuring that that had normal "good security" in place was sufficient. eg. filevault, different passwords, physical security of devices including backup drives. I would just add a note that this includes not giving the kids the passwords for your accounts. (Wifi password doesn't fit this category.)


Hi. I have a similar problem but I haven't even updated my computer. I got it purely for work and now it's starting to glitch incredibly badly. Unfortunately, I'm not tech-savvy and don't know what to do with it, I really need some advice.


If you want to prevent users on your network from hacking your Macbook, there is a SQL Injection. If you want to know more about it just used the link . SQL injections are possible when a website or web app doesn’t have a proper input sanitization process in place. In simple terms, input sanitization prevents hackers from using special characters to inject malicious code into the data entry field.


Hacking the Mac devices is not an easy task. But when it comes to security then there must be some precautions are used to prevent the device from unauthorized access.