Keeping your Mac Safe with Mountain Lion's Gatekeeper | CranstonIT - Blog

Keeping your Mac Safe with Mountain Lion's Gatekeeper

Accidentally downloading malicious software can cause countless problems on your Mac. That’s why the Mountain Lion operating system includes a new Gatekeeper feature. It helps protect you from inadvertently downloading software that may look safe, but will actually damage or steal your data.
Gatekeeper uses a system of security certificates, called Developer IDs, to verify the authenticity of software being installed on your computer. Apple works with software developers and provides them with these special certificates which they build into their programs. When a program is installed, your Mac checks with Apple to make sure the security certificate in the program matches what Apple provided to the developer. If it doesn’t match or if the program doesn’t contain a Developer ID, the program will not install.

All Apps for sale or download on the Mac App Store contain Developer IDs. Apple also reviews and runs security tests on every app in the store. This provides a high level of security for users, but not all apps are available on the App Store and not all developers include Apple Developer IDs in their software.

To allow you to install and run apps that are not available from the App Store or apps that don’t contain Developer IDs, you can set Gatekeeper to one of three settings. The least secure option is to have Gatekeeper keep you relatively unprotected, allowing you to install apps from any website. The most secure option is to set Gatekeeper to only allow installs from the Mac App Store. The third option, which is set by default, allows you to install apps from the Mac App Store and to install any app that is signed with a Developer ID.

You can view or change your Gatekeeper options through System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General.
Pasted Graphic
If you have questions about the security of your Mac or Apple mobile device, please contact us at 888-813-5558 or