How to secure your Mac with your fingerprint and MacID

Lock down your Mac

Not everyone uses password protection to lock their Mac, but everyone should. With so many sensitive details like passwords and bank accounts accessed online, the last thing you want is anyone peeking at your private data.

The only bugbear about locking and unlocking your Mac repeatedly, especially away from home, is that you end up typing your password over and over again. Apple's newer iPhones and some iPads have Touch ID, a fingerprint scanner that you can use to unlock the device and authorise actions, such as Apple Pay.

MacID is a clever app that harnesses the power of Touch ID to streamline the process of securing your Mac in a way that makes unlocking the screen much simpler.

Customise your login

It does this by pairing over Bluetooth and then giving you the option of remotely locking or unlocking the Mac's screen from your iPhone, iPad or even Apple Watch.

Even more usefully, it can be set up to trigger automatically in certain situations. You can, for example, make it lock the screen as soon as you move away from your Mac, with distance being configurable in the app's settings.

It can also wake the Mac up when you come back towards it, again with a setting for what distance will trigger this action. Another clever option is the ability to tap out a unique pattern on a Mac's trackpad in order to unlock it. This is handy if you don't have your iOS device with you, and tapping a pattern takes only a second or so.

MacID can do other useful things, such as control iTunes or Spotify playback or copy the contents of a clipboard between devices, which is something Apple should really bake into its operating systems.

If you own an Apple Watch, MacID provides you with a convenient way to lock or unlock multiple Macs or start screensavers from your wrist. You can add MacID's Glance to the Watch to easily see how many Macs you are connected to, which could be handy if you manage a number of computers at home or in an office.

You'll need a Mac and an iOS device with support for Bluetooth LE, which includes iOS devices as old as the iPhone 4S and MacBooks from 2011, so it's likely that if your kit is recent you will be able to run MacID without problems.