Brother somehow keeps getting on iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by daaryll, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. daaryll macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2013
    I made an account just to post this thread.

    I leave my computer when I go to work and somehow my brother (who's 11) keeps somehow getting on my computer. I have it locked down, password, have to type in the username, no guest account and he still manages to get on it. I'm pretty sure he uses his ipod somehow to gain access.

    Pretty awful on apple's part if they can't keep an eleven year old off a locked mac.

    I'm looking for a solution for this problem.

    Any help?
  2. dakwar macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2010
    So you have one user account on the iMac then. What version of OS X are you running? What makes you sure that your brother has logged into your account? Have you tried changing your user account password, and to something more complex?
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I'm pretty sure an iPod won't connect and unlock an iMac. Has he got a shared apple I/d so he knows your password? Or a password manager app?
  4. daaryll thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2013

    I have one user yes, which is mine. 10.7.5 OSX version.

    My browser history is changed, and he tells me that he can get on it. I've tried changing my password and things but he still gets on it somehow. He knew the original password I put onto the user when I first got it. Since then I've changed the password multiple times and some he keeps getting on and making a new account.


    I don't think so. I only know my apple user ID and it's different from the user password.
  5. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Change your password to something completely random. Make a note of course, but keep it on you. See if he can still get on.
  6. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    on the Western Slopes, with E. A. Poe
    Maybe there's a master password set.
    Google search terms: mac os master password

    Maybe he's figured out how to reboot into single user mode, and create accounts there.
    Google search terms: mac os single user mode
    Also try search terms: mac os firmware password

    Maybe he has a hidden account.
    Google search terms: mac os hidden account
  7. daaryll thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2013
    I think he knows how to get on via the reboot single user, but then I came on today and he somehow managed to change my password for my username?

    It's really baffling me and I want a clean, clear cut solution to stop him being able to do this.
  8. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Lock your computer into your bedroom, prevent physical access. Speak to your parents about this.
  9. daaryll thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2013
    Impossible, can't do that.

    I have to live with this constant feeling of my stuff not being private?
  10. daaryll thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2013
    Thanks, but I feel it's really bad on apple that I can't keep my mac safe even though it is locked.

    It's really bugging me why I can't just disable or change something to stop this happening.
  11. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    This isn't Apple's fault.

    This is either you or your brother and has nothing to do with OSX security.

    If an 11 year old kid could gain access to a Mac using an iPod it would be all over the internet.
  12. daaryll thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2013
    No one can give me a solution otherwise? I would like to either reset the entire password history on the computer, or would I be better just putting my more valuable stuff on an external hard drive and reset the entire mac?
  13. chown33, Feb 28, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013

    chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    on the Western Slopes, with E. A. Poe
    That's one of the things someone can do if there's a Master Password set. If you don't know if one is set on your computer, I already gave some search terms to try. The specific details of what to check and where to look depend on which OS version you have.

    You should do some searches, read some articles, and figure out which (if any) of the following are set or not on your computer:
    1. Master password.
    2. Firmware password.
    3. Hidden account.

    There's no such thing as a "password history" to reset. There will be an account or some other means of obtaining access, such as no firmware password. You will have to close up that access point, and how to close it depends on what it is.

    This has little or nothing to do with being an 11-year old, nor Apple defending against 11-year-olds. I strongly doubt that he figured out an entry all by himself. He's somehow obtained instructions that told him what to do. So you need to go through the list of known ways to get around your account password, and see which (if any) are active.

    No one can tell you how to correct the problem unless the specific cause is known. There isn't a magical "lock it all down" app, nor is there a "find the hidden entry" app. You have to look in several places, try several different things, and specifically find out how your machine has been changed in order to allow the access.

    If you can't figure out how he's getting in, then your last option is a complete wipe of the OS and reinstall, after backing up your data. You would then also have to set at least a good firmware password, to prevent further compromises. You should probably also set a good master password, simply to prevent someone else from doing so.

    If this seems difficult, it is. When an attacker, even a little brother, has instructions on what do and physical access to the machine, security is a lot harder to establish and maintain. That's one reason for the suggestion of physically locking up the computer.


    The NSA (yes, that NSA) has some instructions on how to prevent Macs and OS X from being compromised.

    Google search terms: nsa secure mac os

    Example link:

    Apple's security configuration guides:
  14. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I will just add.... chown33 has some really good advice. I suspect that at some point in the past your brother had access to your Mac, perhaps with your permission that time, and he set up an account/password/whatever that supersedes your simple account security. Macs in their default security settings are not really hardened to be secure against attacks from family members living with you. They can be hardened, but you have to do a bit more work. Your brother has simply done his homework and is working harder at getting in at this point than you are at keeping him out.

    Go through chown33's list and close all the doors (metaphorically). You may also consider turning on the Disk Encryption.... File Vault I think it's called. I believe the the password to decrypt the disk is entirely separate from any password used to access the computer.
  15. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Does he sync his iPod to a computer? Does he have an iTunes account or do you share one? I would also check to see if you have it set so you can reset the password form your AppleID. If you change your password, also change your AppleID password.
  16. Giuly macrumors 68040


    My guess would be that he pops in the iPod, and it syncs the browser history with Safari. That might happen even without being logged in.
  17. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    videoing your keystrokes?

    (probably not it but don't rule it out..yet)
  18. spork183 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2006

    There's your solution. Use Keylogger in stealth mode, and find out what he does. If nothing comes up, it is probably an automatic sync, in which case he has run you ragged by surfing the internet on his device... :D
  19. 725032 Guest


    Aug 5, 2012
    Why dont you just deal with your brother.

    He is the problem here
  20. kot, Feb 28, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013

    kot macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2011
    Rule number 1: If a system is not physically secure, it is not secure at all.

    Prevent all sort of physical access to your iMac.

    Also one thing you can do is to use encryption tools to encrypt your data. You could also try, hmmm how was that thing called... the built-in encryption, ah!!! FileVault! Use it to encrypt the whole hard drive with a really good password. I think that's the best you can get. Also you can use TrueCrypt which will really make it impossible for your brother to mess with your data without knowing the password. And there's no way he will be able to reset the password without losing all data on the hard drive. I don't know all the technical details about FileVault, but something tells me TrueCrypt will be more secure.
  21. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
  22. kot macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2011
  23. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    It sounds like he may be resetting the admin PW from recovery. All you do is command-r boot to recovery and launch Terminal, then type in resetpassword to pick a new password. You can block him from doing that by turning on Filevault in the Security & Privacy pane of System Prefs.


    Not on newer Macs 2011+. Older machines the EFI PW could be reset by removing a RAM chip, but not any more.
  24. Mr-Kerrse macrumors 6502

    Apr 1, 2011
    United Kingdom
    :confused: Maybe he is a very clever 11 year old & has set a key logger up

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