Bay Mac’s Help Desk

With Steve Paris

Helping you get the most out of your Mac, iPhone & iPad

Q: So what’s so special about the Mac’s latest system update?

A: Every year Apple updates its operating system in fundamental ways, either internally (better security for instance), or externally (a new look interface for example). This latest one, known as HighSierra, falls in the former category. Here are just three examples I personally feel make the jump worthwhile:

1. You can control how you interact with specific webpages, or if you grant them permission to access your camera, or if they’ll even play videos automatically when they load on the page. All of this can be found in Safari’s Preferences. Select the ‘Websites’ tab and you can see options for all pages you currently have open, divided into categories.

2. Still in Safari, you have the ability to stop websites from tracking your browsing movements when you visit other websites (this is how google can show you adverts for dog food after you’ve visited the RSPCA for instance). To make your browsing potentially more private from nosy onlooking corporations, go to the Private tab of Safari’s Preferences and make sure ‘Prevent cross-site tracking’ and ‘Ask websites not to track me’ are ticked.

3. Until now, Mac OS did not have a quick shortcut to lock your screen (a useful feature when leaving your computer unattended). You had to set a hot corner to do that, or instruct your computer to ask for your password when you woke it from sleep. With High Sierra, just go to the Apple menu and choose ‘Lock Screen’, or use the control-command-Q shortcut.

If these examples appeal, go ahead and upgrade your Mac, it’s free for all compatible computers. Just don’t forget to back up your data before you do so, as a precaution.

STEVE PARIS is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and through his new website, provides consultancy, training and troubleshooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at or contact him on 077-8866-0407.

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