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How to Set up Touch ID and Use It to Secure Your Mac

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How to Set up Touch ID and Use It to Secure Your Mac

The method of authenticating users on cell phones has been developing rapidly over the years. Today, we have an in-display fingerprint sensor and Face ID for user authentication. Microsoft carries the Windows Hello facial recognition feature, which was found along with a fingerprint scanner on a company laptop. Apple lineup 2016 Apple introduces Touch ID integration on macOS. Since then, there has been a constant struggle to manage Touch ID and use it intelligently to secure applications on your Mac.
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Unlike Windows, Touch ID hardware is tightly integrated in macOS. You can use it to authenticate in-app purchases, Apple Pay payments, the login system, and other aspects of the macOS system.

In 2020, Apple offers more reasons to buy a MacBook at a lower price and higher storage base. If you just bought one, then I would highly recommend you activate and use Touch ID on a Mac. This will save you from adding Apple ID passwords over and over and making the whole macOS experience seamless.

In this post, we will guide you on how to set up Touch ID on a Mac and use the macOS aspect to secure applications and authentication. We will also list Touch ID restrictions.
Where is Touch ID on my MacBook

As mentioned earlier, Apple 2016 MacBooks integrates Touch ID to the right of the Touch Bar. From 2019 MacBook models and beyond, Apple has provided a special space for Touch ID. Check the image below to find out the location of Touch ID.

Where is Touch ID on my MacBook

As mentioned earlier, Apple 2016 MacBooks integrates Touch ID to the right of the Touch Bar. From 2019 MacBook models and beyond, Apple has provided a special space for Touch ID. Check the image below to find out the location of Touch ID.

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Those who use the standard MacBook and newer MacBook Air models, Touch ID is in line with the function keys in the upper right hand corner.

How to Set Touch ID

Most users set up Touch ID when they set up a Mac for the first time. If you have already missed the part, then follow the steps below to activate Touch ID on your MacBook.

Make sure your fingers are clean and dry. Remove any type of moisture, lotion, sweat, or oil from your fingertips.

Step 1: Click on the Apple menu icon in the upper left corner and go to System Preferences.

Step 2: Click on Touch ID.

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Step 3: Click on the ‘+’ icon to add a fingerprint, then type the user account password when prompted.

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Step 4: Follow the instructions on the screen. Make sure to cover the entire area with your finger.

Step 5: Use the check box to select the Touch ID feature that you want to use on Mac.

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When adding fingerprints, don’t press the button. Slowly place your finger and lift when asked. If you experience problems with incorrect authentication, try adding the same finger twice.

How Safe is Touch ID

Apple has developed a new T-series processor to store your fingerprint. Simply put, Touch ID is an excellent method for authenticating logins and payments. The T1 chip includes an advanced architecture called the Secure Enclave, which was developed to protect your passcode and fingerprint data. Touch ID does not store your fingerprint image and only depends on mathematical representation. It is not possible for someone to reverse engineer your actual fingerprint image from this stored data.

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Your fingerprint data is encrypted, stored on the device, and protected with a key that is only available for the Secure Enclave. Your fingerprint data is only used by the Secure Enclave to verify that the fingerprint matches the registered fingerprint data. You can think of the Safe Enclave as a safe for your Apple device.

The Secure Enclave cannot be accessed by the OS on your device or by any application running on it. It has never been stored on Apple’s servers, has never been backed up to iCloud or anywhere, and cannot be used to match with other fingerprint databases. This is how the iPhone stores fingerprints for years.

Apple’s latest MacBook houses a T2 security chip that provides encrypted storage for fingerprint data and secure boot.

Where you can use Touch ID on macOS

Users can use Touch ID to unlock their Mac, and make purchases on the Mac App Store or iTunes Store. You can also make easy, safe, and personal purchases on the website using Apple Pay.

Apple Pay never stores your credit or debit card information and never shares it with merchants. In addition, this is useful for automatically filling passwords for certain applications that support Touch ID authentication.

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For example, Touch ID will ask for when you try to view password protected Notes in the Apple Notes application. You can use Touch ID in the Password section in Safari preferences too.

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If multiple users set up Touch ID and log in to the same Mac, they can use Touch ID to change accounts. Just press Touch ID, and your Mac switches to the user login account that is associated with the fingerprint.

Note Limitations of Touch ID

You must enter your password instead of using Touch ID in the following situations:

  • When you shut down and start the MacBook from scratch (this is quite annoying because I use the Shut Down option more than the Sleep function).
  • You have left the user account.
  • Your fingerprint was not recognized five times in a row.
  • You haven’t unlocked your Mac in more than 48 hours.
  • You have just registered or deleted a fingerprint.

Secure your Mac with Touch ID

Touch ID is a fantastic security option from Apple for Mac users. It’s a bit disappointing that Apple continues to pack a 720p camera in the MacBook 2020 model. So the upcoming MacBook model that integrates Face ID along with Touch ID is still a few years away. How was your experience with Touch ID so far? Convey your opinion in the comments section below.

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