How to Tell If Your Mac Has Been Remotely Accessed

Apple claims that Mac devices are the safest, but can they still be hacked? What if you discovered that your Mac device had been hacked and your security had been compromised?

Many Mac users are unaware of this, however, you can sometimes sense that something is amiss with your Mac computer, such as uploading new files or missing data from your Mac system. It sometimes feels as if someone is watching all of your computer activities.

As a tech enthusiast, I take calls and advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from tablets and smartphones to online privacy and data breaches, and have researched how to find if someone is spying on your computer.

In this article, we’ll dive into the specifics of how to tell whether someone is spying on your Mac.

Read on to know more!

How Can You Tell If Someone Has Remotely Accessed Your Mac

These are the techniques that you can use:

  • Check your logs.
  • Look for new users who have been created automatically.
  • Ensure that remote login, remote management, and screen sharing are disabled.
  • Check to see if your Mac is infected with spyware.

What is Remote Access and How Can Someone Set It up on Mac?

The possibilities for remote access to macOS are allowing remote logins from another computer, enabling Screen Sharing, or allowing access via Remote Desktop. These methods are legitimate. However, if you do not recall using any of them, you will need to know how to disable them.

1. Using Remote Access to Connect to a Mac

Remote access is the process of gaining access to a device from a distance. Remote logins, RDP access, and screen sharing are the three methods for setting up remote access on your Mac.

Remote access, however, has both benefits and drawbacks. The concern is that these ways can be used by someone else to remotely access your Mac without your knowledge.

2. Using Remote Login to Access Mac

Secure Shell (SSH) is a basic remote login method that can only be performed by another Mac family device or a machine running the macOS operating system.

Follow these steps to disable/enable remote login access to avoid being accessed via remote login.

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner, select System Preferences
  2. Open Sharing Folder by searching for it and on the left, select remote login access.
  3. Remote login access is enabled, and you can also add additional uses.

This is the same procedure for preventing remote access to your Mac by disabling remote login. SSH can be used when remote login is enabled, and anyone can access and read your computer’s contents using this method.

3. Using Screen Sharing to Access a Mac device

The intention of screen sharing can be very useful in some situations, such as when you need assistance with a project or want to make modifications to your computer with the help of others. Enabling screen sharing will allow others to view your Mac.

You can activate Screen Sharing if you need assistance from IT to make modifications to your Mac device, or if you’re working on a project with others and want to share your screen. The following are the steps to enable:

  1. Go to System Preferences
  2. Search for the Sharing Folder and open it. Select the Screen Sharing option from the drop-down menu.
  3. Screen sharing is enabled, and you can add users as well. Allow access to either all users or specific users.
  4. Alternatively, both devices should be Mac-compatible and equipped with screen-sharing software.
  5. You may start the screen sharing procedure by pressing Command + Space, then search and select Sharing
  6. A pop-up window will open, prompting you to enter your computer’s name in the search area.

Once you’ve entered the name of the computer, press Enter and you’ll be taken to a new window with another person’s computer screen, where you may access everything on their computer.

4. Remote Desktop with Remote Management

If you choose the Remote Desktop option, you can remotely access other Mac family devices. Let’s look at how to share your desktop remotely with people.

  1. Select the Apple icon in the upper left corner, select System Preferences
  2. Open “Sharing Folder” by searching for it. On the left, select Remote Management.
  3. Remote Desktop access is enabled, and you can also add additional purposes. Allow access to all users or specific users.
  4. A new window will open, allowing you to specify the type of access you want to grant, such as observe, alter settings, remove, copy, or restart.

If your Mac is being watched, this graphic (two rectangles) will display on your computer’s time in the top right-hand corner.

You’ll know someone is spying on you when that icon shows. You can also click on “Open Sharing Preferences” to open the Sharing folder in System Preferences and disconnect the viewer. 

In this situation, ensure no one is authorized to access the sharing folder in system preferences by checking all the options and disabling them.

Final Takeaway

Spying has become extremely common as technological advancements have progressed. Most hackers would want to break into someone’s Mac computer, especially if that person is a prominent celebrity or runs a large corporation, to obtain information about specific topics.

It is best to be proactive and protect your Mac before something goes wrong with it. If you have sensitive information that must not be released at any cost, you should take precautions to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

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