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Jan 7, 2013

Keep your Mac safe with the help of your iPhone and Keycard

by Freddie Harrison

Ever wished you could remote lock your Mac with your Bluetooth-enabled iOS device? Keycard allows you to just that. Stopping office spies has never been easier.

Keycard - Screenshot - main

We’re big advocates of disabling automatic login and keeping your Mac password protected when you’re using it in a public space, but remembering to log out or log it can be a chore. Keycard (£4.99/$6.99), a new offering on the Mac App Store, aims to alleviate this by linking your Mac with your iOS device via Bluetooth and using it as a proximity-based lock.

The idea is pretty simple, move away from your desk (with your iPhone in hand) and Keycard will detect this, locking your Mac and only unlocking it once you’re back within range. There’s a Plan B, too, in the form of a four-digit pin code that can be used to unlock your machine if your iPhone runs out of power or gets lost.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen this sort of security system (in fact, if you’re feeling a little creative, you can hack it yourself), but it is the first time we’ve seen it packaged up and ready to go in the form of a Mac App Store download.

9to5Mac tested out Keycard and found it pretty reliable, on the whole, but we’re a little concerned about a lack of ability to set the range of detection. In an office environment, there’s every chance of being away from your desk but not at your machine and walking past may inadvertently reactivate it. With the app only at V1.0, though, there’s every opportunity for more features and improvements.

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