Given just how much of our lives we live on our computers these days, having one stolen can feel like a pretty big violation. Protecting yourself can take one of two different tracks – lock it all down, or leave it open and usable. The first instinct is typically to lock everything down. If the thief can’t access your personal information, then they can’t take over an online account or gain access to your bank records or credit card information. The downside to this idea, of course, is that you likely won’t be able to track your computer since it’ll be locked up tight and unable to access the Internet.
The alternative for most people is to leave the computer unlocked. That way, the thief won’t immediately reinstall the operating system just so they can access the Internet, and you’ll be able, with a bit of luck and investigation, to track down your stolen property. This strategy has its downsides, too, of course – an open machine means that all of your private information will be right there for anyone who wants to access it.
Someone over at MacRumors was going through the developer build of the recently detailed OS X 10.7 Lion, when they discovered a “Restart to Safari” option on the account lock screen. Choose that and the computer boots into Safari! Safari, and just Safari. As part of Find My Mac, the new Safari-only guest account will let, er, “guests” access your computer solely to browse the Internet. Once connected, you’ll be able to track it down or, if it contains sensitive data, pull a remote wipe.