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I am installing a computer lab with 25 brand new iMacs.

I would like to secure the machines to prevent students from tampering with them.

Some of the things I'd like to prevent including making changes to the computer/desktop/OS/software/settings, prevent installing software, direct file sharing, prevent bypass of startup events, limiting internet, limiting applications, limiting printing, limiting USB and optical drives, application/keystroke monitoring, etc.

I have found one tool called FoolProof Security but would like recommendations on additional solutions.

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Deep Freeze is a pretty cool solution, but that merely preserves the STATE of the computer. It doesn't prevent users from performing certain actions while logged in. That would be done with accounts and other management tools. Posting from my phone, so I'll add hyperlinks later. Added links. :)

MCX - Managed Client for OS X, uses Apple's Workgroup Manager (free) for configuration management. Examples include: showing a message at login, preventing certain applications from launching, forcing restarts at certain times of the day, etc. Workgroup Manager downloads for 10.9 and 10.8.

Casper Suite - Very robust management tool by JAMF, used widely in education and enterprise. Can do pretty much anything you can think of, but is not free.

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The main thing that will help you with this is to use standard, non-administrator, user accounts for the student logins. This alone will keep them from installing most software, tampering with settings, etc.

In addition to that I would recommend Deep Freeze, which allows you to configure the Mac however you like it and then ensure that it returns to that state whenever the Mac is rebooted. For instance, once "frozen" a student could change whatever they like, but upon the next reboot the Mac will look like it did when you first set it up.

  • I did do this with the first round of computers I set up but I'm noticing that students are able to still tamper with the Mac's to a certain (yet to be determined) extent! Thanks for the recommendation on Deep Freeze. I will check it out. – user97316 May 5 '14 at 22:25
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I too am gonna recommend Deep Freeze, quite a cool application that. Additionally using a MCX environment can simply a few things but why not do NetBoots and MCX so that student can log in and you limit what their rights are.

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