My Ex knows a lot about computers - I know nothing about the hardware and infrastructure... I bought my own personal MacBookAir for my private use only. I'm not able to change some settings or be the "administrator". Here are system preferences snapshots under Security and Privacy. It seems to look like I'm on a network under "WINS" (?) and I can't change anything in "Proxies" or "802.1X"

I turned on FireVault (with a recovery key) and FireWall. I also set a login password, required immediately, and only allow apps from the Apple Store. The other pics are my WiFi setting and Directory Utilities if it's helpful. I have Komros installed and Avast and use them every time I log-on. Thank you! My WiFi Setting SecurityPreferences- WiFi TabTCP/IPTab 802.1X TabProxyTab WINS Tab

Director Utility

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    How many users are defined (check in System Preferences/Users and Groups)? If your account isn‘t the only one, and you don‘t know the password to the admin account it‘s probably best to backup, wipe, and reinstall. – nohillside Aug 9 '18 at 9:32
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    Perhaps an impertinent question, but just to avoid making any poor assumptions, why can't you become administrator? If you bought the machine, and you're the only one to have used it, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to become an administrative user. I wonder if you might be already?? I was surprised recently to learn that AppleCare now tells users that it's OK to do routine tasks as an admin user. As an alternative to @nohillside 's suggestion, if you aren't comfortable with reinstalling yourself, you could probably get this done at an Apple Store near you. – Seamus Aug 9 '18 at 17:49
  • Just a brief follow-up: You should also be aware of the possibility that the root account on your Mac could be compromised. Not to fuel paranoia at all, but if someone knowledgeable gained access to your Mac, it is possible that the recent root vulnerability was exploited. Again, this Comment doesn't change any of the advice, it just points up a potential "hole" that could have been used. – Seamus Aug 9 '18 at 18:45
  • Hi! Thanks for your responses. I'm the only administrator to my laptop (or should be) as indicated on the Users and Groups snapshot attached. I think the issue is that my ex- had the Wifi in the house available only through "his" network that he was the ultimate administrator. My theory is that this allowed him to override any individual's administrative privileges to their own computer (like my and our daughter's private, individual Mac's) or change passwords and to look into the contents of the computer and then change the password back to the original one. – RMS Aug 18 '18 at 14:16

If you are really worried, backup and then do a wipe and re-install. This will get rid of most unwanted things. Then manually restore important documents and files from backup. If you are not THAT worried, install a firewall/traffic monitor (LuLu, LittleSnitch, RadioSilence) and just monitor the network activities.

The reason you can't "Administrate" can just be that you were not added as an "Administrator" when the account was created. Check in System Preferences > Users & Groups to see if you are an administrator. You can add yourself (if you are not already) as a sudoer and make yourself an administrator though I'm don't feel comfortable explaining this process, use your search engine of choice.

You can list hidden users, check running processes and network traffic in search of something suspicious though it is not always trivial and if you are really that worried, wipe and re-install.


None of these screenshots appear to be immediately suspicious.

  • The terminal command you ran just lists info about all the wifi networks in the vicinity.
  • "nobody" is a standard Unix alias present on all Macs.
  • It's normal for the WINS settings to be filled in automatically by MacOS.
  • You can't change any advanced network settings unless you're either an admin user, or you clicked the padlock in the Network settings pane and entered an admin username and password.

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