Apple’s strongest security feature: the Mighty Mouse - Macenstein

Apple’s strongest security feature: the Mighty Mouse

Posted by iGor

We’ve all heard the stories and seen the movies about jealous PC users who break into Mac user’s houses while they’re sleeping and try to mess up their Macs. While Hollywood has perhaps sensationalized the stories slightly (often trying to shoehorn in a love story or car chase), the threat is all too real.

Apple computers have long held a virtually spotless record when it comes to warding off viruses and hacking attacks compared to its Windows-running rivals, but the fact is your Mac is just as vulnerable as any PC once someone has physical access to your computer. Leave your computer unattended for just a minute, and if someone really wanted to, they could quickly drag all your photos or music to the trash and empty it in about 20 seconds.

Apple to the rescue!

Luckily, Apple has got you covered with a $49 ($69 for the wireless version) security device known as the Mighty Mouse. Using a Mighty Mouse virtually ensures your computer will be inaccessible to just about any jealous PC-using evildoer who may wish to do your Mac harm.


Setup is easy; simply plug the mouse in, and you are good to go. In our tests, the average PC user who attempted to click on something using the Mighty Mouse took approximately 40% longer than with a conventional mouse. Even when they were able to click on something, they actually performed a right click 30% of the time. Those extra seconds add up, and usually allowed us time to get to our office and flick the lights on and off, thus scaring them away.

Total lock down

For the ultimate in security, Apple allows you to assign its Exposé feature to the Mighty Mouse (you can do this in System Preferences> Keyboard and Mouse).

If you assign Exposé’s “All Windows” function to the Mighty Mouse’s scroll wheel (middle button), the average PC user will only be able to perform an endless cycle of causing your windows to slide back and forth, never getting close to damaging or deleting any of your files. In our tests, all PC users walked away in frustration in under 2 minutes when the Exposé feature was applied.

Buying advice

The Mighty Mouse acts as a veritable Fort Knox, protecting your Mac from unwanted access the way no other device can, and it looks great doing it. We say $49 is a small price to pay to to get that little extra piece of mind that comes with knowing you’re files are safe from PC-loving evildoers.

69 Responses to “Apple’s strongest security feature: the Mighty Mouse”
  1. MS Bitch says:

    just the other day i was at a hotel busy working on my friends MB Pro.Strangely,the only attention i got was from the male waiters.That was the last I ever used a Mac.Gee thanks Stevie.

  2. Cranky McGuy says:

    Today’s off topic anti-Mac rant brought to you by Jook… Such a delight to read old chestnuts warmed by the binary fire. He even threw in a Photoshop “game” joke to complete the package. It is to laugh.

    As for the MM, I enabled two button mouse mode for my Mum and she kept calling me to tell me her computer was broken. Some people truly cannot get the MM. I don’t understand it, however, because I have never found the MM to be difficult to use even with two button mode enabled.

  3. jason says:

    I dont think ive read such bullshit in a long time.

  4. Dominic says:

    Am I the only person here who thinks…. PASSWORD ??

    Set your machine to activate your password in your absence…. or go into the keychain peferences and turn on the keychain icon for the menubar… hey presto an option to lock your screen..

    A mighty mouse for security… sounds like a post for the sake of a post and waste of time to read !!

  5. widgetboy says:

    dominic thanks for clearing that up! what a great and clever idea to use a password for security! thank god. btw this is a comment for the sake of a comment, i hope i wasted a few seconds of your precious time.

  6. Dave says:

    Maybe people can’t figure out the mighty mouse because instead of being well designed it is actually counter intuitive. Who builds a mouse that is pressure sensitive instead of having physical mouse buttons? PC Users rest their fingers on the mouse so even when they “left click” the mighty mouse detects the right-side pressure and sends “right click” to the computer. Man, those guys at Apply must be usability geniuses, cause I sure know that when I rest my finger on the right side it means I only ever want to be able to right click.

  7. GreenHat says:

    Let’s see what the Mighty Mouse can do against a refrigerator magnet.

  8. Stu says:

    Yeah I’ll stick with my PC that I can build from scratch and allow for watercooling and overclocking (AKA I can buy a cheaper processor but speed it up to the point that it is equivalent to a very high-speed processor).

    Oh yeah and I can upgrade any individual part in case the part gets out of date instead of buying an entirely new system.

    Try that with a Mac.

  9. Mike says:

    I REALLY disagree. The mice Apple have come up with are about the most horrible idea(s) they have ever had. Apple, I love every product of yours EXCEPT every one of your mice. Get over yourselves and make a standard three button mouse. I have come to the point of breaking down and buying a standard Microsoft 3 -button beige mouse simply because it is more EFFICIENT.

  10. Jimbo says:

    I love my mighty mouse! Once you get used to it it rocks… esp. the 2-d scroll ball.

  11. Joe says:

    Stu, we’re all surely very impressed that you can build a watercooled and overclocked computer. I’m sure you understand the drawbacks of your idea.

    Those of us who don’t measure our self-worth on the awesomeness of our home-built computers will be over here, having fun and socializing with people, thereby learning what humor is.

    But I do have a Mac, and I upgraded it by selling my old model and transferring all my settings (and I mean all of them) with a firewire cable and the amount of time it took me to have a few beers with some friends. Since all the components were top-of-the-line when they came out, they became outdated at the same rate, but due to the overall design of the system, the system retained value for longer than PCs, so financially my move was closer to an upgrade than a new system. I doubt your uber-cool overclocked CPU will be worth anything to anybody else.

    I’m sure you won’t believe that, though. Go ahead, miss the whole point of the article and perpetuate your misconceptions.

  12. agouram says:

    i have a Mac
    but this article was just a loss of time to read , please do not waste our time with such cr….

  13. Blade13 says:

    HA HA!!! You got to be kidding. Thats a horrible mouse. Only a MacHead would use one.

  14. DBL says:

    “It’s funny, I never have that problem in Windows, because I just lock my computer. I know you can (somewhat) do this in OS X through fast user switching, but it’s lame and a pain compared to windows key + L. For a “secure” OS it sure does seem to want you to leave your computer open to anyone who walks by.”

    Uh … only for those who don’t know how to actually use it.

    System Preferences > Security > “Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver”

    Sounds extraordinarily simple doesn’t it? In fact this is exactly where you would look for a password-locking security mechanism if you weren’t already trained by Bill Gates to look for it in a monkey-like and irrational fashion under ‘Screensaver’.

    90% of PC complaints are due to them looking in the same braindead places that Windows puts things (why should a security feature that should apply to both sleep and screensaver be found under ‘screensaver’? it makes no sense) — and when they don’t find them there they give up immediately and blame the Mac because they are happy to have their prejudices confirmed.

  15. DBL says:

    “PC Users rest their fingers on the mouse so even when they “left click” the mighty mouse detects the right-side pressure and sends “right click” to the computer. Man, those guys at Apply must be usability geniuses, cause I sure know that when I rest my finger on the right side it means I only ever want to be able to right click.”

    You obviously have never actually used the Mighty Mouse, since you’ve got this exactly backwards. You have to actually lift your left finger UP to perform a right click. If you have both fingers down you always get a left click. This is why despite the satire above I find it hard to believe that very many people right click by accident. They would have to be touching only the right side of the mouse (possible, but not common).

    No, the problem with the Mighty Mouse is not that it’s too easy to achieve a right click but that it’s too difficult. I constantly find that I am not lifting my left finger enough (because laziness always sets in), and even after I have acquired the correct habit, I eventually end up not getting the right-click when I want it. I don’t like the right-click system on the MM. But it certainly doesn’t degrade the left-click response. Because it errs on the side of the left-clicking. (It shouldn’t err at all, though, which is why I just set the whole mouse to left-click and do the right-click the old, 100% reliable way — with the control key).

    Also, if you are an artist and you attempt do any kind of fine visual touching up or drawing with the mouse, you will come to hate the right click (on ANY mouse) with a passion. I have had many complex selection outlines have to be cancelled and started over on an ordinary 2-button mouse, because at the most intense moment of my clicking/dragging, I put too much pressure on the right side of the mouse, performed a right-click, and completely messed up my selection. Despite the other drawbacks I mentioned above, this can never happen on a Mighty Mouse because I’m not going to lift up that left finger, so I can put as much pressure on the right as I want.

    The Might Mouse right-click is basically a right-click that doesn’t get in the way of visual artists. The tradeoff is that it is more difficult to achieve when you want it.

  16. c('.'c) says:

    If you haven’t used a Mighty Mouse should you be commenting on how bad it is?

  17. Paolo says:

    That was funny and true… I still sometimes get the right click when I meant to left click.

    I *do* like the scroll pea though, which is the only reason I haven’t just plugged in a $10 Logitech instead.

  18. Haha. That’s pretty comical.

  19. Luftkopf says:

    I have used Windows since version 2. I have been a PC person through and through. I use Vista at work, and it’s not bad. It does have its good points.


    Late last year I bought an old Power Mac (466MHz ‘Digital Audio’). I have since upgraded the graphics card, cpu and ram and hdd’s. It’s fantastic! I used to hate Mac’s until I used OS X. I had used OS 9 in the past and found it quite horrid.

    Since upgrading my Mac, I have found that my PC only gets dragged out for LAN games with my friends, or if I have spare time, to play a few games myself.

    Aside from that, my Mac is now my main machine. Now I come to work and get frustrated, because I try and do things that my Mac can, and Vista can’t.

    Now I’m waiting for a 24″ iMac to fall from the sky. It’s the only way I’d afford one…

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