FileVault?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by wasimyaqoob, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. wasimyaqoob macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    London, England.
    #1
    Hey, could someone please explain to me what EXACTLY this is and is it worth me enabling FileVault?
     
  2. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #2
    The idea of FileVault is to encrypt the contents of your home folder. IMO, the only real thing that makes this important is if someone steals your computer or HD. If they do, your stuff is encrypted so they can't see it. It automatically decrypts your home folder when you login (even if you have auto login turned on) and then encrypts your home folder when you logout (or shut down).

    Sometimes its a pain in the butt to have it enabled so a lot of people leave it off (which it is by default). You'll constantly get a box that says reclaiming disk space when you delete items from your home folder (which includes your desktop).
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #3
    Do not - do NOT - enable FileVault if your Mac is a desktop. Unless you're really paranoid about people stealing your data when you've logged off.

    If you have a laptop, well, STILL do not enable FileVault. As mentioned about, it encrypts your entire home folder into a single file, and, if there are errors on the drive, you could lose everything.

    My suggestion?

    Open Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility.

    Click on the New Image icon.

    Name the file whatever you want, make it as big as you'll need for your sensitive info, set the Encryption to AES-128, and keep the format at the default type.

    When you hit "Create", it'll ask you for a password. Enter it but uncheck the "Remember password" checkbox.

    Now you have an encrypted disk image (*.dmg). Double-click to open it, supply the password, and add/remove files to the disk that appears on your Desktop as you wish. When done, "eject" it (the "disk", not the dmg file), and your info is safe. However, your non-secret home files are not encrypted and are less likely to be lost than with FileVault.

    FileVault is a good concept but not a good idea to use.
     
  4. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #4
    ACK, file vault... this is a dirty dirty word to me. horrible experience with that. (long story, but lets just say you can't get your computer to boot, all your stuff is encrypted and basically unretrievable) bad news.

    my $.02
     
  5. p0intblank macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    FileVault gave me so much trouble when I first got my Mac. One night I enabled it and rebooted and everything I did before the reboot seemed to disappear. I'm talking about files, preferences... everything! I thought my Mac was malfunctioning or something. It turns out I had FileVault on, so I disabled it and has been fine ever since.

    I never really got the idea of FileVault... I know it's to encrypt your files, but it seems permanent and very hard to retrieve everything. I may be just missing something, though. :p
     
  6. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #6
    I WOULD NOT USE THIS.
    I used this and the file got corrupted. I lost everything that was in there :(.
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #7
    Had you used FileVault, your entire home folder would have been gone.

    As with all files, you need to back up your important ones. This method lets you put all your secure files in one (or a few) places, then back up the dmg files, which I find to be pretty easy and more likely to happen than if I keep the files in a million different places.
     
  8. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2004
    Location:
    I live in a giant bucket!
    #8
    I always felt that filevault is so half baked. Why oh why do you have to encrypt your entire home folder. Most would much rather just encrypt a certain folder rather than an entire home folder.

    Just makes no sense to me.
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    If - and it's a big if - it worked perfectly, the concept is great for laptop owners - if your laptop is lost or stolen, no personal information can be recovered. Otherwise, some stuff will be visible to people who know how to get it. With FileVault, once you log out, it's all secure.

    Sadly, it doesn't work that well in the real world.
     
  10. XIII macrumors 68040

    XIII

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #10
    I thought you may post in this thread. :( Clearly, FileVault is a no no.
     
  11. wasimyaqoob thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Location:
    London, England.
    #11
    Thanks for all the feedback guys, I really appreciate what you said jsw, and im currently using that method now to keep my important data secure :D
     

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