Why do you use File Vault?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by MacDawg, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #1
    Anybody use File Vault?
    And if so, why do you?

    I haven't found a good reason to use it myself... but my computer is at home and not on a network. How about you?


    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  2. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    Some of my work at a hospital and research files contain personally identifying information, which exists not only in documents, but also in iCal and mail. I use file vault for my powerbook when on the road to keep it safe, and use encrypted disk images for backup files. Don't use filevault on home & work computers though

    Don't want to get nailed under the Health Information Act - time in jail is possible if confidential information got out.
     
  3. applekid macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    #3
    Never understood FileVault myself. My files are already protected on our home network by the password-protected router, a firewall, and I password-protect the accounts. Nevertheless, I turned on FileVault on my iMac G3 in my room where it doesn't do anything visible. My files aren't protected in any special way. They open up like they always have. I can access them from the machines on the network. The only thing I see FileVault ever do is reclaim disk space when I shut down.

    Encrypted disk images seem to do just fine and have actual visible protection.

    Anybody care to explain FileVault to me?
     
  4. Blackheart macrumors 6502a

    Blackheart

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    Mar 13, 2004
    Location:
    Seattle
    #4
    Filevault != protection against network threats so it has nothing to do with your firewall/routher situation. Filevault is an encryption that locks the home folder down to a single user and a single password. Login as root on the machine... can't get the files. Boot from install disc and change password... can't get the files. It's most helpful when protecting confidential information on a laptop where theft is far more likely.

    P.S. - Filevault uses encrypted sparse images for holding data.
     
  5. sord macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #5
    Just to let you know, password protecting your router does NOTHING but stop someone from changing the router's settings - not protect you from the outside world.

    What file vault does is stop other users from accessing your information if under a differnet account and also if someone were to boot into say linux and mount your hard drive (which completely gets around file permissions and user ownerships), your personal data would still be unusable and unreadable because it is encrypted. Under the same idea, if someone stole your computer and tried to recover the data on it, they could only retreive the encrypted data which would be pointless.

    EDIT: Oops, looks like Blackheart beat me to it
     
  6. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #6
    I mostly use File Vault to keep my kids from using my new G5 AT ALL
    without my permission.

    I usually leave it running and like the feature of having it lock down if the screensaver is activated.

    If you saw how they treat their VAIO you'd understand.

    I don't want them gumming up my SuperDrive with filthy scratched and pet hair infested CD's or filling up my hard drive with multiple Gigs of downloads and other junk.

    They can use the VAIO and my G3 on the guest account for most of the things they do if both need to use a computer at the same time.

    Of course now I'm having trouble with File Vault as you see from my related thread.
     
  7. JupiterTwo macrumors 6502

    JupiterTwo

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Location:
    GB
    #7
    Does file vault still have a noticable impact on performance?
    I tried it out in Panther on my iBook G3 800 and it was quite a drag. I was wondering if things had gotten any better?

    (obiviously my iBook is a tad low end :) )
     
  8. MacDawg thread starter macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #8
    So, what I'm hearing is... if you have a laptop and travel (possibility of being stolen), and you have info you dont want recovered... use File Vault. Otherwise, why bother?

    My mid-20's children all have an account and so does my wife. We are separate in that regard. I have an iMac that stays at home, no network. My porn is on an encrypted .img (just kidding! my computer is porn free).

    Actually, I don't have any sensitive data on my machine at all I suppose. I don't really worry about financial information or identity theft. I couldn't get any more debt as it is :eek:

    I tried using it in the beginning, but it was s-l-o-w if you made any big changes. So, I gave it up. Just wondering if there was a reason to use it, that's all.

    Woof, Woof – Dawg [​IMG]
     
  9. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #9
    When File Vault was introduced with Panther, I thought it was kind of cool to have my entire home folder protected by AES encryption, so I started using it right from the start. I just changed the location of my iTunes folder, since encrypting all my music, on the disk, didn't make much sense.

    Since I don't have any really sensitive stuff on my iBook, I soon got tired of the slow "defragging" of the sparse image every time I restarted, shut down or just logged out. When I also found out that File Vault wasted more than 3 precious GB of my 60 GB disk I had it and disabled it.
     
  10. JupiterTwo macrumors 6502

    JupiterTwo

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    GB
    #10
    Yeah, I always thought it'd be nice to be able to specify which folders it was going to encrypt, rather than your whole home folder.
     
  11. MacDawg thread starter macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #11
    So, you just encrypt a disk image and secure your sensitive data that way... seems a lot easier and more flexible.

    Woof, Woof – Dawg [​IMG]
     
  12. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Honolulu
    #12
    I have had very very bad experiences with File Vault with Panther. Since then I have never ever used it. I am still very leary of File Vault even under Tiger. My experience with File Vault under Panter caused massive permision issues and the destruction of my iphoto and itunes libraries. I lost several hundred photos and songs that I unfortunately did not have backed up.
     
  13. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    Jan 20, 2004
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    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #13
    While my music and my pictures are important to me, I doubt a thief would find anything valuable in there so having the performance overhead of having Filevault on the whole Home folder isn't worth it to me.

    But the financial folder in my Documents folder where I store receipts, travel info, bank statements and tax info is inside an encrypted disk image.
     
  14. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

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    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
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    #14
    It seems that IF you activate FileVault on a fresh install, that it works
    O.K. by gradually adding your data to the disk.

    The problem seems to be when you activate FileVault AFTER you have tons of stuff already stored.

    I see your point about encrypting individual files rather than the entire
    Home folder, but I still like the idea of keeping my kid's grubby mits competely out of my system unless they have my permission.
     
  15. MacDawg thread starter macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    Mar 20, 2004
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    #15
    Still, the easiest solution to your situation is different accounts, but I know you've said you don't want to do that, but I don't understand why...

    Woof, Woof – Dawg [​IMG]
     
  16. efoto macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Cloud 9 (-6)
    #16
    So under this method of encrypting only sensitive data in a secure disk image, do you simply select the data and it moves it to a secure image or copies it? then how do you access and update the data?

    Can you tell I have zero experience with FV? :eek:
     
  17. Yaja123 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    #17
    yes, u just copy the data you want to store in the dmg to it whilst its open... its like a shell, and delete the original files. Then when you close the dmg/unmount it it will be stored inside the dmg. Whenever you want to use any files within the dmg you mount the dmg > double click > enter password > mounted
     
  18. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    #18
    IMO the FileVault Tiger version works. the panther version was buggy and it slowed down the fastest machine.
     
  19. applefan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    No. Cal.
    #19
    Useful info in this thread.

    When I try to create an incrypted disc image it get the attached message. How do I proceed beyond this, or what am I ding wrong?
     

    Attached Files:

  20. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

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    #20
    i think the advantage of FileVault compared to a secure .dmg file is that you don't worry about FileVault once you log in. one thing i hate with FileVault is, i can only encrypt my home folder. i got 3 external hard drives and i would like a secure and easy way to encrypt my files.

    i got one notebook any my family have 2 other notebooks (all macs of course). i think i have tried this before, that i could not access my external hard drive (with the secured .dmg file) from another notebook...
     
  21. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #21
    Yeah, I would agree with this too. I have had no problems with Filevault in Tiger (other than the minor annoyance of having it adjust HD space, but that is pretty infrequent).
     
  22. bankshot macrumors 65816

    bankshot

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
    #22
    That's what you think! Take a look at your kids' accounts sometime... :D Of course, they're probably using FileVault for that. :p
     

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