General security questions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jayzz, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Jayzz macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2010
    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to Mac, don't know my way around yet.

    Current goal: security/nothing gets "in".


    1. I have firewall turned "off" so all incoming connections are allowed on my computer. Is this ok? Is it safer to turn it on to not allow those incoming connections?

    2. What exactly is FileVault? Should I turn it on? Is the master password another additional password to remember along with the password I made when setting up the mac for the first time? Should I set a master password?

    3. It says that it encrypts the contents of home folder, will it still be readable whenever I open it?

    4. Are there any good Applications for general Mac security I can instal?
  2. chill. macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
    i don't get it, do you have a level of security you are aiming for?

    if you want to be as secure as possible just turn everything on

    if you want enough security for the everyday/casual user, then i would say all you need is a hardware firewall (like a router) or turn on your software firewall. i have no idea what filevault is, so i would say it's unnecessary for the average user, along with other security applications
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    If you use a router at home, they generally provide a decent level of security from a firewall perspective, but having your machine's firewall on as well is helpful too, especially if it's a laptop and you take it somewhere and there isn't that extra level of security.

    Make sure you password protect your account. FileVault is a good tool for those who need it, but most people do not. If you do need it, you already know you need it. Creating an encrypted disk image to protect sensitive files is generally enough security for most people who may want to protect financial or other sensitive information. If you did use FileVault you should use a separate Master password for the sake of security. It only encrypts your home directory, and yes you'll be able to access it, why would you think you wouldn't be able to?

    As far as a security app, I like TrueCrypt for cross-platform encrypted containers since I work on multiple OS. Another app, that is for blocking things from getting out of your machine (in case you catch a trojan for instance) is LittleSnitch.

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