How secure is a journaled drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by JonnyThunder, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. JonnyThunder macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2008

    I'm REALLY new to mac (but loving it) and have a few questions regarding security. I've got the mac installed whatever way it came out of the box, but am running Mac OS X 10.5.5 updated to it's latest.

    I've also bought an external Maxtor drive which I planned to use for backups and suchlike (not using TimeMachine). My questions are :

    1. How secure is a drive formatted as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" in general?

    2. Is this security still in tact on an external drive formatted the same way?

  2. hughvane macrumors 6502


    Aug 25, 2008
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    What sort of "security" is of concern to you? HFS+ (hierarchical file structure - journaled) is as secure as any file system. It certainly fails less often than, for example, NTFS.

    As for your external Maxtor, if it's only going to be used for backup, then it does not need to be formatted HFS+, simply HFS. However, if at some stage you decide you do want to use the Maxtor to boot your Mac, you will need to format it HFS+ and use a firewire connection.
  3. JonnyThunder thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2008
    So, if I format the drive as HFS - can someone then take that portable drive to another mac and view the content - or do they need the password of the account which created the files / folders? I basically don't want someone being able to steal my portable drive and view the content on another Mac!
  4. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    yes anyone can view it. you cant really secure a whole hard drive by itself unless its connected to your Mac under a password protected login.

    btw hughvane Intel Macs can boot via USB or Firewire ;).
  5. JonnyThunder thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2008
    How do I go about doing that? This external drive of mine is to keep a portable backup of my programming work / projects. I'd like to protect the drive so that even if someone stole it, it'd be no good to them.
  6. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    You can secure the drive by selecting it, open the information window (Command + I) for this drive and under Sharing and Permissions you can deselect "Ignore ownership on this drive" and set up your user to read and write to it, and everyone else only to read or nothing at all.
  7. misterredman macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2007
    Or use an encrypted image made with disk utility or an application like truecrypt which can encrypt whole drives on the fly:
  8. JonnyThunder thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2008
    Great, thanks guys. Will check it out when I get home.
  9. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    If the drive is physically stolen, someone with enough computing power can get your information. the government spooks can certainly do it, but probably not the casual user. The amount of effort you put into securing/encrypting should depend on who you are trying to protect against.
  10. cyberjunky macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2008
    Open up disk utility and create a new image, select the option read/write sparse image and choose the encrypted option, choose the AES encryption option and enter a password you wish to use. But don't forget your password or it will never be able to reopen it again.
  11. Clayne macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2008
    I have a question...

    I want to make a sparse blank image for private information.

    Since journaling keeps track of changes and stuff, does that affect the privacy? Does it make it easier to get to the information?

    I need to know whether to make it journaled or not.
  12. Clayne macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2008
    I need to make it tonight. Sorry, but does anyone know?

Share This Page