Is my macbook as safe as my iPhone?

CavemanMike

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 8, 2013
204
8
Can you yank a drive out of a mac, put it in an enclosure, take ownership of the drive like with windows?

I have financial data on my macbook. If I get mugged, and my mugger is at a logon screen, is my data safe?

I'm embarrassed to admit, I don't have my mac setup to prompt for password upon waking (only after a reboot) So, unless I remember to logoff before leaving the house with my macbook, I guess that's a serious danger.

Is there any way (short of logging off) to lock the screen with a password manually, without being forced to do it every time the laptop wakes up?

Thanks,
Mike
[doublepost=1462420395][/doublepost]BTW, CTRL SHIFT POWER will force my macbook to sleep, but I don't have it configured to prompt for password on wake, so that's no security at all :-(
 

kryten42

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2015
254
265
In a little world of my own
FileVault will pretty much stop anyone putting the disk in another system and reading it (it is Full Disk Encryption)

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204837

You can also lock the screen every time, I use hot corners to put the display to sleep and have it set to ask for password on wake. Although you will have to still put it in every time you wake it, I still think it is worth it. I then use Caffeine app to stop display going to sleep if I do not want it to for any reason.
 

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,149
3,193
Can you yank a drive out of a mac, put it in an enclosure, take ownership of the drive like with windows?
Yes. This has nothing to do with Windows, OS X, Linux or otherwise.

I have financial data on my macbook. If I get mugged, and my mugger is at a logon screen, is my data safe?
No. As you said yourself, they just need another computer to mount the drive and have complete access. They do not care about your login password, because they do not even have to boot OS X.

I’m embarrassed to admit, I don't have my mac setup to prompt for password upon waking (only after a reboot) So, unless I remember to logoff before leaving the house with my macbook, I guess that's a serious danger.
Your data would still be in danger regardless, unless you protect the data on the drive itself. There are two options: encrypt the data itself or encrypt the entire hard disk. The easiest option is the latter and that is why Apple offers FileVault. If you want to encrypt the data itself, then you can use encrypted disk images (which you can create with Disk Utility) or use third-party software. This requires more work on your end, such as storing multiple encryption keys.

Enabling FileVault, which I recommend you do, will also force you to enter your password after the MacBook entered sleep mode. You can only determine the delay (up to 1 hour). You should get used to entering a password whenever you have not used your MacBook for a while. If you want to keep your data secure on a laptop, then encryption and auto-lock are sensible.

In my opinion, a computer you carry around should always be encrypted and have a password. If your computer is stationary, that would be another discussion.
 

XboxMySocks

macrumors 68020
Oct 25, 2009
2,203
170
Err, as far as I know as long as the drive is removed regardless of the state it was in before, it's still encrypted against the salted data used to produce the AES key for your data.

TL;DR: as far as I know FileVault will prevent data stealing no matter what.
 
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CavemanMike

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 8, 2013
204
8
Thank you every for these great answers!!

Here's what I decided as an interim step:
  1. I set set my macbook to prompt for passwords 4 hours after waking.
  2. I moved all my financial data off my macbook, onto my file server (NAS) at home
  3. In installed Veracrypt and created an encrypted file/container which now contains a COPY (so if I'm at a coffee shop and need to research something, I can mount the encrypted volume, and close when done).
  4. I manually logoff before leaving home (if I'm walking around the city with my laptop).
  5. I did set a hot-corner of the screen for immediate screen saver but since it's set for 4 hours, it didn't really achieve what I had hoped)
Thanks again, I learned a bunch and am more secure now than I was before!

-Mike


PS: Sorry for my delay in response: my work windows pc died and I had to setup a new pc.
[doublepost=1462829214][/doublepost]The more I think of it, maybe I should just pick a 'non-secure', easy to type password like: 'asas'.

I recently reset all my passwords (banking, gmail, etc) to be a strong, upper/lower/punctuation and used the same for my local account password, which is a real pain to type.

This might be more convenient that logging off which closes all of my apps.

Thoughts?

Mike
 
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bmac89

macrumors 65816
Aug 3, 2014
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If you have quick user switching enabled you can switch to the login screen manually without actually logging out.
 

cdcastillo

macrumors 65816
Dec 22, 2007
1,269
647
The cesspit of civilization
...The more I think of it, maybe I should just pick a 'non-secure', easy to type password like: 'asas'.

I recently reset all my passwords (banking, gmail, etc) to be a strong, upper/lower/punctuation and used the same for my local account password, which is a real pain to type.

This might be more convenient that logging off which closes all of my apps.

Thoughts?

Mike

Definitely not. I suggest you instead use an easy-to-remember-difficult-to-crack password, as by Randall Munroe suggestion here.
 

CavemanMike

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 8, 2013
204
8
OMG @bmac89 , I can't wait to try quick switching. That sounds like the perfect solution; I assume it requires you to enter the password when you switch back, and all my apps are still open.

GREAT IDEA!!!!

Thanks,
Mike
[doublepost=1462889851][/doublepost]I bet there's even a way to switch to another user via a shortcut key (I'll have to research that later).
 

CavemanMike

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 8, 2013
204
8
Thank you so much @hallux. Since I'm windows at work and mac at home, I figured the Veracrypt would be good. (That, and I'm already familiar with truecrypt). However, I will check out the link you provided

Thx
Mike
 

CavemanMike

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 8, 2013
204
8
I found an even better solution than fast-switching to a limited user account to immediately lock my macbook at a coffee shop:

In the free version of Alfred (a spotlight competitor) , just OPTION SPACEBAR and type lock !!!
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,580
9,108
Ventura County
I found an even better solution than fast-switching to a limited user account to immediately lock my macbook at a coffee shop:

In the free version of Alfred (a spotlight competitor) , just OPTION SPACEBAR and type lock !!!
FYI. You can change the quick key for Alfred. I use double tap option.
 

CavemanMike

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 8, 2013
204
8
because I have my mac to only prompt of unlock password every 4 hours. The corners thing would not provoke a forced password when done
 

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,149
3,193
because I have my mac to only prompt of unlock password every 4 hours. The corners thing would not provoke a forced password when done
When you open the preferences of the Keychain Access application, you will find an option to show a menubar icon for it. That menu has an option to lock the screen immediately.

Screen Shot.png
 
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