Locking folders - privacy protection

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by grunberd, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. grunberd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    #1
    Greetings to all
    recently, I've become a little paranoid that if I leave my computer on all the time while connected to the internet, hackers can find their way into my info. Is there a good security solution I'm not aware of that can lock selected folders and my keychain to make access difficult for cyber thieves? Is there any other central file(s) I need to protect?
    Thanks a bunch
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Mar 25, 2002
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    London, England
    #2
    Your Mac isn't going to get hacked so that people over the internet can browse your folders. You're being overly paranoid, don't worry about it.
     
  3. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #3
    I agree with edesignuk, but if you really really want to protect your files, then the easiest way is to use Disk Utility to create an encrypted sparseimage in which you place all of your files. You will mount and unmount this image using the password you chose when you created it. When it's unmounted, your files are inaccessible unless someone can crack the encryption.
     
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    London, England
    #4
    Just to clarify on this point. Don't put all of your files in it. If you drop your whole home folder in an encrypted Disk Image you will have just successfully made a right hash of your system. Encrypted Disk Images are good for putting certain stuff in that you're extra worried about though.
     
  5. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    "Between the Hedges"
    #5
    ^^
    bullet - dodge

    Really... you should have no worries

    But if you have financials or other things that are sensitive, the disk image will be totally sufficient for that purpose

    Woof, Woof – Dawg [​IMG]
     
  6. blodwyn macrumors 65816

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    #6
    You are right of course, I didn't mean this, but certainly phrased it poorly :eek:
     
  7. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    Mar 17, 2005
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    London, England
    #7
    I thought the encrypted disk images had a 500MB limit anyway.

    They can go bad so whatever you keep in your encrypted disk image, back it up with another. Also, be sure not to keep the Disk Image password in the keychain.
     
  8. blodwyn macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Not true, if you select the custom option you can go pretty large.
     

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  9. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

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    Mar 17, 2005
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    London, England
    #9
    Oh that's awesome, I didn't know that. Thanks.
     
  10. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    Sep 19, 2008
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    U.S.A.
    #10
    If only that were true. Did you see the post today about Safari users, ON THE MAC and windows, can have their hard drives accessed and files compromised, viewed, and etc...

    Not very good job by Apple... what about OS X being secure... apparently not if running Safari.
     
  11. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #11
    ... FileVault.
     
  12. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
    Filevault won't prevent files being accessed over the internet while the user is logged in.

    The same goes for any encrypted disk images - they are only secure when they have been dismounted, and therefore are no longer in use (or the user has been logged out, in the case of Filevault). If they are open, files can be accessed freely.
     
  13. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #13
    Good to know.
     
  14. iBlue macrumors Core

    iBlue

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, England
    #14
    Another note on file vault, it's crap. Don't use it. Do a search (MRoogle link in my sig) on all the problems people have had with file vault. I for one lost every shred of data I had on my powerbook because something went wrong and it wouldn't boot up. All the files are encrypted uselessness and I had no proper back-up. These things happen. Unless you've got a load of sensitive data and you have a really good reason to suspect your computer is going to be physically stolen, it's not a lot of use anyway.
    Encrypted Disk Images for more sensitive stuff, dismounted when not in use and unsaved unique password is a good way to go, I think.

    P.S. Use firefox. ;)
     
  15. grunberd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    #15
    More about creating encrypted files

    Encrypted Disk Images for more sensitive stuff, dismounted when not in use and unsaved unique password is a good way to go, I think.

    P.S. Use firefox. ;)[/QUOTE]

    Thanks to all of you. Much better idea now of how to proceed. In fact, I've already created several images and now I'll take the very good advice of making a CD copy of the info just in case. Several questions remain:
    1. Is there a way to safeguard the password info in my keychain? Does it automatically, always ask for a password before it opens info in it?
    2. Are the images created are unchangeable? In other words, if I have electronic copies of credit card bills and I keep them as they come in, do I need to make new images and put both the new and the (mounted) old data files in it?
    Thanks, and it's a pleasure to get such good and timely help!
     
  16. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #16
    1. The first time you open the disk image, the dialog will have a checkbox whether to store the password in your keychain. If you don't check this then it won't be stored and you'll have to manually enter the password every time you mount the image.

    2. You have the option when you create the Disk Image to make it read and write, which gives you the ability to add and delete files from the image at will.

    One more point, when you create an image, it's best to choose the sparseimage format. When you do this you will want to specify it's size at the largest size you expect the contents to grow to. The sparseimage will not initially occupy that much space on your disk, but will grow as you add content into the image until it reaches the maximum size you specified when you created it.
     

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