mac privacy/security/firewall (first time switcher)

orijinal

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 6, 2005
384
0
I came from using PCs all my life and tried to make my computer as secure as possible, with firewalls, antivirus, etc.

one of the reasons i made the switch was to relieve myself from all this, as i hear there are no virus/spyware items for the mac.

so when i go to websites to test my vulnerability (like pcflank.com) and it tells me that i am vulnerable, should i just ignore this? i know in safari that it is telling me that sites are able to see my cookies/see what websites i've been too, etc. in safari. when i used a pc with my security programs, this wasn't the case.

here is my verdict from pcflank:
Check for vulnerabilities of your computer system to remote attacks

We have scanned your system for open ports and for ports visible to others on the Internet. As a rule an open port means your computer is vulnerable to attacks by crackers. They gain access to your computer and its files through these open ports.


Warning!
The test found visible port(s) on your system: 135, 137, 138, 139

Recommendation:
Install personal firewall software. PC Flank recommends Outpost Firewall Pro.

If you have already installed and are using a firewall, check if it is set to make all the ports of your computer invisible (hidden). If it is, then get new firewall software and redo this test.



Trojan horse check

The test scanned your system to find signs of a Trojan. If a Trojan horse is on your computer a cracker can access your system's files and your personal data.


Safe!
There is no evidence of a Trojan horse on your system.

Recommendation:
The absence of a Trojan horse on your system does not mean this problem cannot happen, of course. Anti-virus and/or anti-Trojan software should be installed and used on your system. Anti-trojans to consider are: The Cleaner, PestPatrol or Tauscan.

If you already use this type of software on your system, its virus definitions (virus database) should regularly be updated.

Browser privacy check

The test checked if your web browser reveals any private information while you visit Web sites. Usually such information is: the last site visited, your locale and who your Internet Service Provider is.


Danger!
While visiting web sites your browser reveals private information about you and your computer. It sends information about previous sites you have visited. It may also save special cookies on your hard drive that have the purpose of directing advertising or finding out your habits while web surfing.

Recommendation:
We advise you to get personal firewall software. If you already have a firewall program adjust it to block the distribution of such information.

To compare your results to results of other users click on "Overall Stats"
 

greatdevourer

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2005
1,996
0
System Prefs:Sharing:Firewall. Click "turn firewall on" ;) The rest of that is utter bollocks, as that's referring to PCs. It has no idea that you're on a Mac. If you're worried about cookies, once a week or month or whatever, click Reset Safari from the Safari main dropdown
 
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orijinal

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 6, 2005
384
0
i wish safari had the ability to block all cookies and allow certain sites for cookies, like firefox.

would that matter though for macs?
 
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rainman::|:|

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
5,438
2
iowa
visible ports aren't a danger, it just means other computers can see you. They can't do anything since it's a Mac, and any dangerous ports are closed by default. So you can use the system's firewall, as described above, download a third-party firewall config (like BrickHouse) which gives you more options/control over the firewall, or just leave it turned off. I'm pretty paranoid but I leave mine off, occasionally it'll screw with a program, and no one can hurt me anyway. As for antivirus, there are no viruses, so don't worry about it. The day a virus is unleashed for OS X, it will be such a big news story, you'll know about it instantly.

In short, if at all possible, shed your PC-security-paranoia at the startup chime. Macs work like they're supposed to.
 
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orijinal

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 6, 2005
384
0
so cookies and referrer information broadcasted by safari shouldn't bother me?

i'm always a skeptic
 
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greatdevourer

macrumors 68000
Aug 5, 2005
1,996
0
orijinal said:
i wish safari had the ability to block all cookies and allow certain sites for cookies, like firefox.

would that matter though for macs?
But it does. Safari Prefs:Security. Select "Only from sites I navigate to"
 
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orijinal

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 6, 2005
384
0
greatdevourer said:
But it does. Safari Prefs:Security. Select "Only from sites I navigate to"
hmm, well it's still revealing this info in privacy test sites. that and browser refer/history.
 
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Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,813
183
Bergen, Norway
If you consider History and Cookies a threat just disable them. Cookies are easy to disable from Safari Preferences. The History a bit worse. Download an application called TinkerTool, with that you can set Safari to store "None" items in History.

Also, check alternative browsers. Shiira and Firefox are the most popular free ones. Opera has improved their Mac version and has some followers, specially some coming from Linux. Also try OmniWeb, it's not free but has some dedicated followers... :)
 
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orijinal

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 6, 2005
384
0
Mitthrawnuruodo said:
If you consider History and Cookies a threat just disable them. Cookies are easy to disable from Safari Preferences. The History a bit worse. Download an application called TinkerTool, with that you can set Safari to store "None" items in History.

Also, check alternative browsers. Shiira and Firefox are the most popular free ones. Opera has improved their Mac version and has some followers, specially some coming from Linux. Also try OmniWeb, it's not free but has some dedicated followers... :)
thanks ill give it a shot
 
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