Protecting privacy + Genius Bar

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by lacereza, May 17, 2010.

  1. lacereza macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    #1
    I need to send my MBP in. Rather than giving them my user account password, I've created a new account that has admin privileges. Is that all I need to do? Or can admin accounts access all the info on the computer? I've heard horror stories here of peoples' photos being looked at, FB profiles accessed, etc. As a young woman I would imagine I'd be in the highest risk category for this...
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #2
    An admin account can do anything on your computer, including access data stored by other admin accounts.

    What are you taking it in for? If possible, I prefer to back up and format the hard drive prior to taking it in to the shop. The techs also tend to prefer it because it lets them verify that a problem is with the hardware rather than the software.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    What is your issue? What I know, they need/want to access your main account. If you have a backup (you SHOULD have one), you can erase your photos and FB stuff so that there won't be anything personal. I work in a repair shop (not ) but we need passes for all accounts, just in case. We (at least I) never look at anything personal though, it's against law and at least in here, you can get pretty nice fees if you get caught.
     
  4. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #4
    You can just keep the admin account locked and tell them if they want to do tests following the repair, to just do it via one of their firewire/USB drives. That's what I've tended to do in the past and the Genius has just accepted that as normal. :)
     
  5. lacereza thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    #5
    Thanks. Weird screen flickers (black for a second), LCD vertical lines, and the USB ports don't work properly. Have already had teh logic board replaced once. Can't do a backup because of the latter. Is there a way to set up an account for them that gives access to all the inner workings but none of the stuff in my own account?
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    You still have FireWire port, I guess so use it (if it works).
     
  7. lacereza thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    #7
    If the USB ports are fried there's a good chance that the FireWire is too -- I'm not going to go and buy another external HD for the chance that it's not.
     
  8. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #8
    Unless you have FileVault or some other sort of encryption system, they could easily access your files while booted to the external drive if they really wanted to.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    BTW, you just came up with an answer! If OP turns on FileVault, her personal data can't be accessed so she is pretty much safe
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    If you're unable to back up the computer, then you can probably still do the following, but that's about it:

    - Decide if you can delete any personal information that is already on another device or computer

    - Empty the history / cache / delete all cookies and offline content from all your web browsers / chat software, etc.

    - Empty the trash and perhaps secure delete empty space on the drive (from Disk Utility).

    You could certainly also change the passwords for things like Facebook from another computer, but if you do the above, it's pretty unlikely anyone will be using your computer to access your accounts.

    EDIT: Filevault is not a bad option, either....
     
  11. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    These tips are in no way foolproof, but perhaps they will help in a small way for files you don't think you can erase.

    1. If you rename sensitive folders (e.g., "old stuff" instead of "embezzlement records" - ha ha) and bury them deep within other folders, then someone who glances at your home folder or casually browses is less likely to look in those folders.

    2. You can use System Preferences -> Spotlight -> Privacy to prevent your home folder from being spotlight searchable.
     

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