Securing Macbook Before Service

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Christina1971, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. Christina1971 macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2007
    My Macbook's screen flickering problem seems to be getting more severe, so I'd like to take it in for service. But before I do that, I wanted to know how I could properly secure it so that no one would have access to my private files (the few of them that exist) while still being able to turn the computer on and off.

    You don't really see the flickering until you've been browsing around for a while, so it would seem that the technician would at least have to be able to get onto the internet.
  2. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    generally they ask for an admin password and username so that means they can gain access to any of your files if they so wish. Here is what I do.

    Firstly I create a new account so that I won't have to give out my password, or I at least change my password to something else such as "pleasefixmymac"

    Then create an encrypted disk image in Disk Utility

    So open up Disk Utility, can be found in your Utilities folder. Then click the new image button

    Picture 1.png

    Choose a size that has some headroom over and above the ammount of data you want to add to it as the volume won't be the full size described

    Picture 3.png

    Most important step is to make sure that the password is not remembered in the keychain which is selected by default for some unknown reason.

    Picture 7.png

    Then the image will mount on your desktop and you can put your files in there and then once you have done that you can unmount the disk image and they will be secure.

    It is best to do both of these things.

    Also one thing to note is that if you give them your admin account that they will be able to see the content of the keychain so I would suggest changing the password on that as well. So open up Keychain Access (in Utilites) then Edit - Change Password for Keychain "login". This will cause a dialog box to pop up when you sign in and try and use items from the keychain but that can be resolved once you get it back from the apple store by simply changing the password back to the same password that you use for logging in.

    However it is still best to create a second account for them as there may be little things that are lying around that they can see, but it really does depend on how paranoid/need for security you are.
  3. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    May 14, 2006
    Roskilde, DK
    You can do as xUKHCx suggested. Another option is also to just make a backup image on an external drive and wiping your own clean so they will have no chance of looking at their files.

    What they usually do is boot from an external FW drive and troubleshoot the mac from there. If they cannot replicate the problem, it's most likely a software issue (which the flickering display problem is not, however).

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