security settings

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ikos, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. ikos macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    what settings is everyone using for their firewall? mine are on, "allow all incoming connections". that was the default setting I guess with my MacBook.

    what about filevault? anybody have it on?

    Im new with Mac's and was curious if changing any of these settings will help prevent viruses?

  2. i.shaun macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2008
    as far as I know macs are pretty secure out of the box. File Vault is added protection because it encrypts your Home Folder with your password. In order to read/write, it must decrypt/encrypt the data so I don't really use it personally.

    The people that do sometimes have it on a separate account with sensitive information, and not on their main account. It's up to you if you feel encryption is necessary I guess. I actually thought it slowed my mac down a bit because it had to do all the encrypting/decrypting of everything in the home folder whenever you want to use it.

    As for Viruses, there aren't really any for OS X -- but there are trojans. To prevent them from doing any harm, don't give them your password when they try to install themselves. They're usually found on shady websites, or porn sites (it may come in the form of a codec that it says you need to view a video). Other sources are illegal or hacked software on torrent sites such as Photoshop CS4, but I'm not sure what those trojans look like (ie: is it some separate thing, or does it say photoshop wants the password to install)

    I actually had seen one which was sent in a link on MSN or yahoo that I accidentally clicked. I knew it was fake because It said I needed flash, and asked to install -- but I already have flash, as youtube and every other video site works fine.
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    I have my firewall setup to only allow applications I set. I also have FileVault turned on and I don't use my Administrator account (I use a Standard account). I have to use a lot of security because my line of work. Most Mac users don't use FileVault and don't adjust their firewall and use an administrator account, unfortunately.

    As mentioned, there are no viruses on Mac currently. A couple trojans in the wild, but as long as you get your software from legitimate sources, it they should be easy to avoid. Remember though, the biggest threats out on the internet are by way of social engineering, which no OS can completely protect you from.
  4. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    That application firewall in system preferences is terrible, I've got it set to allow all connection,s and I've got the UNIX firewall IPFW switched on (comes built into OS X, but Apple has it hidden and disabled by default.)

    Yes, no trouble at all with it. Unfortunately, there are still logs and temporary files stored outside the home folder, so it's a real shame Apple hasn't provided full disk encryption. If you use Filevault, I'd advise going to /Library/Keychains, and securely erasing the master password keychains, since the master password is just another vector to attack Filevault.

    No, but OS X doesn't have any viruses anyway, and since it's UNIX, it's unlikely to.
  5. i.shaun macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2008
    I just looked up some old threads about Trojans to see (and to be more aware of them).

    The one I mentioned was obvious, asking me to install flash player when I already have it in order to view a video. Not to mention it was a bot that messaged me, I didn't mean to click it, but my aim was way off.

    Other ones can be more tricky, apparently there was one in pirated versions of iWork (from torrents), and it was packaged with iWork as a file called "iservices.pkg" or something like that. You would never know that that file was malicious, and it would install upon iWork asking for the admin password like most programs do.

    There was also an Adobe Photoshop CS4 trojan, but I'm not sure what that one did or was like, there didn't seem to be much on it. I'd assume it was packaged with photoshop or with the keygen, and again, ran upon asking for the admin password.

    You can never be too safe, so make sure programs are trusted. I often search the forums to see people's reviews of programs using Mroogle. Type in what you're looking for, and you'll see any relating threads. For example, type in screen recording, you'll probably find some threads on software people use, which is how I found Snapz Pro X.

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