What is the best way to secure my MacBook Pro Retina incase of theft?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hieveryone, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Hieveryone macrumors 68030

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    Apr 11, 2014
    #1
    I recently got a MacBook Pro Retina. I turned on Find My Mac and I also set a password that has to be entered immediately after the screensaver or computer goes to sleep.

    I know I can encrypt the hard drive but I heard this slows down the computer.

    What else can I do?

    Thanks
     
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #2
    I've encrypted my early 2013 rMBP hard drive and didn't notice any performance difference. There are troubleshooting roadblocks that take awhile to remove which slows down troubleshooting, but otherwise its pretty transparent.

    If the data you store on the laptop is that sensitive, the best way to protect it is to encrypt the drive using a strong password. You can try it and see how it goes. If it doesn't work out, you can decrypt and revert to using an unencrypted drive.

    That doesn't protect you from physical theft, but keeps your data secure.

    You also want to have a iPhone or iPad set up and handy so you can attempt to erase the rMBP remotely as soon as it goes missing.
     
  3. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #3
    Add these two measures:
    1. Set a firmware password to prevent anyone from booting into your Mac from a secondary drive and hence accessing your data.

    2. Enable FileVault. Without FileVault on my 512GB SM0512F SSD, I get 750MB/s read and 720MB/s write. With FileVault enabled, I get 720MB/s read and 700MB/s write. So the performance hit is almost nonexistent.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #4
    You can secure the data by using FileVault 2 as mentioned but that does nothing to secure your laptop against theft - it just protects your data from falling into someone's hands.

    To best protect the laptop against theft, you only option as I see it, is to practice safe computing habits, like never leaving the laptop alone in public places.
     
  5. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    #5
    Find My Mac only works when it's connected to wifi. Just so you're aware. It can be accessed from another computer via iCloud.com. That's helpful in case you don't have an iPad or iPhone.

    If you're worried about keeping your information secure, I'd use something like 1Password. It generates alphanumeric passwords. Then if a password database is hacked, it's harder for the hacker to figure out your password. 1Password is locked down with a master password that you create.

    You might also consider storing files in a cloud instead of locally. Of course keep files locally stored somewhere in case you lose access to the cloud or don't have an internet connection.

    But of course you want to prevent the theft in the first place. First, never leave your mac unattended in public. You might even consider a case that disguises the fact that it's a Mac. Anymore a lot of laptops are aluminum or silver plastic with black keys, but only macs have that glowing Apple logo. If there's a way to use a Kensington lock or something similar without the port they no longer include, I'd use it if you leave it in an office or a dorm room or something. It looks a little paranoid in public lol.

    Also make sure to include your Mac in any homeowner's or renter's insurance coverage. That will usually cover theft and at least with renter's, damage from burst pipes and lovely things like that.
     
  6. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    Mar 4, 2013
    #6
    It would be better to take out a separate policy on the computer, if possible, rather than lumping it in with your homeowner/renter insurance. This way, if you have to make a claim for accidental damage or theft, your overall rate won't be in danger of increasing.

    State Farm offers "personal items policies" and that's where I have my MBP covered. Costs about $34/year.
     
  7. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    #7
    Yeah you can get extra add-ons with a lot of homeowner's policies. I rent, so I had to get enough coverage for the value of my personal property. Sure, I could have a scheduled policy where I have each valuable item appraised, but that's a PITA.
     
  8. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Apr 11, 2014
    #8
    Thanks for your suggestions. This is everything I've done so far.

    Find My Mac is on

    Filevault is on (no decrease in speed :))

    Firmware password set

    Password required immediately after sleep or screensaver begins

    Is that all I need to do? Anything else?
     
  9. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Thats about all you can do short of keeping an eye on it.
     
  10. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Apr 11, 2014
    #10
    Does putting a firmware password slow down MBPr?
     
  11. jeffg819 macrumors regular

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    Dec 25, 2006
    #11
    Undercoverhq.com


    I have this installed on all the family macs.
     
  12. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

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    Feb 11, 2008
    #12
    Things you have listed sound fine.

    If you have files that you do not want to fall into someone's hands, do not keep them on the mbp . Keep them on a on external disk or secure home network .

    The mac book pro retina, is a thief magnet, when talking laptops, limit what you store on it. Good hackers, given time, may get into it, best precautions is not storing assess if you do not have to .
     
  13. brdeveloper macrumors 68020

    brdeveloper

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    #13
    I liked the original FileVault, but not FileVault 2 because it only allows a very limiting Guest account. I employ the following measures for preventing against theft:

    1. Buy Orbicule's Undercover. It allows you to take pictures and screenshots, log keyboard typing and locate the laptop through wi-fi. Just create a "bait" account allowing the theft to play with your laptop.

    2. Register your laptop to iCloud. You'll be able do wipe your data, locate your device or lock it.

    3. Set up a firmware password (Command + R) at startup. This will make impossible to do a clean installation in the stolen Mac.

    Keep your sensible data inside an encrypted sparsebundle. Set permissions to the umounted bundle (e.g. chmod -R 700 ./my_encrypted_bundle). Also set permissions to the mounted bundle (e.g. chmod -R 700 /Volumes/my_encrypted_bundle). Only NSA or some professional spy will scan your RAM for encryption keys (if your laptop was stolen while sleeping), so I think your data is pretty safe against thefts this way.

    In short, have an anti-theft software, create a bait account without password, use iCloud for 'bricking' your Mac and setup a firmware password to block clean OSX installations.

    ----------

    Me too. It works nice (from time to time I perform a theft simulation) and it's a 1-time purchase only. No need for renewing licenses.
     
  14. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

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    Los Angeles
    #14
    Anything else? Leave your Macbook Pro Retina at Starbucks coffee and see what happens. :apple:
     
  15. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #15
    No.

    FileVault 2 does slow down the Mac, but only slightly, so it's not noticeable.

    Meanwhile, adding a firmware (EFI) password doesn't slow down the Mac at all, because all it does is just to lock the EFI and prevent anyone else from starting up the Mac using a secondary boot drive.
     
  16. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

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    Hamburg, NY
    #16
    I was first going to say use the kensington lock until i looked at the side of mine, and oh.....LOL
    I would suggest Find my mac like youve set up, and try not to lose it.
     
  17. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #17
    Well if one is going to go that far, there is an outfit that sells a case for laptops that will securely wipe the laptop clean of data when its opened by an unauthorized user... or the wrist band is disconnected... but it kinda limits your portability.... but if you have valuable info on that laptop that someone really wants, then they can always kidnap you and the laptop and coerce you into releasing all the password and security info.... but then there are cyanide pills... so depending how far you want to take this.

    What the OP has done so far is good enough for the grab and run crowd. Perhaps if one is dealing in illegal activity and the evidence is on the laptop and your life depends on it, I may take additional measures.
     
  18. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

    richwoodrocket

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  19. Idefix macrumors 6502

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    Jul 10, 2012
    #19
    This isn't going to secure your laptop, but it's still useful if your laptop is lost and then found by an honest person:

    Put your personal info on the lock screen, eg your phone number with "reward if found".

    It's under the Security system pref pane.

    You never know--there might be one or two honest people in a Starbucks???
     
  20. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

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    UK
    #20
    Nice, just found that little info bit you can add to the lock screen. Well I like to think there are. I've lost my phone on the bus and someone's handed it in. I would do the same for someone else, be it a wallet, laptop or phone. :)
     
  21. Jimmyym macrumors newbie

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    Jun 18, 2014
    #22
    Find my Mac is so far a better way to anti-theft, I am using ilostfinder to protect my phone. Also you can install some tracking app on your mac.
     
  22. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Jan 3, 2014
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    Auckland
    #23
    Not theft protection but I use Keycard - pairs with your iPhone via BT and locks the screen once out of range. Around the office it effectively locks and unlocks 2x iMacs and the MBP just by me taking my phone with me - saves hours of password entering. It has a 4-digit pin in case the phone dies and works in addition to the normal password on the lock screen.

    Great tip about the login screen message in case of lost-but-found-by-a-good-samaritan :)
     
  23. SCOLANATOR macrumors 6502a

    SCOLANATOR

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    UK
    #24
    That's a pretty clever idea with the Bluetooth, might look into that.

    Personally I don't like having a Guest or 'bait' account. So all I've done is;

    -Sign my Mac and iPhone up to 'Find my Mac/iPhone'
    -Firmware password
    -Filevault
    -Message on lockscreen with my mobile number and message to contact me if lost

    It's not perfect but essentially if I don't have it then no one else is able to use it. Having some sort of GPS and cellular connection would really be perfect, that way I can always know where it is and remote lock/wipe it providing it has power.
     
  24. Mac Write macrumors member

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    Vancouver British Columbia
    #25
    My favourite quote in regards to this.
     

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