What is your tips for keeping your Mac safe on open wifi hotspots?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Trey1984, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Trey1984 macrumors regular

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    Mar 5, 2011
    #1
    How far do you go to protect your Mac?

    What do you have installed/enabled?

    Have you downloaded any safari extensions that work for you?

    I'm new to my MacBook pro with lion and just want to make sure none of my work data is ever intercepted.

    Have any of you turned on file vault? Is it worth it?
     
  2. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #2
    If you want 'absolute' security then subscribe to a VPN service.
     
  3. Medic278 macrumors 6502a

    Medic278

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    #3
    I make it a point not to transmit any sensitive data over an unsecured network, for example I won't access my bank accounts on public wifi. I also am careful about what files I open etc etc, to be fair though nothing but my credit info is really worth stealing lol
     
  4. Trey1984 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    What would you recommend? And do you personally believe that there should be a need for it? Or is the firewall pretty secure as everyone says? That the main reason I bought a Mac. 90% of the stuff on it is work related.
     
  5. Freyqq macrumors 68040

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    #5
    use https:// sites when possible and dont do anything important like banking
     
  6. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #6
    I use ipredator. It's about £15 for 3 months, I turn it on and I don't worry about security.
     
  7. No1nfoProvided macrumors 6502

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    #7
    If you have a computer you leave on all the time at home, you can install Hamachi from logmein and form your own VPN for free. That is one option. There are also multiple vendors that require a monthly fee that offer to host a VPN for you as well. In my opinion, VPN is pretty much overkill for most people, but it is safest way to use the internet.

    Another good option is tunneling your internet traffic through SSH, which can get pretty complicated to set up.
     
  8. Trey1984 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Hmm. Well it's not the banking or my credit card info I'm worried about as I wouldn't do that on a wifi at the airport. What I'm really worried about is if I'm at the airport and I have time to kill and do work there. My pro is my main and only computer, so I have all of my employees information on it. I just want to make sure that I have done everything I can to make sure that the sensitive information can't be hacked into while I'm connected online or if god for bid I lose my computer.
     
  9. No1nfoProvided macrumors 6502

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    #9
    You might want to invest in a VPN service or set up your own if you have other people's information in your hands. I would not consider you a part of the "most people" I was referring to in my previous post.
     
  10. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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    #10
    Have you encrypted your hard drive? FileVault 2 is easy to use.
     
  11. Trey1984 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Would FileVault be a good idea to enable?

    ----------

    I was reading that FileVault that comes on it was a pain and I have never used it yet. Would it make it more difficult for me to login and such?
     
  12. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #12
    If your worried about people having physical access to your Mac then it would be a good idea.
     
  13. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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    #13
    No. You won't even notice.
     
  14. astrorider macrumors 6502

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    Sep 25, 2008
    #14
    When on public wifi, go to the Sharing preferences in your System Preferences and make sure everything's off or the things you have on are for known user's with strong passwords.
     
  15. No1nfoProvided macrumors 6502

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    #15
    +1. You should encrypt your hard drive. If you do lose your computer, at least the person who ends up with it would not be able to access the hard drive without the password or encryption key.
     
  16. Trey1984 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Encrypting now. Do you have to be connected to the Internet while it does this? Or if I have to leave abruptly can I put the computer to sleep and open it and it will continue?
     
  17. stridemat Moderator

    stridemat

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    #17
    You don't need to be connected to the Internet, but I wouldn't recommend putting the mac to sleep. Just to be safe.
     
  18. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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    #18
    Well, with FileVault 2, they just need $995. :)
     
  19. Mojo1 macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Witopia personalVPN Service

    Here is a post that I wrote on the forum back in December; let me know if you have any questions.


    VPN will encrypt all the data being transferred between your Mac and the VPN server, as well as substituting your IP address with the VPN server IP address. Your ISP will not be able to log where you go online nor will it be able to intercept any of the data going through its servers. All the ISP can tell is that you are connecting to a VPN server.

    I highly recommend Witopia.net (http://www.witopia.net/products/). I have used Witopia for over four years. Installation is very easy and you can select from a long list of VPN servers located in multiple countries, which can be very handy when traveling. All it takes to connect to a VPN server is clicking an icon in the Finder Menu Bar and choosing a server from the drop-down menu.

    Witopia also has VPN available for iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. On the iPhone you simply add as many VPN servers as you want and they will appear as options in the VPN section of your Settings. Depending on what type of Mac/iOS VPN you choose the monthly cost is around $5. There are no data limits. Witopia does not appear to offer an iOS-only option but I would contact the company to find out if it is possible to do so.

    Witopia keeps minimal logs and purges all logs every 48 hours or so. And they offer a 30-day refund period should you decide to cancel the service. Witopia has excellent and fast customer service too.
     
  20. No1nfoProvided macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Haha. I guess nothing is perfect. Quick google search turned up this:

    http://www.truecrypt.org/

    I'm a big fan of open source software, so you can always try different stuff since Lion's encryption is apparently so poor. I never tried this software, so the risk is yours to take if you would like to try it.
     
  21. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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    #21
    Yeah, but it makes it a lot harder to get the data. If you really are targeted, they will get you one way or another.
     
  22. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #22
  23. Rhyalus macrumors 6502

    Rhyalus

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    #23
    I think the bigger danger is accidentally exposing a share that you did not intend.

    Have a friend with a Mac and a friend with a PC browse for your system when you are all in Starbucks or something to see what you are serving up.

    Other than that, it is not all that likely that someone us gunning for your data.

    Encryption is a good idea in case your system is stolen.
    VPN is good if you are doing work that is sensitive and you need to pass it to work.

    R
     
  24. Mojo1, Apr 19, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012

    Mojo1 macrumors 65816

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    #24
    There are readily available free programs that allow someone to monitor network traffic on a public WiFi or wired network. One program that I have seen displays every image that traverses the network. Other "packet sniffing" programs grab data. Some of these programs are very easy to use.

    None of these programs are capable of decrypting data. Subscribe to a personal VPN service and you can safely get online anywhere. An added bonus: if Internet access is restricted due to geographical location you can simply select a VPN server in a location that allows access. This comes in handy when traveling overseas or when using Internet services that aren't available in your location. The last time I check Witopia had VPN servers in over thirty countries.

    I also encrypt sensitive data on my Macs. I prefer programs that encrypt individual files and folders; they are faster and easier to use than the built-in options and whole disk encryption. These programs make it easy to transfer encrypted data to another computer, thumb drive, etc. as well when using online data storage such as Dropbox and Crashplan.

    I use GoSecure ($20). An alternative is Knox but the last time I checked it was $40.
     

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