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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition by David Pogue

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Chapter 12. Accounts, Firewalls, and Security

In an era when security is the hottest high-tech buzzword, Apple was smart to make security a focal point for Tiger. Mac OS X was already virus-free and better protected from Internet attacks than Windows XP. But Tiger is the most impenetrable Mac system yet, filled with new defenses against the dark arts.

You'll spot big and small security enhancements all over Tiger and the programs that accompany it. There's a new password-suggestion feature, new alert messages when you download something that could conceivably contain a virus, a new stealth mode in the built-in firewall that makes your Mac invisible to Internet predators, a new stealth mode in Safari that leaves no digital tracks whatsoever as you cruise the Web, new options to encrypt or wipe clean what's on your hard drive, and much more.

Introducing Accounts

The concept of user accounts is central to Tiger's security approach. Like the Unix under its skin (and also like Windows XP and Windows 2000), Mac OS X is designed from the ground up to be a multiple-user operating system. You can configure a Mac OS X machine so that everyone must log in—that is, you have to click or type your name and type in a password—when the computer turns on.

Upon doing so, you discover the Macintosh universe just as you left it, including these elements:

  • Your documents, files, and folders

  • Your preference settings in just about every program you use: Web browser bookmarks and preferred home page; desktop ...

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