IN THIS CHAPTER
Separating Mac security fact from fiction
Learning the main security features of Mac OS X
Understanding how privacy relates to security
Balancing security against convenience
Assessing your security risks
Getting started with simple security fixes
When someone asks me what could possibly fill a book on Mac security, I begin by mentioning that thieves find Macs quite attractive (for both their looks and their resale value) — which is clearly a security concern. Macs have no trouble receiving email, which can contain spam, phishing attempts, and malware. They can also easily send email, which often contains private information and could be intercepted in transit. I also point out that Mac users type their passwords and credit card information in forms on web pages, and bad guys sniffing network traffic don't care what operating system their victims are using. Even something as innocuous as the Bluetooth radio your Mac uses to communicate with mice, keyboards, headsets, and the like could be the means by which someone takes over your computer or installs malicious software.
At this point, as my interlocutor checks his watch, coughs politely, and begins backing away, I signal my willingness to continue listing the dozens of potential security concerns a Mac user may face. But I've made my point: Security is every bit as much of an issue for Mac users as for anyone else.
In this chapter, I describe some of the Mac's security strengths and ...