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OS X Mavericks: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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And Four Privacy Shields

In Apple’s mind, there’s a difference between security (protecting your Mac) and privacy (protecting your information from distribution).

The Privacy tab in the Security & Privacy pane of System Preferences harbors four fairly random privacy-related options:

Location Services

Location Services means “knowing where I am.” It’s the feature that lets your laptop figure out its own time zone automatically, for example, or that lets a weather Web site show your local weather the first time you visit.

Every time a program wants to use your current location for its own features, you’ll be asked about it. (The Mac figures out your location based on its proximity to known WiFi networks.) Each time you say OK, the program that did the asking installs its own name into the list here.

You can turn off the checkboxes of the programs you’d rather didn’t know where you are, or you can turn off location tracking altogether by turning off the “Enable location services” box.

Contacts

Some programs work better if you allow them to access your database of names and addresses. For example, Skype wants access so that it can incorporate your address book into its address book. This list shows all of the programs that access your Contacts—and offers checkboxes to turn off that access.

Twitter, Facebook

Here, you’ll see programs that want to access your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Once again, you can turn off their access, if you like.

Diagnostic and Usage Data

If you turn on this box, ...

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