Protecting Your Data from Prying Eyes

The last kind of security I look at in this chapter is protecting your files from other users on your local area network and users with physical access to your Mac. If you don’t want anyone messing with your files, check out the security measures I describe in the following sections.

Blocking or limiting connections

The first thing you might want to do is open the Sharing System Preferences pane by launching the System Preferences application (from the Applications folder, menu, or Dock) and clicking the Sharing icon. Nobody can access your Mac over the network if all the services in the Sharing pane are disabled and your firewall is set to Block All Incoming Connections. See the section “Firewall: Yea or nay?” earlier in this chapter for details on these settings.

Locking down files with FileVault

If you absolutely, positively don’t ever want anyone to be able to access the files in your Home folder, FileVault allows you to encrypt your entire disk and protect it with the latest government-approved encryption standard: Advanced Encryption Standard with 128-bit keys (AES-128).

When you turn on FileVault, you’re asked to set a master password for the computer. After you do, you or any other administrator can use that master password if you forget your regular account login password.

warning_4c.eps If you turn on FileVault and forget both your login password ...

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