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Aside from the occasional initiation into the Dark Brotherhood, I spend my time telling people how to fix their Macs. Not that they are broken, but hey, every step closer to Linux is a positive one. Security and stability, brothers.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Make use of encryption options



Mac OS X offers a number of options for encrypting your data to prevent access to it if your Mac is lost or stolen. I've already touched on a couple of these, but the biggest example is FileVault, which can also be activated and managed from the Security pane in System Preferences.
FileVault converts your entire home folder into an encrypted disk image. The image is mounted and accessible only when you are logged in. At all other times, it is unreadable. FileVault uses industry-standard encryption, and if you use Time Machine, any backups of your home folder's contents are equally encrypted.
Note: FileVault must be enabled by each user who wants to have an encrypted home directory. Each home directory will be encrypted as a separate disk image file.
FileVault supports the use of a master password as a safety net that can be used to reset user passwords and access encrypted home folders if users forget their passwords. If both a user password and a master password are lost or forgotten, however, there is no way to retrieve data from the encrypted home folder.
To enable FileVault, launch System Preferences, select the Security pane, and then select the FileVault tab. You can set or change a master password using the Change button next to the master password description. (You must be an administrative user of the computer to do this, and you must know the current master password if one is already set.)
Next, click the Turn On FileVault button. Enabling FileVault for the first time can take a significant amount of time because the entire contents of your home folder are copied into a newly created encrypted disk image. If you have tens or hundreds of gigabytes of data, this could take hours or even days (much like an initial Time Machine backup).
For this reason, it's easiest to set up FileVault when you first create a user account (and thus there is little data in the home folder). During this initial copy, you will also need to ensure that you have at least as much free space on your hard drive as the size of your home folder, since all the data will be copied. Once enabled, FileVault encrypts and decrypts items on the fly when you log in or log out, and it generally won't slow down performance significantly.
Disk Utility also lets you create encrypted disk images. Disk images look and act like virtual hard drives and can be created as blank images or copies of existing disks or folders. Mounting an encrypted disk image and accessing the contents requires a password. This makes encrypted disk images helpful if you want to secure only a portion of your files, if you need to securely store files outside your home folder, or if you need to securely share files by e-mail or other mechanisms.
To create an encrypted disk image, launch Disk Utility, and click the New Image button in the tool bar. You can select the size, name (which will be displayed as a disk/volume name when image is mounted), file name and location of the image file itself, and various other disk format options (which can typically be left as their default selections). To enable encryption, choose 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption from the Encryption pop-up menu.
After you've made your selections, click the Create button. When Disk Utility creates the image, it will prompt you to enter and verify a password that will be required to open the disk image file. The password assistant is available in this prompt (in the form of a button with a key icon, just as when changing a user account password).

35 comments:

  1. lol wall of text

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    follow :D

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  2. good tips on this blo

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  3. thnaks i needed this
    tref-tref.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. spreading the love
    follow me back?

    http://smittyrandall.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. interesting

    http://bucknakkid.blogspot.com/

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  6. Thanks, i was looking for this info, glad i've found your blog!

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  7. what on earth.. this makes no sense to me @__@

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  8. Great info that I will put to use in the very near future, thanks bro.

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  9. Interesting blog mate you definitely have some great stuff in here,I'm gonna follow your blog and keep an eye for more posts like this
    You should also check out my blog,I've got some interesting stuff as well
    http://moviesof2010reviews.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. is that disk utility thing freeware?
    or where do i get it? i do noch check it -.-*
    greetings
    http://kaizasozes.blogspot.com/

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  11. VERY interesting read. Although, I think I just wasted my time because I don't even use a Mac lmao. Ah well, useless information is always nice to know

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  12. This is a great post man! checking in on my daily rounds to show some real love for you. oh and i made a new minecraft blog maybe you check it out

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  13. if I ever get macOSX I will definetly come here

    Supported***

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  14. nice stuff! followed and clicked!

    http://watchmepvp.blogspot.com

    WoW blog, if youre into that stuff :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Cool, just showing my daily love. This was cool. Check my stuff out man.

    Scary

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  16. d00d I totally followed u
    http://farter-gazette.blogspot.com/

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  17. I'll give it a consideration. Thanks for the tips. Showing support.

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  18. the PROPER way to fix a macintosh is to take an arc welder and open up your case [this is the only way]

    now take a 20 lb maul and destroy everyhting inside thoroughly

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  19. actually glad that i red it, first thought " oh ma gawd, wall of text hits my eyes", but then i decided to read it.

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  20. Daily love... Toot Toot!!

    Check out my blog - Still new at this!

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  21. i need you to come work on my mac. lol
    great post

    ReplyDelete