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Monday, April 2, 2012

Brief rundown of my Security presentation 4/4/2012

Someone asked what I would cover in my presentation Wednesday night.. Here is a rundown of topics:

    1.    Disable automatic log-in. It lets anyone, from a curious 5 year-old looking for a new toy, a thief looking for Social Security and credit card numbers, or even your cat walking over the keyboard, disrupt your work at the very least and make off with your Mac at most.
    2.    Make sure your screensaver is password-protected. You went to all the trouble to make it hard to get into your Mac, so don’t leave the backdoor open!
    3.    How do you block entry via the log-in screen and password? Go into the Security & Privacy preference pane and also the Accounts (also known as Users & Groups) preference pane.
    4.    Every article on Internet Security (both Mac & Windows) has stressed using a non-administrative account to surf the Web and read your e-mail. The administrative account is for maintenance purposes, such as installing software.
    5.    But Apple’s Mac Setup Program starts us with an administrative account! Oh, what are we to do? Well, come Wednesday night and I’ll tell you how to solve this problem with a minimum of pain and grief. No Terminal work, I promise!
    6.    Change your password regularly. When you change your oil, change your passwords (if not more frequently).
    7.    Make sure your Wi-Fi router is protected with a strong password. Don’t use a naked router! You are liable if someone uses your bandwidth for criminal activities. Read the manual for instructions or look on your router manufacturer’s Web site if you lost the manual.
    8.    Make sure your Finder shows the full name of a downloaded file. Go to the Finder’s preferences. Under the Advanced settings. you’ll see Show all File Extensions.
    9.    While we’re on that file subject, turn OFF Safari’s preference for automatically opening “safe” downloads. THERE ARE NO SAFE DOWNLOADS! You need to look at them in the Finder showing their full filename.

That covers my presentation in very condensed form. If you think of more, e-mail me. The address is

Tom Briant
Editor, MacValley Voice

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