Mac Geekery: Security

Last night I happened upon a well-written article on why and how to secure your email over a wireless network using SSH tunneling. I set it up immediately on my machine. I was also paging through the latest issue of Macworld and they had a fantastic feature on security. It never ceases to amaze me that people are so unaware of just how simple it is to secure stuff on your Mac (I’m not talking about PCs because I don’t deal with them very often). I would venture to guess that 90% of my clients don’t even know there is a built-in firewall in OS X. I was at a new client this afternoon and I went to make sure her firewall was on and sure enough, it wasn’t (Apple turns it off by default). She said, "I have a firewall?? How cool!" Apple’s built-in firewall is easy to use and there’s no excuse for not using it unless you have router. A few other easy tips that I try and implement when clients are open to them:

  1. Set up your security preferences so that a password is required to wake from sleep or screen saver. You can set this up under the Security pane in System Preferences under OS X 10.3.x.
  2. Use a good password for your system. By good, I mean difficult to guess and one that contains numbers and letters.
  3. Use a separate password for your keychain. By default OS X uses the same password that you specified for the system. The easiest way for someone to get your passwords is to look in your keychain.