Mac Happens

Secure Your Mac

Evan Kleiman - 1999.11.16

Many people buy the iMac as a family computer, which means many different people share it. Sometimes, you'll want to keep the people sharing your computer off certain areas of it, so that's why people have developed security programs for the Mac. So, today, I'll teach you all of the ways to keep your computer safe.

The largest problem with sharing a computer is unauthorized access. That's why the people at TriVectus created Super Lock Pro 4.0. This little wonder of a program lets you have multiple users for your computer - without upgrading to Mac OS 9. Each person who uses your computer has a unique password and username. You can set limitations for each user. For instance, you can stop selected users from signing on to your computer at certain times of the day. Super Lock 4 also keeps a log of all users that log into your computer, so you can find out who's been using it. But, of course, this isn't a fool proof program. It is easily disabled by holding the spacebar while starting up your computer.

Another problem with sharing a computer is having files on your computer that you don't want people gaining access to. If you have files like this, PGP (for Pretty Good Privacy) is for you. This very strong encryption program will allow you to protect your files with a pass phrase. A pass phrase is like a password, but much longer.

One suggestion about PGP for people using it only as a basic security measure: only use a password instead of a pass phrase. This is because the password is case sensitive, and it becomes easy to forget. I had to learn this the hard way, by losing 150 megabytes of work.

Lastly, one other problem helps people recover deleted files. It is very easy to recover deleted files on the Mac by using any program like Norton Unerase. But, there is a program to permanently delete them. Burn will let you permanently delete files so no one will be able to recover them.

These simple share ware programs won't stop mega-hackers, but it probably will stop 10-year-old kids from getting into your files. With these programs your computer will be semi-hackerproof.

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