Ten Tips To Secure Your Mac

My thanks to Deborah Pozin for the heads up on this one. The original article can be read here – but for a quick short cut – ten tips from the National Security Agency no less on how to keep your Mac safe.

1. System Preferences/Accounts: Create a non-admin account for everyday activities.

2. System Preferences/Accounts: Disable Automatic Login and User List through “Login Options.” Set “Automatic login” to “Off.” Set “Display login window as” to “Name and password.”

3. System Preferences/Accounts: Disable guest account and sharing. Select the Guest Account and disable it by un-checking “Allow Guest to log in to this computer.” Uncheck “Allow guests to connect to shared folders.”

4. System Preferences/Security: Require password “5 seconds” after sleep or screen saver begins.

5. System Preferences/Security: Use secure virtual memory.

6. System Preferences/Security: Disable Location Services.

7. System Preferences/Security: Disable remote control infrared receiver.

8. System Preferences/Network: For every network interface listed click “Advanced” then the “TCP/IP” tab. “Configure IPv6:” to “Off” if not needed.

9. Utilities/Terminal: To keep users and guests from snooping around home folders, run this command:sudo chmod go-rx /Users/username.

10. Utilities/Terminal: Disable unnecessary services by using the chart to the right with this command:sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/ and LaunchDaemons/com.apple.blued.plist.

Read the full article here

More on Mac Malware

The Malware on Mac discussion continues to rage.

Spotted this one this morning from MacWorld. Interesting read – with lots of links to other sites to get a more complete read on what is going on, in ti scase exploding the myths that we are all doomed – but at the same time reminding us all to be vigilant !

Each week the Macalope skewers the worst of the week’s coverage of Apple and other technology companies. In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.

The Full Scoop Here

Also – three short pieces on the topic from The Official Apple User Group Digest

01  Apple Malware: How bad is it?

We had so many content items in our Safenetting column this week, I had to break this edition into two parts – the first of which deals with the Apple malware issue … How bad is the Mac malware scare? (FAQ)

* Remove Mac Protector (Uninstall Guide)
* Three Ways to Secure Macs at Work: Lessons from “MacDefender”
* Antivirus for Mac: It’s Time
* Quiz: Hackers and patches and malware, oh my!
* Apple Orders Technicians to Feign Ignorance About Mac Malware
* Apple Ignores Malware Support Calls, Just Want Your Money?
* Apple “refusing support” for Mac malware
* and more . . .


02  Safenetting InfoManager 11-05-23

User Group Network UGN Safenetting and Cybercrime report Cybercrime never lets up. With this week’s news about Apple, it’s no longer a one-pony show!

This week:

* Study Sees Way to Win Spam Fight
* How to stop unwelcome SMS marketing
* Canada is the new global phishing hotspot
* Cyber fraud: How to avoid falling prey to online scams
* Hacker Mind Tricks Increasing Malware Downloads
* Is Android the new Windows?
* Six rising threats from cybercriminals
* New malware tricks users into thinking hard drive failure is imminent
* . . . and more


03  Mac Malware Threat — Last Monday’s  initial alert.



Malware on the Mac

Ars Technica is a well respected site that happens to have published a great article on Mac Malware. Discussed at length at the recent User Group meeting, I thought it appropriate to publish a link to this article for those that are interested and want to follow through. A quick synopses of their conclusion – but I highly recommend the full article – and the link to the TUAW article as well.

So what do you do if you find yourself with a variation of MAC Defender on your machine? TUAW recently posted a complete guide to protecting yourself, but the general gist is this: uncheck “open safe files after downloading” in your Safari preferences so that apps that are downloaded automatically through something like a crafty Google Image search don’t just pop right up and start running.

If something that looks suspicious does pop up and you haven’t installed it yet, delete the app immediately. If you have installed it, you may need to start killing some processes in order to get it out of your life, but as long as you don’t enter any credit card info, you’re not likely to get scammed any further by MAC Defender. For now, that is.

In addition, a quick reminder of the link to Sophos, who provide Malware software. This is the software that Rick discussed at the meeting.

I personally have no experience of it, but the company is well reported on the bulletin boards, and discussed alongside of solutions like Norton (part of Symantec), McAfee and Kaspersky

Full Article :: Malware on the Mac: is there cause for concern? Ars investigates

Passed on – with thanks to :: Ars Technica

The New iMac is Here

… and what a beauty it is, you can read all about it here.

From the Apple site :

New quad-core Intel Core i5 processors are standard on the new iMac. Choose a 21.5-inch iMac with a 2.5GHz or 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5. Or expand your view with a 27-inch iMac featuring a 2.7GHz or 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5.

Full brightness with no waiting. That’s the advantage of the LED-backlit iMac display. Unlike displays that take time to warm up before they reach maximum brightness, an LED-backlit display is instantly on and uniformly bright. LED backlighting also lets you finely tune the iMac display to suit the ambient light in even the dimmest room.

The 21.5-inch iMac features 1920-by-1080 resolution. The 27-inch iMac boasts even greater resolution of 2560-by-1440.

Premium display technology called in-plane switching (IPS). IPS gives you a bright picture with excellent color — even if you’re viewing the display from the side.

With advanced AMD Radeon HD graphics processors across the line, iMac performs even better than before — up to three times better, in fact.1 So you see more frames per second in 3D games, and you can edit HD home videos with more speed and responsiveness.

All Gadgets Have Superpowers

THis is NOT all about iPhones/Pads, Macs or even Apple.

The article was originally shared by Jared Spurbeck, published on Apr 19, 2011, by Becky Worley on Yahoo News and was in turn picked up by our very own Deborah Pozin. Enjoy.

Our gadgets these days have superpowers. But they also have secret powers: Things you didn’t know they could do.

Becky Worley shows us some hidden features, plus surprising tricks that you can use to get the most out of the gadgets you already own.

iPhone – An App that measures your heart rate with the iPhone’s camera and battery

The free Heart Fitness app from Senscare measures your heart rate, by using your iPhone’s camera and a light source to watch blood pulse through your finger. Just follow the directions, and it’s pretty accurate! It shows your beats per minute, plus the pulsing heart rate graph we all know and love from medical dramas. It even charts your resting heart rate over time, as a measure of overall fitness. Heart Fitness works best with the iPhone 4, since its camera flash lights your finger up nicely, but it can work with the iPod Touch or iPhone 3GS if you hold it up to a bright light. Got an Android device? Try Instant Heart Rate on the Android Market, instead! Both apps are free to download.


AirPrint Activator from Netputing

This is one of those rare cross over applications between iOS and your Apple. You are all iOS enabled – apps installed and ready – but you either need to buy one of those special ‘air printers’ to turn your iOS world into hard copy – or ‘fu-gged about it’.

Until now.

AirPrint Activator is a small application that will enable a Mac OSX 10.6.5 + iTunes 10.1 hidden feature to allow your shared printer to be visible on your iOS 4.2.1 devices.  AirPrint allow you to print from new generation of Apple iPhones, iPad and iPod Touch to a printer shared over your personal WiFi network.

You only need to run AirPrint Activator once.  Once AirPrint has been turned on it will remain on even after a reboot.

AirPrint Activator from Netputing is the application, check it out.