How To Set Up FileVault Protection On Your Mac [OS X Tips]

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If you want to be sure your data is secure on your Mac, Apple has provided an easy way to do so. They’ve created File Vault, accessed via the System Preferences, to encrypt your startup drive with some heavy duty file security.

You’ll need OS X Lion or later, and you’ll have to have an OS X Recovery partition on your drive. This last bit is typically installed on newer Macs, anyway, but to test it out, reboot your Mac and hold the Command-R key down. If you see an OS X Recovery screen, you’re good to go.

Setting up FileVault is even easier than that. Just launch System Preferences and click on Security & Privacy to get started.

Security Sweep For Your Email, Backup, Browsing, Contacts and IMs

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This article first appeared in the Cult of Mac Newsstand magazine

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. But short of installing an air-gap, what can you really do to improve security on your iDevices?

The good news is that your iPhone is probably the safest phone you can use, but you would be correct not to trust any U.S-based company with your data, even Apple (which makes its money selling you shiny toys and may therefore be less interested in selling your data).

But if you want to move as much of your data as possible away from iCloud, here are some service and products to help you. You won’t find them as convenient as Apple’s built-in services, but they might keep your data a little safer.

Encrypt Your Time Machine Backup Disks For Extra Security [OS X Tips]

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Encrypt Time Machine Backups

Backing up your Mac via Time Machine is highly recommended, and super easy to do, as well. It’s really the only backup system I’ve ever found myself using on a regular basis, because it’s so simple to use and easy to set up. All you need to do is connect any USB drive to your Mac, head to the Time Machine preferences, and select that USB drive as your Time Machine backup. Mac OS X does the rest.

I was thinking, though, that since I back up my Macbook Air onto a 128 GB flash drive, it’s even more possible than ever that someone might get a hold of the drive and then be able to have all my backed up stuff on it. That’s not a huge deal for me, as I don’t keep much on the Macbook Air in terms of private stuff, but if I did, I’d want to keep those files extra secure.

Encryption could be the answer, and Mac OS X Mountain Lion makes it easy.

Apple Decrypts iPhones For The Police, But It Makes Them Wait [Report]

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The security features built into Apple’s iOS software are so good that the police are unable to gain access to defendant’s iPhones when they need to. Apple itself is able to bypass the security software and decrypt locked devices — and it do so when the police request it. But the company has so many requests that it has to add police to a lengthy waiting list.

Apple’s iMessage Encryption Is So Good Not Even Federal Agencies Can Crack It

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Do you ever worry that federal agencies might be hacking into your smartphone to read your text messages and listen to your calls? Then you’re probably up to no good, but you can sleep easy if all of your dirty business deals are carried out through iMessage on your iOS device.

Apple’s iMessage encryption is so good, not even federal agencies are able to crack it.