How to make MacOSX safe

MacOSX is a stable and secure operating system based on a Unix variant. It uses a "permissions" system, which makes it difficult for any application to be installed without the Admin password. I say "difficult" rather than "impossible" because some users, through ignorance, make it possible. Here's what you should do to "lock down" OSX:-

Make sure that you are NOT working in an "admin" account. Click on the blue Apple, click on "Accounts" and click on the padlock if it is "locked. (If you do this, you'll have to enter your username and password.)

Click on the "+" sign and create a new account. Tick the box labelled "Allow user to administer this computer". Make a CAREFUL NOTE of the username and password. You'll need this to make changes in future.

Click on your original account name and untick the box so that you (the old user account) are no longer able to administer. All this means is that, in future, if you want to install new software, you'll be asked to type that new username and password.

You can now close the Accounts window. Job done.

Now launch "Safari" web browser and click on "Safari" then select "Preferences".

Click on "General".
Make sure that "Open safe files after downloading" is NOT ticked.

Click on "Security".
Make sure that "Enable Java" is NOT ticked.

If you use Firefox or any other web browser, you should search the relevant sites and forums to determine how to make it secure.

The recent problem experienced by some users (theft of data) who were fooled by a false Adobe Flash Player installer would not have affected them if they had taken the simple precautions outlined above.

One final warning. DO NOT install anything that purports to "Clean Your OS". MacOSX performs its own "housekeeping" overnight. You don't need anything extra. The only "extra" I use is called "AppleJack". It is worth downloading and installing that in case you need it in the future. I have found it useful - especially after a power cut when some files got corrupted.

If you have already installed "MacKeeper", I recommend you search the Internet for instructions on how to remove it because it can cause problems. MacKeeper is a mishmash of programs that supposedly "clean up your Mac". In fact there is very little on OSX that will benefit from a "clean up" and you'll have fewer problems if you leave well alone. "MacKeeper" adverts appear everywhere you look so people are easily fooled into thinking it's a good thing.

See How to remove MacKeeper

MacKeeper generally fools former Windows users because they are accustomed to using "Registry cleaners" and similar software, which is not needed for MacOSX (it has no Registry).

See MacKeeper Problems


Do I need AV software?

My answer is "No" but it's up to you. Bear in mind there are currently NO viruses for MacOSX but thousands for Windows. The problem with such software on a Mac is that it can and will identify "infected files", which are either Windows files (they will do nothing on a Mac) or "false positives" - Mac files that look suspicious to the mainly Windows AV software. This causes particular problems if you allow the software to "quarantine" files in:

1. Apple Mail or

2. Time Machine

In both cases, if you allow AV software to mess with files, it will corrupt the directory and you run the risk of losing important email messages and/or important files in your backup. In fact it could destroy your backup completely.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

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