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Chapter 6 of “Take Control of Security for Mac Users” Available

Many people dismiss network eavesdropping as a security risk under the assumption that their network traffic isn’t sufficiently interesting, and besides, who would sit around in a coffee shop just to sniff random Wi-Fi packets? Alas, the reality is that most such monitoring is done by software robots — possibly even in the form of malware running in the background of hijacked PCs — slurping up everything and winnowing out the interesting bits, which could include email addresses to spam, passwords to use for identity theft, and credit card numbers to resell.

That’s where Joe Kissell focuses in this week’s installment from “Take Control of Security for Mac Users.” In Chapter 6, “Improve Your Network Security,” he identifies the primary avenues of attack, recommends WPA encryption for Wi-Fi networks you control, and encourages the use of a virtual private network (VPN) for use on public Wi-Fi networks or in any situation where it’s essential that your network traffic remain private.

If you’re just getting started with “Take Control of Security for Mac Users,” the first two chapticles are available to everyone, but subsequent ones are limited to TidBITS members. Those who join the TidBITS membership program receive other benefits too, but what’s most important is that TidBITS members have kept TidBITS afloat the last few years — your support truly is necessary. If you’re already a TidBITS member, log in to the TidBITS site using the email address from which you joined to read and comment on these chapters.

The full ebook of “Take Control of Security for Mac Users” will be available for purchase by everyone in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats once it’s complete.


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Comments about Chapter 6 of “Take Control of Security for Mac Users” Available
(Comments are closed.)

John Fazzino  2015-03-02 21:02
HI Joe,

I’ve been on a Mac for almost 30 years now. I’m by no means a know it all about most of this. I’ve been with Tidbits for many years as well and just became a member due to your new book. I’ve been reading Take Control of Security and in Chapter 6 you start talking about Encrypted Wi-Fi. And you show figure 1. But you give no instructions as to how to get there. I was able to find it because I figured it was in with System Preferences, but it took a bit of a stretch. It would have been easier if you just told folks where to go. I don’t think most people who own Macs now know anything about System Preferences, etc. I’ve spoken to 2 friends recently about updating their iPhones and one refuses because it loses data, so he buys a new phone when things get crazy and the other is fearful about losing data as has happened in the past. I can imagine how vulnerable their computers are. Hope you get this.


John Fazzino
The suggestion to use VPN on public wifi is certainly an excellent one.

However, is there a free and simple to set up method to run a VPN "server" on a Mac at home so you can open up a VPN connection to it from anywhere?

A one-click solution (like the built-in Screen Sharing) would be great, but as far as I know that is not a part of the of Mavericks.