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Take Control of Security for Mac Users, Chapter 11: Keep Personal Data Private

This article is a pre-release chapter in the upcoming “Take Control of Security for Mac Users,” by Joe Kissell, scheduled for public release later in 2015. Apart from Chapter 1: Introducing Mac Security, and Chapter 2: Learn Security Basics, these chapters are available only to TidBITS members; see “Take Control of Security for Mac Users” Streaming in TidBITS for details.

Chapter 11: Keep Personal Data Private

As we’ve seen, security and privacy have a complex relationship, but improving your Mac’s security can often increase your privacy—and in fact, keeping your data private is one of the most important reasons to take security measures. Some of the steps that lead to greater privacy don’t involve security in the strictest sense, but they’re no less important just because they fall on one side of that conceptual line. This chapter explores several of those borderline topics.

First, I talk briefly about the implications of sharing a Mac with other people (such that each person has an individual login account). To what extent do separate accounts keep each person’s data safe, and how do file ownership and permission settings affect your privacy?

Next, I explore a few of the key concepts from my book Take Control of Your Online Privacy, pointing out who might want your private data and why, what privacy risks you may face when using the Internet, and some key steps you can take to protect yourself—in particular, using encrypted email.

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