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Privacy not private enough

1461 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jul 3, 2007 7:56 AM by Mike N. (nahyunil) RSS
ipsyd Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 4, 2007 7:44 AM
I have a couple of folders listed in my Privacy panel. If anyone was nosing around in my computer, they could easily re-enable indexing of those folders. Even worse, a snoop would just have to look at the folders listed in the Privacy panel to know exactly which folders I want to keep private! Then they could access the contents directly in the Finder, even without indexing them in Spotlight.

Anyone know any way of locking the Privacy panel (as other SysPref panels can be locked), and when locked, hiding the names of the folders listed there?
MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • Daniel Marr Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2007 8:01 AM (in response to ipsyd)
    Best bet is to use an application to make your files/folders invisible/encrypted/password protectd, such as Ghost Spere.

    Check out Version Tracker ( and search for 'hiding files' or 'hiding folders' to start. You should find a number of apps to suit your needs.

    P.S. If you don't already, VersionTracker is a daily must. We check it automatically whenever there is a change.
    Mac OS X (10.4)
  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,150 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2007 10:44 PM (in response to Daniel Marr)
    Another option is to logout when you leave the machine and also to set a firmware password that'll preclude anyone else from booting the machine with a disk or external HD. See for details.
    G4 450 MP Gigabit, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • John Dorsey Level 2 Level 2 (410 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 29, 2007 6:48 AM (in response to ipsyd)
    Daniel is right that creating physical security is the best way to ensure privacy on your machine, but if you find that to be too much of a pain (e.g., booting in target mode, booting from CDs both require extra steps, which of course you will forget to do on the first two or three attempts) then another solution is to use Disk Image to create an encrypted .dmg file, and then put all your sensitive material there. Just don't put the password of the .dmg into your keychain when you unlock the image! There are lots of advantages to this approach - in its normal, unexpanded form, the compressed .dmg looks pretty boring - a "passive snooper" wouldn't give it a second look. (You can name it <whatever-you-want>.dmg.) Then, when the .dmg is open, you can work with it just like any mounted disk - and when you eject it, changes are automatically saved. Also, Spotlight does not, by default, index expanded .dmgs -- though, you can index them if you want, and, Spotlight only reports results on the .dmg so long as it is mounted.

    The disadvantages, as far as I can see, both relate to the encryption. If you forget your password, you're hosed. Pick something you'll remember! Also if the encrypted file becomes corrupt, you're also (likely) hosed. Keep an archive of them somewhere so you've got a clean, if a bit older, copy around to turn to in that case.
    Dual 2.5Ghz G5, Mac OS X (10.3.9), 3.5GB RAM
  • Mike N. (nahyunil) Level 6 Level 6 (8,265 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2007 7:56 AM (in response to ipsyd)
    You're not giving up the option, just requiring a password.
    PM MDD(1.25GHz 1.25G-RAM 320G-HD), Mac OS X (10.4.10), 20"ACD USB2Connect MacBook (2.0 White)-2GB


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