5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 8, 2008 2:32 AM by nikkormac
PokemonFan1987 Level 2 Level 2 (185 points)
Hello I been Mac user since 2004 and using file vault and thinking of turing it off but first before I do that what would be the disadvantages of Turing it off?

EMac 1.0 GHZ G4, Mac OS X (10.5.3), iPod touch 8GB
  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (268,235 points)
    Having FileVault turned on encrypts the contents of your home folder, which makes it more secure but slows down the rate at which it can be accessed and increases the chance that it will become inaccessible. The Disk Utility in the /Applications/Utilities/ folder can be used to create an encrypted image if you only want to secure specific files.

    (32724)
  • geoffco85 Level 3 Level 3 (620 points)
    If you forget the file vault password your data is lost. You probably should not use it, even Apple say only use it if there is mega mega confidential info that you have to keep secure
  • orangekay Level 5 Level 5 (4,085 points)
    File Vault is also the direct cause of LaunchServices amnesia and other assorted maladies. I'm personally of the opinion that it should never have shipped, but some people seem to think it's useful.
  • RodneyW Level 4 Level 4 (3,030 points)
    IMHO - There are few disadvantages to turning it off. I avoid FileVault because it:

    1. does not play well with backups (because it is effectively a single file, and thus you wind up recopying your entire home directory if you change one small file)

    2. appears to have a higher risk of failure than I like

    3. is over-the-top for most people (i.e 99.9% of the stuff it encrypts does not need to be encrypted!)

    If you have documents or materials that require encryption, a secure disk image is very capable, and hard to crack. Or, you can use a program like TrueCrypt, which even hides the existence of the secure data.

    These solutions won't encrypt your email, but your email will be unencrypted anyway on your ISP/email provider servers. If you want to encrypt your email, the best bet it to get a digital certificate and sign/encrypt the secure email (this requires that the recipient also have a digital certificate, and has the upside that your email is encrypted on the email servers too).
    If you require top grade security, you can try a commercial product to encrypt your entire hard drive (the encryption is unlocked via password in the pre-OS boot stage).
  • nikkormac Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    orangekay wrote:
    File Vault is also the direct cause of LaunchServices amnesia and other assorted maladies. I'm personally of the opinion that it should never have shipped, but some people seem to think it's useful.


    thank you, orangekay (and RodneyW)...this is just the sort of information i was looking for before i turned FileVault on (which i am now, of course, not going to do).