13 Replies Latest reply: Feb 8, 2013 12:39 PM by Arthur Shotwell
Arthur Shotwell Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Something's changed in Safari on my iMac recently. The start page has reset to apple.com and the frame size has changed. I can change the start page and resize the frame, but when I re-start Safari, it's back to apple.com and the larger, square frame. Any ideas on what's up or how to fix it???

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • QuickTimeKirk Level 9 Level 9 (50,885 points)

    Quit Safari and relaunch it while holding down the shift key to "discard" previously opened windows.

  • Arthur Shotwell Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Didn't work. Still opens large and with apple.com as start page. I'm running a scan with Sophos now, but with 8-million files left to scan, it will take forever.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (164,760 points)

    Triple-click the line below to select it:


    Right-click or control-click the highlighted line and select
    Services Show Info
    from the contextual menu. An Info dialog should open.
    Does the dialog show "You can read and write" in the Sharing & Permissions section?
    In the General section, is the box labeled Locked checked?
    What is the Modified date?

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (164,760 points)

    Stop the "scan."

    Remove the worthless Sophos product by following the instructions on this page:

    How to remove Sophos Endpoint Security

    If you have a different version of the product, the procedure may be different.

  • Arthur Shotwell Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Locked is NOT checked.

    Modified date is January 31, 2013

    I notice, under, Sharing & Permissions, I have custom access, system has Read & Write, and everyone has No Access. Does that make sense?

  • Arthur Shotwell Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    But, I thought MacWorld liked Sophos? I have removed it...

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (164,760 points)

    Back up all data.

    This procedure will unlock all your user files (not system files) and reset their ownership and access-control lists to the default. If you've set special values for those attributes on any of your files, they will be reverted. In that case, either stop here, or be prepared to recreate the settings if necessary. Do so only after verifying that those settings didn't cause the problem. If none of this is meaningful to you, you don't need to worry about it.


    Step 1

    If you have more than one user account, and the one in question is not an administrator account, then temporarily promote it to administrator status in the Users & Groups preference pane. To do that, unlock the preference pane using the credentials of an administrator, check the box marked Allow user to administer this computer, then reboot. You can demote the problem account back to standard status when this step has been completed.

    Triple-click the following line to select it. Copy the selected text to the Clipboard (command-C):

    { sudo chflags -R nouchg,nouappnd ~ $TMPDIR.. ; sudo chown -Rh $UID:staff ~ $_ ; sudo chmod -R u+rwX ~ $_ ; chmod -R -N ~ $_ ; } 2> /dev/null

    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:

    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)

    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.

    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the icon grid.

    Paste into the Terminal window (command-V). You'll be prompted for your login password, which won't be displayed when you type it. You may get a one-time warning not to screw up. If you don’t have a login password, you’ll need to set one before you can run the command. If you see a message that your username "is not in the sudoers file," then you're not logged in as an administrator.


    The command will take a noticeable amount of time to run. Wait for a new line ending in a dollar sign (“$”) to appear, then quit Terminal.

    Step 2


    Boot into Recovery by holding down the key combination command-R at startup. Release the keys when you see a gray screen with a spinning dial.

    When the OS X Utilities screen appears, select

    Utilities Terminal

    from the menu bar. A Terminal window will open.

    In the Terminal window, type this:


    That's one word, all lower case, with no spaces. Then press return. A Reset Password window will open. You’renot going to reset a password.

    Select your boot volume ("Macintosh HD," unless you gave it a different name) if not already selected.

    Select your username from the menu labeled Select the user account if not already selected.

    Under Reset Home Directory Permissions and ACLs, click the Reset button.



    from the menu bar.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (164,760 points)

    1. This comment applies to malicious software ("malware") that's installed unwittingly by the victim of a network attack. It does not apply to software, such as keystroke loggers, that may be installed deliberately by an intruder who has hands-on access to the victim's computer. That threat is in a different category, and there's no easy way to defend against it. If you have reason to suspect that you're the target of such an attack, you need expert help.

    2. All versions of OS X since 10.6.7 have been able to detect known Mac malware in downloaded files, and to block insecure web plugins. This feature is transparent to the user, but internally Apple calls it "XProtect." The malware recognition database is automatically checked for updates once a day; however, you shouldn't rely on it, because the attackers are always at least a day ahead of the defenders.
    The following caveats apply to XProtect:
    • It can be bypassed by some third-party networking software, such as BitTorrent clients and Java applets (see below.)
    • It only applies to software downloaded from the network. Software installed from a CD or other media is not checked.
    3. Starting with OS X 10.7.5, there has been another layer of built-in malware protection, designated "Gatekeeper" by Apple. By default, applications and Installer packages downloaded from the network will only run if they're digitally signed by a developer with a certificate issued by Apple. Software certified in this way hasn't actually been tested by Apple (unless it comes from the Mac App Store), but you can be reasonably sure that it hasn't been modified by anyone other than the developer. His identity is known to Apple, so he could be held legally responsible if he distributed malware. For most practical purposes, applications recognized by Gatekeeper as signed can be considered safe.
    Gatekeeper has, however, the same limitations as XProtect, and in addition the following:
    • It can easily be disabled or overridden by the user.
    • A malware attacker could get control of a code-signing certificate under false pretenses, or could find some other way to evade Apple's controls.
    For more information about Gatekeeper, see this Apple Support article.
    4. Beyond XProtect and Gatekeeper, there’s no benefit, in most cases, from any other automated protection against malware. The first and best line of defense is always your own intelligence. All known malware circulating on the Internet that affects a fully-updated installation of OS X 10.6 or later takes the form of so-called "trojan horses," which can only have an effect if the victim is duped into running them. The threat therefore amounts to a battle of wits between you and the malware attacker. If you're smarter than he thinks you are, you'll win.
    That means, in practice, that you never use software that comes from an untrustworthy source. How do you know whether a source is trustworthy?
    • Any website that prompts you to install a “codec,” “plug-in,” "player," "extractor," or “certificate” that comes from that same site, or an unknown one, is untrustworthy.
    • A web operator who tells you that you have a “virus,” or that anything else is wrong with your computer, or that you have won a prize in a contest you never entered, is trying to commit a crime with you as the victim. (Some reputable websites did legitimately warn visitors who were infected with the "DNSChanger" malware. That exception to this rule no longer applies.)
    • Pirated copies or "cracks" of commercial software, no matter where they come from, are unsafe.
    • Software of any kind downloaded from a BitTorrent or from a Usenet binary newsgroup is unsafe.
    • Software with a corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash Player, must be downloaded directly from the developer’s website. If it comes from any other source, it's unsafe.
    5. Java on the Web (not to be confused with JavaScript, to which it's not related, despite the similarity of the names) is a weak point in the security of any system. Java is, among other things, a platform for running complex applications in a web page, on the client. That was never a good idea, and Java's developers have had a lot of trouble implementing it without also creating a portal for malware to enter. Past Java exploits are the closest thing there has ever been to a Windows-style "virus" affecting OS X. Merely loading a page with malicious Java content could be harmful. Fortunately, Java on the Web is mostly extinct. Only a few outmoded sites still use it. Try to hasten the process of extinction by avoiding those sites, if you have a choice.
    Java is not included in OS X 10.7 and later. Discrete Java installers are distributed by Apple and by Oracle (the developer of Java.) Don't use either one unless you need it. Most people don't. If Java is installed, disable it — not JavaScript — in your browsers. In Safari, this is done by unchecking the box marked Enable Java in the Security tab of the preferences dialog.
    Regardless of version, experience has shown that Java on the Web can't be trusted. If you must use a Java applet for a specific task, enable Java only when needed for the task and disable it immediately when done. Close all other browser windows and tabs, and don't visit any other sites while Java is active. Never enable Java on a public web page that carries third-party advertising. Use it only on well-known, password-protected, secure websites without ads. In Safari 6 or later, you'll see a lock icon in the address bar with the abbreviation "https" when visiting a secure site.

    Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be practically as safe from malware as you can be.

    6. Never install any commercial "anti-virus" or "Internet security" products for the Mac, as they all do more harm than good, if they do any good at all. If you need to be able to detect Windows malware in your files, use the free software ClamXav — nothing else.
    Why shouldn't you use commercial "anti-virus" products?
    • Their design is predicated on the nonexistent threat that malware may be injected at any time, anywhere in the file system. Malware is downloaded from the network; it doesn't materialize from nowhere.
    • In order to meet that nonexistent threat, the software modifies or duplicates low-level functions of the operating system, which is a waste of resources and a common cause of instability, bugs, and poor performance.
    • By modifying the operating system, the software itself may create weaknesses that could be exploited by malware attackers.
    7. ClamXav doesn't have these drawbacks. That doesn't mean it's entirely safe. It may report email messages that have "phishing" links in the body, or Windows malware in attachments, as infected files, and offer to delete or move them. Doing so will corrupt the Mail database. The messages should be deleted from within the Mail application.
    ClamXav is not needed, and should not be relied upon, for protection against OS X malware. It's useful only for detecting Windows malware. Windows malware can't harm you directly (unless, of course, you use Windows.) Just don't pass it on to anyone else.
    A Windows malware attachment in email is usually easy to recognize. The file name will often be targeted at people who aren't very bright; for example:
    ClamXav may be able to tell you which particular virus or trojan it is, but do you care? In practice, there's seldom a reason to use ClamXav unless a network administrator requires you to run an anti-virus application.
    8. The greatest harm done by anti-virus software, in my opinion, is in its effect on human behavior. It does little or nothing to protect people from emerging threats, but they get a false sense of security from it, and then they may behave in ways that expose them to higher risk. Nothing can lessen the need for safe computing practices.
    9. It seems to be a common belief that the built-in Application Firewall acts as a barrier to infection, or prevents malware from functioning. It does neither. It blocks inbound connections to certain network services you're running, such as file sharing. It's disabled by default and you should leave it that way if you're behind a router on a private home or office network. Activate it only when you're on an untrusted network, for instance a public Wi-Fi hotspot, where you don't want to provide services. Disable any services you don't use in the Sharing preference pane. All are disabled by default.

  • Arthur Shotwell Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay, thanks, I'll try this at the end of my work day.

  • Arthur Shotwell Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for all that info. I am very careful what I download and/or open and the Websites I visit. My reason for installing Sophos was that I'd be notified if it found something suspicious, not as the ultimate protection.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (164,760 points)

    Sophos is something suspicious. Search this site for examples of the kernel panics, application crashes, slowdowns, and other problems it has caused. You'll search in vain for an example of its having done any good. Installing it is one of the worst mistakes you can make as a Mac user.

  • Arthur Shotwell Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for that. Sometimes I'm naive about these things, though I've used personal computers for nearly 30 years. Starting with an IBM. Moved to Macs several years ago.

  • Arthur Shotwell Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the instructions. Looks like I'm in control again. Safari works like it used to and as I expect it to. And, I Googled Sophos and I see that last November, there was a very critical analysis out on it.