Best Security Practices for Mac and F-Secure
(sorry for the verrrry long post)
Somewhere in the last 12 months I have become increasingly paranoid! Whether the threat is real or imagined, I'm not too sure!
To the best of my knowledge, I am not doing anything that anyone, ever would bother wasting their time on hacking my system or reading my emails.
That being said, I guess I have a right to my privacy and paranoia, my tin-foil hats aren't hurting anyone! Also, I just don't want to have to
worry about my data being corrupted, lost, infecting family and friends PCs and generally causing havoc. I don't really want to spend my time
reinstalling and cleaning up my PC (Mac) after some **bleep** let some malware lose.
I'm just throwing that disclaimer in, as I'm sure there are a few people (including my friends) who reckon my paranoia over data security has gone over the top. And now onto the main part of my post.
I'm running a late 2012 Mac Mini Server, and am in the process of setting it up. After many years of PC ownership and hundreds of backup disks lying around the place, I have decided that this time I will do it right.
I have configured the server with an SSD primary disk for OS and applications, and a 1TB magnetic secondary drive for data. I also have 2x1.5TB USB3 drives for external backups with TimeMachine, which I will cycle weekly,
and a remote Mac Mini hosted in a data center, which I will use for remote Time Machine backups. Currently the Mac has no data (not even an OS) so I have a blank canvas to work with.
Recently I have been considering security issues and I have been thinking a lot about how best to deal with these issues and I *think* F-Secure might be my best solution, but want to canvas the general population for more info.
N.B I plan on using strong passwords for SysAdmin and users, and not use the SysAdmin account for anything other than SysAdmin tasks
1. Web Browsing, Sandboxes and the general threat of webpages
but malware, trojans and viruses are unlikely. However, when Plugins come into the mix, Java/Flash/etc, that is a whole other story, after all the Defender trojan was spread via hacked Wordpress sites, if I remember correctly.
So the questions here:
- What are the best practices for web surfing?
- Can we run browsers in Sandboxes? Would this make a difference?
- How real is the threat of malcious web pages when proper user security is used (strong passwords, seperation of accounts)
- F-Secure appears to have protection built in for this - has anyone tried it and have feedback?
Following on from the above question - I have read several recomendations that the preview pane in your mail reader be disabled, is this really necessary? What is the risk here? If the mail reader is not opening attachments
or downloading attachments and scripts automatically, I would have to manually execute these tasks to cause an issue correct?
- Should HTML email be disabled entirely?
- Can Mail Clients run in Sandboxes - rememebering that all apps in the Mac App Store run in Sandboxes.
- Again, what are the general recomendations for safe guarding email? Is the F-Secure product a good solution?
- My email is spread around the web for various reasons, and I tend to get a lot of spam, some of it easy to detect, some not so - the general recomendation to not open email from people you don't know is not always
practical are faesible, will F-Secure sort the good from the bad here?
3. Importing old backups
I have, as I said, a lot of old backups and data that have been collected from many sources - some more repuatable that others. What is the best way to import this whilst minimizing my exposure? I am thinking a sacrifical laptop
running F-Secure might be a good way, scan the drive/disk, if F-Secure says its clean, go ahead and import the data. Is this overkill? Are there any other recommendations?
4. iOS devices
It seems the threat level here is lower, but not zero. There was the PDF bug that let a web page jailbreak your phone - combine that with the ssh server having a default password and your phone is wide open. Also a recent talk at
Black Hat talked about compromised chargers that could jailbreak your phone as well. What is thread level like on iPhone in web browsing and email - are there sandboxes in place in the mail and safari apps? the lack of plugins
for safari is also a good help i guess. I did receive the FedEx scam email, and as I was expecting a FedEx package opened it and followed the links on the iPhone - from what I understand this has no issue on iPhone - but it did
make me realise I can't always spot a good phishing attempt.
5. Lastly, general impresions of F-Secure - Ive read a few reviews, this one http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/05/hands-on-with-five-antivirus-apps-for-the-mac/ complains that it slows the mac down badly - has anyone seen this,
the review is a little old, so its probaly fixed? Anything else that makes F-Secure better than the competition?
As I say, I think F-Secure might solve most of issues and calm my paranoia - what do people think? Is there anything I've forgotten that might be good to know when setting up my new mac to ensure the best security? I forgot
to mention, I am an avid user of 1Password, and won't even use their dropbox sync... yeah... paranoid!
cheers and thanks for the help