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Mac Security Bible [Paperback]

by Joe Kissell
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 7, 2010 047047419X 978-0470474198 1
Your essential, no-holds-barred guide to Mac security threats and solutions

Myth number one: Macs are safer than PCs. Not really, says author Joe Kissell, named one of MacTech's "25 Most Influential People" in the Mac community for 2008. In this timely guide, he not only takes you beyond the myths, he also delves into the nitty-gritty of each potential threat, helping you weigh the pros and cons of the solutions you might choose. Learn to measure risk versus inconvenience, make informed decisions, and protect your Mac computers, your privacy, and your data with this essential guide.

  • Explains the security threats to Macs, including data in transit from your e-mail or network, and malware such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses; these threats, formerly the exclusive worry of PC users, now increasingly threaten Macs
  • Explores physical security and hardware barriers, software settings, third-party solutions, and more
  • Shows Mac OS X users how to develop and enforce security policies
  • Covers security for Windows running on a Mac with Boot Camp, virtualization software such as Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion, and more

Learn the full range of options you need to consider to make your Mac safe.

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

How safe is your Mac?

Are Macs safer than PCs? Despite their bulletproof reputation, Macs are vulnerable to malware, network snooping, password cracking and, of course, physical theft (with all your data) — just like PCs. The good news is that there's a lot you can do, and this plain-English guide tells you what and how. Discover seven things you should do right now, understand the trade-offs between risk and convenience, set up your solutions, and keep your Mac safe with this practical book.

  • Discover what security is built into Mac OS X and how to configure it

  • Explore physical security, hardware barriers, software settings, and third-party solutions

  • Communicate safely using IM, VoIP, e-mail, and the web

  • Learn how to secure one or multiple Macs in wired or wireless networks

  • Perform network and vulnerability scanning and use forensic tools

  • Run Windows applications safely and securely on a Mac

  • Secure Mac OS X Server with Kerberos, SSL, and VPNs

About the Author

Joe Kissell was named one of MacTech's 25 most influential people in the Mac community for 2007. He's a senior contributor to Macworld and the senior editor of TidBITS, a website and weekly email newsletter about Macintosh and the Internet. Joe has worked in the Mac software industry since the early 1990s, including positions managing software development for Nisus Software and the Kensington Technology Group. He's the author of numerous books on Mac software.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 936 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047047419X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470474198
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #965,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm Senior Editor of TidBITS, a Web site and email newsletter about Apple and the Internet, and the author of numerous print and electronic books about Apple products, including Take Control of Backing Up Your Mac and Take Control of iCloud. I am also a Senior Contributor to Macworld and was the winner of a 2009 Neal award for Best How-to Article. I have worked in the Mac software industry since the early 1990s, and previously managed software development for Nisus Software and Kensington Technology Group. Since 2007, I have been on MacTech's list of the 25 most influential people in the Macintosh community. When not writing or speaking, I like to cook, travel, walk, and watch movies. I've been known to update my blog at as often as two or three times a year. After more than five years in Paris, I now live in San Diego, California with my wife, Morgen Jahnke, our son, Soren, and our cat, Zora.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the casual user! December 20, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is definitely a book written by and for tech-heads. I consider myself a little bit of a geek, having used Macs for design, video and educational purposes since the mid-1980's. If not a full-fledged geek, I am at least very comfortable managing and administering my Macs myself with few serious mistakes or issues over the years. Even with this comfort level, I found that this book provides vastly more than I would or could ever use.

Perfect for an IT person or a user who needs to understand every (metaphorical) nut and bolt in his or her system, but if you are just looking for some tips on how to tighten up the basic security of your Mac, this book may end up being a bit more than you are interested in digesting.

That said, the writing is clear, concise, and meticulously organized. The parts that addressed my areas of interest were very well presented and easy to understand, but I definitely bit off more than I am interested in chewing when I ordered this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignorance is not bliss September 23, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been using a Mac for going on 20 years. Right now, I've got two running for business use and a handful around the house, including one hooked up for TV streaming. So I am very comfortable with Macs and don't feel shy about noodling around under the hood. And I have more or less bought into the conventional wisdom that Macs are inherently more secure than PCs, so a 900-page book on Mac security seemed a bit over the top.

And then I cracked Kissell's book.

Over the top it is not. Sure, there is lots of stuff in here that even a hard-core, desktop only user can skim (e.g. certificates, Terminal and loads of stuff on Mac OS Server), and there is plenty that anyone with their head screwed on half-straight can just skip (backing up, setting up secondary user accounts, etc.). But each user has different needs, and Kissell plays no favorites. He delves in just deep enough on all fronts to make this book invaluable to everyone, from the newbie to the bithead. The chapters on securing your web browsing, avoiding malware, and securely deleting files ought to be required reading. And the detailed explanations of how to secure wired and wireless networks are important for anyone who has this responsibility. Throughout, the writing is very clear, the instructions cogent and well-illustrated.

The bottom line is one Kissell notes early on: "by far the biggest threat to Mac security is you"... you and conventional wisdom, that is. Complacency is your enemy and ignorance of the dangers lurking out there is nothing like bliss. Yes, a Mac is far and away a more secure and safe machine than a PC. But "more secure" is not enough. There are plenty of areas for vulnerability, and with this book and an hour of two reading the bits most relevant to you, you can lock down your Mac and prove conventional wisdom right.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch reference! October 20, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Regarding an operating system which has had exactly NO viruses (in the wild) since its introduction, you would think it impossible to write 900 pages (including index) on security for the Macintosh. In the "The Mac Security Bible," author Joel Kissel, has done just that and has justified his efforts by providing a thoroughly comprehensive guide. There is much more to security than immunizing a machine or network from viruses. In regard to most other security vulnerabilities, the Mac is no less susceptible to hardware threats, social engineering attacks, network snooping, password cracking, and more.

The author is aa accomplished book writer and authors articles for MacWorld magazine, Tidbits, and others. He writes in amazing scope and depth here on technology topics without being ponderous. The book is written in plain English, straightforward and systematically, and covers both OS 10.5 and 10.6 (Leopard and Snow Leopard). Most sections of the book are heavily cross-referenced with in-line references to topics elsewhere in the book or online sources.

The book is framed by three major foci: protecting hardware, data, and privacy; understanding threats and their solutions; and balancing risks versus ease of work. There are five parts dealing with Mac security basics, privacy, network security and sharing resources, OS X server issues, and advanced security topics. Problems and solutions dealing with Apple's MobileMe cloud services system and other online services are covered as well as running Windows in the Mac. The book is not meant for enterprise situations but for the ordinary Mac user, although the coverage is deep, advanced, and provides more than enough information and guidance for even the most technical geeks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Help September 18, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've been using computers since the late 90's,there are six I use daily but up until now I've only used Windows PCs and I just recently added a Mac to my computers.

The difference between doing things on my new Mac with my PC corrupted mind was driving me crazy and I have NO Mac friends I can ask, only PC halfwits like myself but with this amazing guide to help me,I'm beginning to see the light.

This well put together guide covers a ton of subjects that I need to understand now and reading the contents I feel confident that I will have the information I need when required in the days to come.

I'm really blown away by this book and as friendly as it is for a Mac newbie like myself,I feel confident that longtime Mac people will like it too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Needed Macintosh Info
I'm running Mac OS X (10.6.8) and I found the "Bible" very good and gave me the info I was looking for.
Published 7 months ago by Albert Porter
4.0 out of 5 stars A great start to securing your platform of choice
As many people have also said, this is a great book to learn about securing an Apple computer. OSX is an amazing operating system, but that does not mean it doesn't have its share... Read more
Published 22 months ago by digitalman
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Reference Book
When I first ordered this book, I figured that it would be a fairly easy read that was designed to teach beginners how to secure their Macs from potential security issues, such as... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Dustin Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars I would like it better if it were not so self-congratulatory
Look. I yield to no one in my love of Macs. My first computer was a Mac SE. My current is a MacBook Pro. Read more
Published on April 4, 2012 by Marcy L. Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide!
An excellent and thorough guide that most Mac users would benefit from owning. Written in a clear, concise style, the book nonetheless delves into detail and illustrates many of... Read more
Published on November 22, 2011 by Oshram
3.0 out of 5 stars informative but flawed
I was looking forward to learning more "under the hood" things about OS X in case I missed something.

The majority of the book is very good. Read more
Published on March 16, 2011 by Values Privacy
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!!!
This book is a must have for anyone who is running MacOSX Snow Leopard. The book goes very in depth into Mac security, more so than "The Missing Manual. Read more
Published on March 14, 2011 by A Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely an all-encompassing volume
I'm not sure that every Mac owner needs this book, simply because it's a huge volume, covering just about every possible "security" issue with the Mac, and most Mac owners will... Read more
Published on February 23, 2011 by David Marks
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich Compendium of Mac Security Knowledge
This book contains a tremendous amount of Mac security information at all different levels. Probably only Part I, Mac Security Basics, and Part II, Protecting Your Privacy, would... Read more
Published on January 25, 2011 by Book Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Finest Books on Security I've Ever Read or Seen
Until a couple of years ago, I only dreamed about owning a Mac. Then, out of frustration with Vista, I began buying them. Read more
Published on January 13, 2011 by George McAdams
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