Safety guide for your Mac and your iPod

A reader from Venezuela has written to us, Mariana, regretting the theft of his iPod. I have searched in SamaGame Let’s see what we had published and, as I have found some individual entries about some programs, I have decided to write this security guide so that friends of others have it a little more difficult. The guide includes tips for both Mac as for iPod. Let’s go there.

  • Keep your serial number in a safe place. Not only will it be useful when you report the theft to the police, but if it is stolen you can enter it in some online databases such as StolenMac or its Spanish version. You can also notify AppleSo if the equipment breaks down and you try to repair it, contact the police. If you can take a photo of the device that shows the serial number, the better for the complaint.
  • Use the security code of the iPod to block it. Do not show it in public and change the headphones for other more discreet and that are not white. If you do not plan to sell the iPod, laser engraving it with your name and an email address will make the sale a bit more difficult. Also, if they try to sand it, they will detract from it.

  • Many times the value of the content of our equipment is greater than the equipment itself, both from an economic point of view if it is work, and from a sentimental point of view if we talk about photos, videos, etc. Make backup copies often and ask a family member or friend to save them for you. This way you will not only be protected against theft but also against major misfortunes such as a fire, etc. Already put, also ask him to keep a copy of the purchase invoice and serial numbers.

  • Disable automatic login (System Preferences, Security), use strong passwords to enter the Mac and change the password hint to your email address. Alternatively you can use Onyx to display a message in the validation window, as seen in the image below. Make sure you protect your firmware with a password so that they can’t use a system disk to get into your computer with impunity. To do this, use the version of Open Firmware Password found on the installation disk in / Applications / Utilities / for versions of Mac OS X higher than 10.4, or for earlier versions of the OS on the web.
  • Active in System preferences the option File Vault, which will encrypt your home directory, so thieves will not be able to access your information. But beware, because it will double the necessary space on your hard drive and will probably impact the performance of your computer, so you should use this option only if the information is confidential. To encrypt only some folders or virtual dmg disks, you can use these two programs that Pedro mentioned, jFileCript or SafeThis, respectively.

  • Use equipment tracking software like the great Undercover that, for just $ 49, can alert you to the theft and give the police good clues about its location. Javier already spoke to us in SamaGame about said program in this entry. You can also use the free program for non-commercial uses that Guillermo told us, called MacLoJack, which tracks your computer if it is stolen, and will send connection information, screenshots of the iSight and others to facilitate your recovery.

  • Another program that you can use is iAlertu, as Miguel told us, which uses the laptop’s motion sensor to emit an audible and / or visual alarm, even if the laptop is closed, as well as taking pictures of the thief. If it is a computer that we are going to leave unattended and connected, we can use a program that converts the iSight in our watchdog and send pictures to the internet if it detects movement, like Iris, which we recently talked about in this post. Other interesting programs are AuthSight, which takes photos if a wrong password is entered in the system login or in the screensaver.

  • Securing your computer against theft is also a good idea. Find out from your insurance company about the possibility of putting it in the home policy and its coverage, or the possibility of insuring it separately.

  • If you are going to buy a second-hand equipment, make sure that it is not stolen, asking for the invoice of the same, entering Apple and reporting the serial number and on the websites that we mentioned in the first point. If we reduce the black market, we will also reduce theft.

  • I have left for last common sense, which is the least common of the senses. Always leave your equipment in a safe place, do not leave it in the car (and less if you carry the sticker of the block), hotels (if it is not in the safe), etc. If you are going to leave it unattended or in an office without much security, use a steel cable to secure it to the table. It is not complete security (for that there are pliers), but if the thief does not carry them, the team will remain at the table.

MarianaWe hope you can get your iPod back. Lucky!