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Securing Leopard

Securing Leopard

In this introductory guide I hope to provide an overview of the security features in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard (and 10.5), and show how to use many easy options, as well as some more advanced ones, to make your installation more secure. This article will be divided into several chapters, each covering an individual area of security. The contents table below allows you to jump directly to any particular topic, but the article can be followed from page to page in order. Please feel free to use the contact form, or post a comment below with any suggestions. Subscribe to the RSS feed (or Twitter) to be notified when this article is updated!

Part 1: Creating and Managing Accounts

  • Choosing Secure Passwords
  • Login Options
  • Parental Controls
  • Configuring Network Interfaces
  • Airport & Bluetooth
  • Setting up Services
  • General Security Settings
  • FileVault Encryption
  • Built-in Firewall
  • Spotlight
  • Time Machine
  • Secure File Deletion
  • Encrypted Disk Images
6. Additional Security (coming soon)
  • Information Leakage
  • Private Browsing
  • Resetting Safari
  • Networking/Firewalls
    • NetBarrier
    • Little Snitch
  • Privacy/Encryption

Securing Leopard Checklist

Last Updated: 30 November 2010

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Phil
    Nov 22 2010

    ” Turn IPv6 off for Ethernet (in Advanced settings)”


    No, like, REALLY?

    You’re SERIOUS about this?

  2. SJ
    Nov 23 2010

    Hi Phil,

    IPv6 still isn’t used by 99% of people, particularly home users using OSX. It’s definitely one of the more minor of the recommendations I make, but if IPv6 is not needed then the good defence-in-depth practice is to disable it. IPv6 is still quite ‘new’, and as such the network stacks are not as stable as IPv4’s. There have been quite a few vulnerabilities discovered in IPv6 network stacks from a number of vendors including Microsoft and FreeBSD. It’s a risk that can easily be mitigated by disabling it.

  3. Nate Anderson
    Apr 9 2011

    Recent Items are still stored in the file, even if you set it to 5 items, it still stores 10, only it doesn’t show them.
    Anyone reading the plist can still see them.

    Furthermore, it appears that in 10.6.7 it will show items from disk images(including encrypted ones), even if these are not currently mounted. This is a change of behaviour that is new in 10.6.6 or .7.

    Try it..!

  4. May 9 2011

    Hi Nate,

    I think that it will retain the last X recent items you had before you make the configuration change. I’ve had mine set to None for a while, and although it still has a few recent items in the plist file, it hasn’t updated it with any of my recently-used items. Furthermore, the only items that are appearing in my file are network shares.

    I think if you disable recent items first, then delete the plist file, they should stay gone. I haven’t tested this yet though.


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