This reviewer is a 60+, female, self-trained MAC user getting ready to buy a new MAC. I purchased and read Marc’s book cover to cover in preparation for understanding the scope of my commitment to get my new computer set-up in the most optimal way, for my home-use network. I want to get it hardened from the get-go. This was the best investment I could have made.
I have Marc’s previous “Practical Paranoia” edition and must confess I did NOT work through ALL his recommendations but won’t make the same omission as I begin anew. There is much I really don’t understand about “the cloud”, VPN’s, the use and security of the “keychain, and what is the best/economical software for the various functions I need to install on the computer, and things like that. Marc’s tome is learned but presents easy-to-understand summaries of the critical components of hardening one’s computer as well as how to make secure and private communication with the outside world. The process: follow his stepped instructions accompanied by screen-prints, select this recommended options for configuration and complete simple tests for your system to make sure it works. I can do this! You can, too!!!
He covers eight major areas of vulnerability: computer (passwords, keychain, system updates, user accounts, fire-vault and encryption, general security, firewall, Back-ups, and more); the ethernet and wi-fi; web browsing; email; iCloud; text messaging; and VPN (I had no idea what this was before reading his chapter). He provides a handy checklist so you can select the activities essential for your computing needs and check off your progress. I plan on doing about 90-95% of his recommendations. I anticipate accomplishing most with ease as his directions are incredibly clear and detailed.
Since Marc hasn’t figured out how to clone himself and help all you MAC users personally, this book is the next best thing–he shares his expertise with the masses of MAC users at a bargain price. Buy it now, use it, and you’ll avoid future heartache and financial loss.