Take Control of FileVault
Take Control of FileVault


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Take Control of FileVault

Last updated on 2015-01-13

About the Book

If your Mac were stolen, would you worry about the thief seeing your email, photos, financial data, and other sensitive information? OS X’s built-in FileVault encryption technology ensures that your Mac’s contents are safe from prying eyes, but if you’re hesitant to entrust your data to an algorithm before you understand how FileVault works, this book will dispel any misconceptions, answer your questions, and get you running FileVault with confidence.

Security expert Joe Kissell begins by demystifying FileVault in a quick FAQ that explains, among other things, how it is that you can work with your startup drive normally even though all the data on it is encrypted. After the FAQ, Joe provides detailed steps for activating and using FileVault on both your startup volume and external drives. He also explains how FileVault interacts with your backups and how to use Find My Mac (because, remember, the point of FileVault is to protect your data in the event of theft) once you’ve turned on FileVault.

Additional topics include making and using encrypted disk images, third-party software that can encrypt just a single file or folder, and accessing special FileVault features from the command line.

FileVault facts and features that you’ll master include:

  • Essential tips for protecting external drives with FileVault
  • Pros and cons of encrypting the backup of a FileVault-encrypted drive
  • Important steps for safeguarding encrypted drives from motivated thieves
  • Whether your data is safe when your Mac is sleeping
  • Whether your data is safe from other logged-in users on the same Mac
  • Pros and cons of letting Apple store your recovery key
  • How to avoid panicking if you forget your FileVault password
  • FileVault and Disk Utility features found only on the command line

This book covers FileVault 2, which was introduced in 10.7 Lion and is far better than, and completely different from, the original version of FileVault (now called Legacy FileVault). Everything in this book works with 10.9 Mavericks. A few minor things have changed over the years, but anyone with 10.7 Lion or 10.8 Mountain Lion should also find the book useful. It appears that 10.10 Yosemite, slated for release later this year, will change very little about FileVault.

About the Author

Joe Kissell
Joe Kissell

Joe Kissell has written numerous books about technology, including many popular Take Control ebooks, with an emphasis on Apple products. He's also Senior Editor of TidBITS and a Senior Contributor to Macworld, and previously spent ten years in the Mac software industry.

Table of Contents

  • Read Me First
    • Updates and More
    • Basics
    • What’s New in Version 1.1
  • Introduction
  • FileVault Quick Start
  • The FileVault FAQ
    • FAQ Topics
  • Activate and Use FileVault
    • Check System Requirements
    • Make a Backup
    • Repair Your Disk
    • Turn On FileVault
    • Log In with FileVault
    • Reset a Lost Password
    • Deactivate FileVault
  • Encrypt a Non-startup Volume
    • Learn about Encryption for Other Volumes
    • Encrypt a Volume in the Finder
    • Encrypt a Volume in Disk Utility
    • Use Encryption with a Virtual Machine
  • Understand FileVault and Backups
    • Learn Basic Encrypted Backup Concepts
    • Back Up from an Encrypted Volume
    • Back Up to an Encrypted Volume
  • Use Find My Mac with FileVault
    • Enable Find My Mac
    • Find or Wipe a FileVault-enabled Mac
  • Go Beyond FileVault
    • Use Encrypted Disk Images
    • Encrypt Files and Folders
    • Other Ways to Use Encryption
  • Appendix A: FileVault on the Command Line
    • Use fdesetup
    • Use diskutil
    • Use pmset
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • About the Author
    • About the Publisher
  • Copyright and Fine Print

About the Publisher

This book is published on Leanpub by Take Control Books

With its Take Control series of ebooks, alt concepts inc. covers a wide range of technology topics, with a special emphasis on Apple products and services. Our catalog comprises over 100 titles, and we’ve sold hundreds of thousands of ebooks in the process of providing expert advice and technical know-how to tens of thousands of readers around the world. Join us today!

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