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Chapter 6. Finding and Preserving Files > Using FileVault to Protect Your Home ...

Using FileVault to Protect Your Home Folder

With a more connected computer world, you have better access to files and information, whether on your own computer, on a network, or on the Internet. But recent problems with identity theft and other cyber crimes have spotlighted the need to prevent unwanted access to personal data or sensitive business information stored on your computer, especially when your computer is lost or stolen. You can use the new FileVault feature in Mac OS X Version 10.3 Panther to protect all the files and folders in your Home folder.

FileVault encrypts (scrambles) your files by using Advanced Encryption Standard 128-bit (AES-128) encryption. Once you log in to the system with your user password, FileVault will automatically decrypt files as you need them. When you turn on the FileVault protection, you also set up a master password for your Mac. Another user, such as a system administrator, can use the master password to log on to your system if you forget your user password or if you’re unavailable to provide access to a crucial file on your system.


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