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Thread: mac firewall

  1. #1

    LogicBox's Avatar
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    mac firewall
    So I was messing around on my mac 09 uni body and just notice in system under firewall that it was turned off, I immediately turned it on, but now im worried about how long its been off. I usually just browse leisurely on my mac book and mostly use it to sync my iPhone and iPad. Should I be worried or is there something i can scan my machine with? Also I have been on a hotel wifi with my mac. I am wondering how the firewall got shut down cause I thought it shipped with it on.

  2. #2

    schweb's Avatar
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    Many member ask the question about viruses and malware on the Mac and in addition to using the search function at the top of the forum, you'll find almost all your answers here:

    Official Antivirus, Malware, and Firewall FAQ
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  3. #3

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Turn it back off - the default. Use it if you connect to public internet sites such as cafes, that hotel etc.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  4. #4


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    Many people haven't really got the slightest clue what a firewall is and what it does (or more importantly, doesn't do).

    * it doesn't protect you from viruses. The mac doesn't have any.
    * it doesn't protect you from malware/scareware/trickware
    * it doesn't make your connection secure
    * it doesn't stop people from spying on the stuff you send out over a wireless network
    * it doesn't prevent remote hacking into your computer. Your Mac does that, not the firewall.

    Here's what a firewall DOES do:
    1. It protects against Denial of Service (DOS) attacks. Fairly rare these days, usually directed against websites not individuals.

    2. It can provide a log of computers/IP addresses that ATTEMPTED to sniff your security. Because you are on a Mac, they didn't get anywhere, and wouldn't have even if the firewall was off.

    So, the moral of the story: the software firewall doesn't really do anything to protect you, assist you or help you in real-world conditions. It can, however, conflict with hardware firewalls and cause issues with programs that need to connect to the internet.

    Thus, the "best practice" and the way Apple set it are one and the same: leave it off unless you have a very specific reason why you need it on.

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    Many people haven't really got the slightest clue what a firewall is and what it does (or more importantly, doesn't do).

    * it doesn't protect you from viruses. The mac doesn't have any.
    * it doesn't protect you from malware/scareware/trickware
    * it doesn't make your connection secure
    * it doesn't stop people from spying on the stuff you send out over a wireless network
    * it doesn't prevent remote hacking into your computer. Your Mac does that, not the firewall.

    Here's what a firewall DOES do:
    1. It protects against Denial of Service (DOS) attacks. Fairly rare these days, usually directed against websites not individuals.

    2. It can provide a log of computers/IP addresses that ATTEMPTED to sniff your security. Because you are on a Mac, they didn't get anywhere, and wouldn't have even if the firewall was off.

    So, the moral of the story: the software firewall doesn't really do anything to protect you, assist you or help you in real-world conditions. It can, however, conflict with hardware firewalls and cause issues with programs that need to connect to the internet.

    Thus, the "best practice" and the way Apple set it are one and the same: leave it off unless you have a very specific reason why you need it on.
    Where do I find these firewall logs?

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