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Being a newbie I was searching around and I came across the firewall not being enabled by default.Is there any other important things I should check.?
 
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chas_m

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The reason the software firewall is off by default is because you are already behind a superior hardware firewall: your router.

The software firewall is simply there for the convenience of those who find themselves in a situation where they do not have a hardware firewall, an increasingly rare happenstance these days.

Most users also have a shockingly poor grasp on what a firewall does and doesn't do, which adds to the confusion. Simply put, it would be unusual to ever feel that you need to employ the software firewall, just as it would be unusual to feel the need to invoke the root user; but as in the latter situation, it's nice that it is there when you do, in fact, need it.
 
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Being a newbie I was searching around and I came across the firewall not being enabled by default.Is there any other important things I should check.?

Hello & welcome to the forum! :) You've already read an excellent post about OS X's firewall - not an important issue if you are already behind a router's firewall - if interested, there is a more detailed discussion on the forum HERE.

Now, as to 'other important things I should check', why don't you provide some more information: 1) What computer are you using (type, model, year); 2) What OS X is installed; and 3) What else have you discovered and what concerns do you have? We cannot read your mind so answers to these questions will help - Dave
 
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Hi Chas_m and RadDave.
Thanks for answering my query.
I have only had this iMac all in one desktop two days.
OSXMavericks.
I suppose I am nervous about the fact that after years of being told to make sure you had anti virus and anti spy programmes installed for Windows now it's said ....not needed for Macs.
I have read Chas_m's essay and intend to follow his advice.
I think doing online banking was worrying me but have read on here that it is perfectly safe to do so. However doing banking on the iPad never made me paranoid.
One of the reasons I switched to a Mac was because it was said to be safer.
So I guess I just need to get my head around the fact that this is a Mac not Windows.!!
Thanks for the advice.
Hannajo
 
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....
I have only had this iMac all in one desktop two days. OSXMavericks.

I suppose I am nervous about the fact that after years of being told to make sure you had anti virus and anti spy programmes installed for Windows now it's said ....not needed for Macs.
I have read Chas_m's essay and intend to follow his advice.
I think doing online banking was worrying me but have read on here that it is perfectly safe to do so. However doing banking on the iPad never made me paranoid.
One of the reasons I switched to a Mac was because it was said to be safer.
So I guess I just need to get my head around the fact that this is a Mac not Windows.!!

Hi again Hannajo - take a look in the Security Forum and read the 'sticky' - also look for other threads that might help.

I'm a recent Apple switcher (spring 2013), i.e. new iMac for wife & MBPro for myself - our home network is behind an Airport Extreme router (I'll assume that you have a router w/ an activated firewall?) - I'm running no malware software, just not necessary. Several of the links below may be useful:

The Safe Mac website - Mac Malware Guide

MacRumors Guide - Mac Virus/Malware FAQ

The Safe Mac's Ad Removal Guide

As to banking, wife is doing our needs on the iMac - there have been a number of threads on 'banking/finance' apps for the Mac, if you care to search. Dave :)
 

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@hannajo - I too couldn't understand why the firewall wasn't on by default when I got my first Mac (Macbook Pro) about four months ago. I took the point of all the experts on here who reassure us that it isn't necessary but it's my computer and I reckoned that it was there so why not use it? I switched it on and it hasn't been a problem.
 
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Hi RadDave.
Thanks for pointing out the security link blog. I have just had a quick look at it and I think it will take a while for me to digest everything in it.But will definitely read through it all and hope to be a lot wiser at the end . Hopefully !!
Thanks again to everyone who replied.
hannajo.
 

chscag

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I took the point of all the experts on here who reassure us that it isn't necessary but it's my computer and I reckoned that it was there so why not use it? I switched it on and it hasn't been a problem.

There is absolutely no problem leaving your built in firewall on in addition to the one provided by your router. And it's actually a good idea to use your built in firewall whenever you're away from home, like at a Starbucks, Panera, etc.
 

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I have the built-in firewall on all the time when at home (in addition to the home router firewall). I haven't experienced any issues...so I leave it on.

And as "chscag" mentioned...DEFINITELY have the built-in firewall on when out in public!

- Nick
 
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Yeah, I leave my firewall on as well as have my router/modem (dsl) set too. I have let go of my antivirus obsession but I think I will hang on to my firewall. It doesn't hurt or affect performance.

Lisa
 
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I don't have a router, but a (cable) modem. Is this a concern?
 
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I don't have a router, but a (cable) modem. Is this a concern?

Your computer even just one in the house should be behind a router for many reasons, but before going into details, let me pose some questions to make sure that you indeed have only a cable modem: 1) Are you sure that your 'modem' is not a combo including functions of a router; 2) Do you have a home Wi-Fi network (this would be setup by a router); 3) Do you have other devices (e.g. laptops, iPads, AV equipment, etc.) on the internet; 4) Is your computer cabled to the modem via ethernet; and 5) What is the IP address of your computer (goto the Apple - upper left -> About This Mac -> More Information -> System Report)? Next click on 'Network' and look in the upper right corner, what is the IPv4 number (mine is 10.0.1.2 on my cabled iMac to an Apple Airport Extreme router).

Your ISP assigns a public IP address to your modem - if you do not have a router, then your computer should show that same address; however, routers establish a connection between two networks, i.e. the internet & a personal home network; the latter is assigned reserved 'private' IP addresses to your devices - there are 3 reserve ranges shown below - Apple uses the 10.0.x.x; my previous routers (Linksys & Cisco) used 192.168.x.x - let me stop there before going into more about a router. Dave :)

10.0.0.1 to 10.255.255.254
172.16.0.1 to 172.31.255.254
192.168.0.1 to 192.168.255.254
 
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Yes Dave, all that can be very confusing for most people who are unfamiliar with networking.

Now to answer dotdotdot... yes it is. Most DSL and cable modems and routers come with a firewall set to a middle of the road default. They can be set to no firewall to a stealth & block mode (which can be a huge hassle because it can be too limiting.)

dotdotdot - If you give us more information like:
What type of service you have - DSL or Cable or Satellite.
Manufacturer of you modem/router.
Service provider
Your local IP address (this gives us an indication of how your local internet is set up. Dave explained how to do that in his post.)

We should be able to walk you through how to check your modem/router firewall settings.

Lisa
 
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I have cable from Time Warner and a "modem" they supplied. No other devices, or WiFi.
 

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I have cable from Time Warner and a "modem" they supplied. No other devices, or WiFi.

Please provide the answers to the remaining questions, including the IPv4 address of your computer (and I assume that it is cabled to the modem?) as explained in my previous post.

I'm on TW cable and just have a modem (thus using the Apple router), but I could get a 'combo' modem/router from them - if indeed, you have only a modem, then a router of some type is strongly recommended. Dave :)
 
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I have cable from Time Warner and a "modem" they supplied. No other devices, or WiFi.

Actually, you should be able to have WiFi with the modem. Anyway, before I go over this please remember you can screw up your modem by randomly changing settings. Time Warner modems are set up to provide DHCP which gives your computers addresses and they act as routers. They do have a firewall.

To look at all that try this:
Open a browser (Safari is fine) and in the address area type: 192.168.0.1 -> this should prompt your modem to ask for a username and password. If you have the motorola modem that Time Warner usually uses, the defaults are username: admin password: motorola

If you have changed those go ahead and put in the ones that these were changed to.
I will tell you that it is possible the ip address is not what I have above. If the above does not work look at the ip address you have one your Mac and then try the first 3 sets of numbers adding 1 or 0 or 254 at the end: xxx.xxx.xxx.1 or xxx.xxx.xxx.0 or xxx.xxx.xxx.254 It is usually one of these.

Once you get in you can browse but remember don't go randomly changing stuff. I would strongly suggest you google the manufacturer and model number of your modem and download the users guide. That will have all kinds of information in it. You can set access permissions, firewall settings, a whole host of stuff.

Most people just plug and play when it comes to what their provider sends them. I have done numerous home network repairs using the default passwords to get into their modem/router etc. Most people do not know that once in, I can see and or change the access passwords, change any setting I want how ever I want. Default passwords that access the modem should always be changed.

Lisa

Okay just saw your post on your model. Looks like the access ip is 192.168.100.1. Having now read the manual on your modem it seems very basic. You might consider getting a good router with a firewall. I don't see one that is configurable in the setup manual. Interesting, it could be the manual is rather lacking. Anyway, try checking it out.
 
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MacInWin

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lclev, I will disagree with what you said, gently. Most of the pure modems I have seen are just that, a modem. IF, as Raz0rEdge says, it's also a router, then it will have more than one Ethernet port on the back and some sort of DHCP function internally. However, the typical modem I have seen has ONE ethernet port, which is unprotected by any firewall. Now, if your ISP provides a modem/WiFi Router combination, then yes, there is most likely a firewall function. It's dangerous to assume that every device provides that function, however.
 

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If it's just the basic SB6121, then you only have a cable modem and you really should get a router to plug into the cable modem and then plug your device either directly or through WiFi to the router..
 

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