Skar, on 16 July 2012 - 12:40 PM, said:
I have so many superfluous and redundant apps and programs on my computer. Which are the best, most comprehensive, and necessary of each?
1. Ccleaner/ iAntivirus – what is one program that can check if I have anything suspicious on my computer/ email hacked/ whatever – delete them all and clean up my computer. *How do I delete apps and all their info and files I wont need anymore? Clear out useless files?
2. My email has been hacked before. I have had my identity stolen and I somewhat recently received spam from my own email address. How can I:
a. …See if my passwords or accounts were any of the ones compromised in the million things all over the news (ie. Linkedin) ?
b …Protect against any future of that happening again?
3. Password protection: many apps for 1 password/secure password: Which one do the experts use? Is that smart? Which one is the best?
4. There must be one program to do it all – maintain my computer running quickly, protect personal info, scan for malware and get rid of it all? I don’t want to have to worry about it each time something is in the news try to find the newest way to fix/ protect. What will keep me up to date that I can trust will be running in the background doing its thing.
5. Who is a Mac Expert? What apps are on his/her iphone, computer, and ipad?
Dropbox, icloud, airplay, time machine, - what do I actually need?
6. If I see ________________ (what type of file?) running on my computer then I should be alarmed and get it looked at.
7. also, photostream- I now have 3 copies/duplicates of all my photos when I take a pic on my iphone. I only want one of each photo
1. I don't use any kind of cleaning or anti-malware software. Cleaning software is unreliable. As far as malware, in general the user is the weak link. Active anti-virus software on a Mac today tends to bring costs in system performance and stability that outweigh the benefit in protecting you from a small number of easily-avoidable threats. If you're compelled by internal or external forces to use anti-malware software, I recommend ClamXAV precisely because it is *not* invasive.
2a. There's no automated solution for this. You can hunt down the lists of compromised accounts and see if you're on them. The real answer comes next.
2b. What you can do to prevent account compromises is fairly straightforward. Use complex passwords, change them periodically, and don't reuse them among sites. You really don't have any control - or even reliable information - about the security with which you're information is stored at the account provider.
2c. Please understand that receiving mail "from" an e-mail address doesn't mean that's actually where it came from. Unless you're very astute and know what you're looking for, the headers that convey such information are trivial to forge.
3. Several options here. The most popular 3rd-party solution, I think, is 1Password. An alternative that a lot of people don't realize exists is the keychain (and associated utility app) that's part of the stock OS install. And others just go the route of storing a text file on an encrypted disk image. Very manual, but quite effective.
4. There is no such program. Not on the Mac or any other platform.
5. The apps you need depend entirely on the tasks you want to perform. There are very few programs that are de rigeur for "a Mac expert." The most useful utility I can recommend is Alsoft's DiskWarrior. It's (primary) purpose is to repair and optimize directory data, which is actually quite meaningful given the nature of Mac apps and an increasing percentage of documents. I also have TechTool Pro. I do not use either of these, or any other maintenance tool, habitually. I use them when I have an issue to which they apply. Ultimately, being a Mac expect is about the information you know, not the apps you use.
6. There's no real answer to this. There's no "kind" of file that's consistently troublesome. If you're worried about malware here, the fact is that any mechanism you can use to create a running process can be used to create a malevolent running processing. That's always been true for every mainstream computing platform.
7. Photostream is temporary. There's one canonical copy of your images. If you want to retain the image on any other device you'll have to make a manual copy of it. If you don't want the transient copies on a given device at all, turn off Photostream on that device through the appropriate control panel.