Thursday, 30 May 2013

Ways to keep my Mac secure

Are you facing booting problem with your Mac? Are you not able to access any particular application or file?

If you are facing any of the these problems, it could be due to virus infection. Viruses are malicious programs, which affect Mac systems and may be responsible for the damage of operating system, system files, data files, and even applications.

Mac computers are immune to malware threats. Mac has an in-built feature to stay unaffected against viruses, spyware and Trojan threats. A number of users have strong belief that their system and data are completely safe just because they're using Mac OS X. However, this belief is not true. Mac systems are also prone to virus infection which may also lead to data loss. 

Ways to keep your Mac secure:- 

Mac users can secure their Mac by regularly scanning your system using an updated and powerful anti-virus utility. Such utilities are able to detect the viruses from your system and remove them easily. Another alternative is to create backup of your precious data on regular basis. 

1. Always browse safely and do not download anything from untrusted sites. Make sure your email is secure because unknown email with attachment can be a virus.

2. Keep an eye on Apple updates. Make sure you update your software whenever the "Software Update" window pops up to keep your Mac computer secure. As a Mac user, antivirus software might be a good solution to keep your Mac safe.

3.You should disable automatic login in your system so that any third person can not access your data.

Go to:- System Preferences > Users & Groups > Click to lock to make changes > Select login options > Set automatic login off.

From the Automatic Login drop down menu, select Off.

4. Apple has an inbuilt feature called File Vault , which protects your Mac from some illegal activities . It encrypts your home folder each time when you logout and decrypts it when you login. You have to set master password before starting File Vault.

To set the master password go to:-
System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault > Turn on filevault >Set Master Password.
Encryption – “Encryption means to change your data into unreadable form”. It is a great method to protect files. 

5. You can use third party tools to encrypt the contents of Mac hard drive to protect your data. There are a number of encryption software available in market. I have used Stellar Drive Tool Box. This software has 13 utilities and Data encryption is one of them. It allows Mac user to encrypt data into unreadable form so that other user can not access them. You can you select any file or folder from your Mac and encrypt them to an unreadable format. 


  • It helps to encrypt selected files and folders with password.
  • You can hide encrypted files easily find all hidden encrypted files.
  • Encrypted files can’t be opened by any decryption utility.
This file encryption software for Mac provides you the facility to choose encryption algorithm from the provided list and encrypt files according to selected algorithm. This Mac Data Encryption software gives you relaxing experience when you use it to protect your data, as it is completely safe and easy to use. 

Suggested Antivirus:-

1.BitDefender:- Bit Defender is powerful, flexible and easy to use. It's capable to protect your Mac OS X from all forms of malicious software threats. It has many features, one of them is integrated scheduler, which allows you to run scans at specific times and provides flexibility.

2.Symantec Norton:- Norton Antivirus for Mac is one of the best protection software. Its features are easy to use and protect your Mac from vulnerabilities. One of its impressive features is the dashboard widget where you can see a list of the newest detected security threats. So it helps you gain knowledge about new threats.

3.iAntiVirus:- It can protect your Mac against virus infection and block them without any wrong system impact.
With one of these antivirus programs, you can protect your Mac from both new and traditional threats and data loss.

BackUp Software:- Keeping backup is very good idea to protect your precious data. If you face any data loss situation, then backup is the best alternative to get those data back. Mac has some inbuilt utilities to create backup. This can be done via Time Machine. If a user doesn't find it cool, he can opt for the other backup tools like Drive Clone utility of Stellar Drive ToolBox, Super duper etc.. Stellar Drive ToolBox is the complete pack of 12 utilities

Features of Drive Clone:-

Cloning:- You can create exact copy of your Mac hard drive or any selected volume and keep them in other places.

Imaging:- By this option you can make an image of any selected volume and restore back from image as it's original state.

Tools- You can create a Boot DVD of the software to clone the Boot volume of your Mac.

Learn about defragmentation in Mac

What does it mean to defrag your Mac drive?

It doesn't matter on which operating system you are working either Windows, Linux or Mac , with the passage of time fragmentation occurs. The reason is when you work with your system, you create and delete thousands of files in it , empty space will be created and files gets scattered over hard drive . This state of Mac drive is called 'Fragmented Mac hard drive' and as a result of this, your Mac OS X will take extra time to open any file and launch applications, because pieces of files are fragmented around your hard drive and to overcome this problem you need to defrag your Mac.
What is defragmentation?

It is the process of organizing fragmented data into contiguous memory location to enhance Mac performance. Mac OS X has its own way to handle fragmented data, it has the ability to minimize the chances of fragmentation up to 20 MB file size. Defragmenting Mac will leave the computer's free space in one big chunk. This will allow new files to be saved in contiguous memory location, thereby reducing the need for future defragmentation.

How to defragment hard drive?

In Windows:-

Click on the Start button - > Programs - > Accessories - > System Tools. In System Tools, you'll find Disk Defragmenter. In this program, you can select the hard drive that you want to defrag. If you want to defrag multiple drive then you can select all. Click to analyze button, it will tell you either your drive needs to be defragmented or not. You will see lots of coloured bars scattered all over the graph usually means you need to defrag.

In Mac:-

As we know Apple does not provide any inbuilt tool for defragmentation to Mac users. So, if you want to defrag your Mac, you need third party tool like iDefrag, Stellar Drive Defrag.

iDefrag is very famous tool but, you have to pay more bucks to purchase it while Stellar Drive Defrag is new but, you can get it only at $39.

iDefrag- It is the product of coriolis-systems and it helps to defrag your Mac. It can defragment individual files in your Mac volume and it helps to improve your Mac performance. iDefrag monitors your drive temperature, and it will take steps to protect the drive if it starts to overheat.

Full Defrag - It combines the Metadata and Optimize algorithms defragmentation.

Full support of Mac OS X 10.8 - It is compatible with the latest versions of Mac OS X.

Works with Time Machine – It works with Time Machine back-up volumes.

Support for case-sensitive HFS+

Supports the Hot Zone – It is a smart about the files you use the most time. It moves them to an area on the disk called the Hot Zone, for improved access times.

Stellar Drive Defrag- This utility helps you to defrag all fragmented data in your Mac disk. It defrags all heavy fragmented files and optimize free spaces. When you will start scanning your Mac disk by using this tool, it will keep together all fragments of related files that can theoretically result in increased performance. There are many functions inside this tool like full defrag, quick defrag, metadata defrag etc.

If you have too much data in your drive then defrgmentation can take little longer so, it is suggested to defrag drive when you are free. With the help of this defrag tool you can easily see the fragmented file in layout view. Temperature bar is associated with this tool to show the temperature of Mac disk during defragmentation process.


1. Defrag Mac drive effectively and safely.

2. This tool has advance algorithm to defrag Mac quickly.

3. Option to defrag a single file and metadata also.

4. After the completion of defragmentation, it sends automatic email notification (if preferred).

5. It has temperature bar to show the temperature of Mac hard drive.

System Requirements:-
Processor: Intel, PowerPC (G3 or later)
Operating System: Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8, OS X 10.7, OS X 10.6, OS X 10.5, OS X 10.4 and OS X 10.3.
Memory: 256 MB RAM
Hard Disk: 25 MB of free space
Defragmentation helps not only to keep scattered data in an organized manner but also boost the system performance.

So, I would like to suggest every Mac users to use Stellar Drive Defrag to keep their Mac healthy.

Mac defragmentation myths:-

Defragmentation can crash my Mac - There are many Mac users who believe that defragmentation can cause their Mac to crash or if they use defrag software for their Mac then it may lead sudden crash on their Mac drive.

Mac defragmentation is not possible – Many people think, Mac does not need any defragmentation activity because its file HFS+ has the ability to minimize the chances of fragmentation.

Defragmentation can slow down your Mac – There are many Mac users, who believes that defrag process can make their Mac slow.

Mac defragmentation facts:-

Mac needs defragmentation- Over a period of time, Mac disk stores fragmented data which causes slow Mac performance. So, Mac OS X needs to defrag Mac to improve Mac performance.

Defragmentation is an easy process- It is a very easy process and Mac users can easily perform it. However, Mac does not have any inbuilt tool for defragmentation but, with the help of third party tool, one can easily perform.

Defragmentation prevents Mac failures- If data remains in fragmented way in Mac hard drive then processor needs to put extra effort to pick them and show. In this process, temperature of Mac hard drive increases and there might be a chances of Mac hard drive failure.

Mac defrag process helps to increase Mac performance- Defragmentation process keeps all chunks of data together in Mac memory drive in sequential order and make it available for faster access by Mac OS. So, through this process Mac's performance improves.

These are the basics myths and facts about defragmentation but, it depends on us that how we take care of our Mac. For this purpose, you need regular maintenance of your Mac.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Improve Mac backup with Disk cloning

Can you imagine the worst thing that can happen to your computer? Your system may get inaccessible either due to some logical reason or physical reason of hard disk failure. Physical reason includes scratched platters, broken read/write arm, hard drive motor failure, humidity or moisture in the drive, manufacturer defect, firmware corruption, overheated hard drive, head crash, and water or fire damage to the hard drive.

Logical reason includes failed boot sector, master boot record failure,
drive not recognized by BIOS, operating system malfunction, accidentally deleted data, software crash, corrupt file system, improper shutdown, software malfunction, data corruption, and computer virus .

Your computer can fail and that too without any backup of your important data. As we know prevention is better than cure so it is always suggested by experts to have an updated backup of your drive. Creating a backup of your data can be compared with buying an insurance policy. It will help you to stand unaffected even after a severe data loss situation. You can simply restore your entire computer system and continue your daily activities as usual. For data based enterprises, losing data means losing money. 

How to backup Mac machine?

There are various ways to keep backup of Mac machine. It can be done either by using built in time machine or via some third party tools like Stellar Drive clone, CCC, Super duper etc.. 

How to back up your Mac with Time Machine -

When you connect an external hard drive to your Mac for the first time , it asks if you want to use it for backups? Click Use as Backup Disk and System Preferences will open to display time machine preferences. The backup drive is called time capsule. Time machine always keeps incremental backup. 

Incremental backup- It includes only those things that have changed since the previous backup. The another ways of creating back up are Cloning and Imaging. 

Steps to take backup with Time Machine:-

1. Click on the Time Machine icon located in the OS X menu bar

2. Right-click the drive and select “Back Up Now” from the pop-up menu

3. It will start manual backup of your data.

4. You can exclude some items from backup to conserve disk space. 

Now, if you delete any important file accidentally, you can recover it from Time Machine. Click the Time Machine icon from your Dock to enter Time Machine and retrieve the file. When you keep backup in external hard drive, it is called an offline backup. Time Machine also comes inside offline backup method. Another method is ' online backup'.

Online backup is the method of storing data on remote server. Drop Box, Black blaze are the famous online data backup solution for Mac people. Drop Box helps you to store your data at remote server via internet. You can store data up to 2 GB free of cost but, after that you'll have to pay as per the plan. The users can access and modify the remotely stored data from anywhere and at any time. 

Disk cloning – The best way to reduce data loss

Hard disk cloning is one of the safest way to protect and preserve your important data from hard disk failures . Cloning means to create an exact replica or copy of your data.

Many people get confused with the terms of 'Cloning', 'Imaging'. The functionality and purpose of cloning is similar to imaging but the difference is clone is bootable but image is not. You can boot your system by clone. When you create clone, size of destination drive should be equal or greater than source but it is not necessary at the time of Imaging. 

When disk cloning is useful?
- To create exact copy of your data
- To set up systems for new users

I have used Stellar Drive Clone to create my Mac backup. It offers you the safest mean to create back up of your Mac.You can create sector-by-sector image of your hard drive or any specific volume. If your system is infected with a virus, you can easily get back your system to its original state by restoring all data from the clone. 


Cloning:- You can create exact copy of your Mac hard drive or any selected volume and keep them in other places. 

Imaging:- By this option you can make an image of any selected volume and restore back from image as it's original state. 

Tools- You can create a Boot DVD of the software to clone the Boot volume of your Mac
System Requirements for this software-

Processor:Intel, PowerPC (G3 or later)

Operating System: Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8, OS X 10.7,OS X 10.6, OS X 10.5, OS X 10.4 and OS X 10.3.

Memory: 256 MB RAM

Hard Disk: 25 MB of free space 

What to backup – Plan to backup

One should make backup plan but, what to backup is the most important thing. For example, if you wish to make multiple backups of personal data then keep an off-site (like CD, DVD) backup. The rest can be backed up to the Time Machine drive attached to your Mac. Now, you have to decide, which data is the most precious for you.