Take Control of Security for Mac Users cover

Back in 2010, Wiley published a massive, 900-page book of mine called Mac Security Bible. It was a great book (if I do say so myself) but it didn’t sell very well, for what in retrospect seems like an obvious reason: nobody wants to read 900 pages about how to keep their Mac secure! In fact, I think that book did readers a disservice by making Mac security look like a hugely complex and scary topic. If you’re not intimidated by a book like that, you probably already know enough about security that you don’t need it.

And yet, with each passing year, more security problems appear. The news is full of accounts of hacking, malware, password breaches, network vulnerabilities, and all sorts of other threats that can affect Mac users. It’s true that the security story for Mac users is less dire than what Windows users face, but make no mistake about it: Macs are just computers, and that shiny Apple logo is no guarantee of security.

So I’m happy to announce the publication of Take Control of Security for Mac Users. It’s about one-sixth the length of my earlier book on the same topic, and written in a friendlier, more relaxed way. This book helps you prevent—or recover from—unwanted access to your Mac and its data. It explains and helps you implement measures that keep out intruders, hackers, thieves, and malicious software; take preventive action to protect your data; and choose the appropriate security settings and software for your particular risk level.

That last bit, I think, is really crucial. I don’t advocate a one-size-fits-all approach where everyone keeps everything locked down at all times and lives in a state of perpetual fear and inconvenience. Some people do need to pull out all the stops when it comes to security, but most of us have less to protect and can therefore take less onerous measures.

The point of the book is not to scare you. In fact, it’s just the opposite—I want to empower you by showing you what the dangers are, which of them are likely to apply to you, and what simple (and relatively painless) steps you can take to protect yourself.

I’ve written about a lot of security-related topics, but for Mac users, I’d have to say this is my most important and valuable book to date. I hope you’ll check it out.

Take Control of Your Online Privacy cover

Take Control Books has also released an expanded and updated second edition of Take Control of Your Online Privacy. This book explains potential privacy risks in everyday online activities like web browsing and sending email, and suggests strategies for avoiding common pitfalls and improving online privacy.

Privacy and security are, of course, closely related concepts. You can have either one without the other, but especially when you’re talking about computers, it’s often the case that security is the means by which you obtain privacy. Or, to put it the other way around, privacy is the reason to care about security. Take Control of Your Online Privacy is all about my mantra, “What happens on the internet, stays on the internet.” It helps you understand how personal information finds its way online, what the consequences are, and how to deal with them.

Although there’s a little bit of overlap between the two titles, Take Control of Your Online Privacy is broader in the sense that it covers multiple platforms (not just the Mac) as well as privacy concerns that aren’t directly connected to security. On the other hand, Take Control of Security for Mac Users is deeper, covering topics relating to physical and local security (where online access doesn’t factor in), and offering more detail about the specifics of handling various security issues on the Mac.