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Encrypt Mail, Address Book, and iCal data
Authored by: Mr.C.Tippins on Sep 24, '08 04:28:34PM

I'm sure you already know that File Vault is nothing more than an encrypted sparse image. The OS then handles all the mounting/unmounting, other details and is supported under Time Machine as another commenter mentioned. If you are going to sparse image your stuff may as well do the whole Home directory as already supported by the OS, don't you think?

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Encrypt Mail, Address Book, and iCal data
Authored by: guns on Sep 25, '08 07:14:03AM

Yes, i do realize that Filevault is essentially this hint, applied to the home directory, and yes, it's a sparse image under tiger and a sparse bundle under leopard.

As I explained in the comment above, I personally don't want to use it for a few reasons:

1) Image corruption can lead to getting locked out of your user account until a restore (selectively encrypting your mail for instance, will lock you from your mail client, but you can still fetch your mail through a web interface after you log into your user account -- not a show stopper)

2) I want to control the terms of the encryption, and not leave it to Apple. I understand that filevault is straightforward, but since Apple does not provide many details or offer options to their services, I don't feel like I'm really in control. I was pretty dismayed to learn when first using time machine that it excluded (initially) VMWare virtual machines from its backups. I understand the rationale behind this, but this was largely undocumented and no options were offered. Sure, you could edit the plist at /System/Library/CoreServices/backupd.bundle/Contents/Resources/StdExclusions.plist, but then again, you could just use a different backup method. So now, by extension, I don't want to use any Apple utilities that make assumptions about your needs and offer no way to edit them.

3) i want to mount and unmount UNIX directories on login/logout.

I want people to understand that this hint is not for everyone. It's for people with moderate security needs who enjoy DIY computer solutions. I apologize again for denigrating Filevault, but this post was never meant for people who were satisfied with it.

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