What is Phishing?

Phishing is a form of fraud in which online thieves try to acquire sensitive information such as user names, passwords, and credit card details by creating fake websites that look like legitimate companies. The antiphishing technology in Safari 3.0 and Firefox 3.0 (and later) protect you from such scams by detecting these fraudulent websites. If you visit a suspicious site, the web browser informs you with an alert message.

via Apple – Mac OS X – Security – Keeps safe from viruses and malware.


Reinstalling Apple Applications

Have you ever wanted to reinstall Apple’s Mail, Safari, or other included application without resorting to re-installing the entire OS? Apple doesn’t make this easy, but thankfully, the fine folks over at CharlesSoft have provided us with a $20 shareware program called Pacifist.

Pacifist is an application that opens Mac OS X .pkg package files, .dmg disk images, and .zip, .tar, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, and .xar file archives and allows you to extract individual files and folders out of them. This is useful, for instance, if an application which is installed by the operating system becomes damaged and needs to be reinstalled without the hassle of reinstalling all of Mac OS X. Pacifist is also able to verify existing installations and find missing or altered files*, and Pacifist can also examine the kernel extensions installed in your system to let you see what installer installed them, and whether the installer was made by Apple or a third-party.

Pacifist is a great tool to have in your bag of tricks if you ever have a problem with just one application.

Backing up Safari Bookmarks

Safari bookmarks are all stored in a file called Bookmarks.plist, which is located at ~/Library/Safari/. In this post, and many others, it’s best to remember that the ~ signifies your “home” directory. To get to this file in the Finder, choose Home from the Go menu. Open the Library folder, then open the Safari folder.

* To back up: Make a copy of the file in another location by holding down the Option key and dragging the Bookmarks.plist file to another location (such as the Desktop or a flash drive, or a writable CD or DVD – you can even email it to yourself!). The original file will remain (do not remove the original file from this location or your Safari bookmarks will be gone!).

As an alternative, you can compress the file into an archive—select the Bookmarks.plist file, then from the File menu in the Finder, choose Create Archive. The original file will remain.

* To restore: Simply move the backup copy of Bookmarks.plist to the ~/Library/Safari/ folder. If you’re restoring from an archive, don’t forget to decompress the file (just double-click it).

Note: The Bookmarks.plist file contains only the Safari bookmarks for the currently logged-in user. If other users on the same Mac have their own user accounts and personal bookmarks, their Bookmarks.plist files are located in their Home folders.

Thanks for the tip, Apple!