How safe am I now with FileVault and Lion?

curiouswebster used Ask the Experts™
I have used whole disk encryption in the past with Windows and now have FileVault installed and running on Lion. Assuming I never walk away from my computer unless the password logon screen is showing, the machine is sleeping or off, can atone get access to my disk?

I need to keep the 24 digit code and my password secret of course. If I used a weak password and someone stole the PC, could they potentially crack the code from another PC?

I am just wondering how safe my data is now that I have FileVault installed.

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Your data is as safe as your password is strong. Check the strength of your password at
There's only two ways I can think of.  One is if your password is cracked or you're foolish enough to write it down somewhere. Second, is if you have allowed the Everyone group on your Mac to have read/write to everything, then potentially someone connecting to the Mac across a network could see all your stuff.  

You should also make sure your firewall is on, which will help keep people out and limit file/screen sharing. Once the Mac is up and available on-line, the encryption really doesn't come into play; that's mostly for when someone steals the drive or the Mac and tries to hack into it from a remote computer.

So, as with any security measures, it's more about a multi-level approach: encrypt, strong password that you change frequently. firewall on, proper permissions, limit file/screen sharing and the like.
curiouswebsterSoftware Engineer



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