Securing Opera Web Browser

First, I want to wish all of my fellow Americans a Happy Memorial Day! Everyone outside of America, I hope you enjoy your day anyway. Today I’ve put out the first part of securing the Opera web browser video. Part one is about Opera itself, and part two will be about extensions for Opera. I’ll be working on some non-security related posts to put up soon (Games4Mac anyone?).

Thanks for reading, and share this with your friends and family if they use Opera as well.

App of the Week: AppCleaner

This week we’ve been talking about security and how to prevent malware from getting on your computer. But what if it already has? Apple had provided a set of instruction on how to remove MacDefender, but if we’ve learned anything from Windows malware, it’s that it will do everything to make sure you don’t get rid of it. Is there a better way to get rid of such software, or even just software you don’t want any more? Enter AppCleaner from FreeMacSoft.

The idea behind AppCleaner is that it finds all the pieces, folders, etc. that a program

AppCleaner window
creates so that it can all be deleted. Most people drag software they don’t want to Mac’s Trash to uninstall, and for some software this is ok. But a lot of software can leave stuff behind; for normal software, it can just take up hard drive space, but for malware, it could mean the malware reinstalling itself over an over, like 2 teenage girls who will always restart an argument over the Twilight books.

Fortunately AppCleaner is simple and does the searching for you. Once you open AppCleaner, all you have to do is drag the software into AppCleaner, and AppCleaner finds the program and all its pieces-parts to be deleted, which it can then send to the Trash. You can also mass delete apps, as well as browser plugins (Flash Player, Java, etc.) and Dashboard widgets all from within the app.

Perhaps you have certain apps that you don’t want to delete. Open AppCleaner’s preferences, and drag apps in that you want to keep on your system. Then if you accidentally drag or select one of these applications, Appcleaner gives you a popup window telling you that these apps are protected. You can also set it to “Smart Delete”, which means that when you want to uninstall an app on your Mac, you don’t have to open AppCleaner. Just drag it to the Trash like you’re used to, and AppCleaner will automatically search and put the other files in the trash for you. One less step to worry about.

When it comes to uninstalling malware, nothing beats prevention and a vigilant eye (or reinstalling the operating system), and AppCleaner isn’t necessarily designed to remove malware. But it certainly has that potential, along with the power to remove any other software you just don’t want. You can download it here: And if you have any apps you’d like me to review, or comments you’d like to make, comment below, email me at, or tweet me at Twitter (see the Twitter button up top!). And don’t forget my Youtube videos (the Youtube button up top as well). Thanks

Update: MacDefender (now MacGuard) doesn’t need your password to run

Here is the Mac Defender Windows
Here is the Mac Defender Windows

The MacDefender malware, according to Cult Of Mac, now has a new variant labeled MacGuard. This new variant no longer needs you administrator password to run. You can read more here:

Apple is coming out with a patch soon for Snow Leopard to fix this issue. In the mean time, don’t click on any strange links, turn off “Automatically open safe files” in Safari and other browsers, and delete anything you don’t remember downloading.

Securing Safari and Firefox

Continuing in the Securing your Mac series, I look at what browser settings you should set and add-ons you should download for Safari and Firefox to make you more secure. Originally I was going to do Chrome and Opera as well as these two browsers in one video, but I decided against it (and now I’m glad I did). Fortunately this video turned out shorter than I thought (I think I’m getting better at this).

More will be coming soon. Thanks!