Review – The BLOCK 2.0

The BLOCK 2.0
Author: Marc Mennigmann
Shareware: $10

The BLOCK, by Marc Mennigmann, puts an interesting twist on computer security. Although its security is effective in thwarting common intruders, would-be-snoops familiar with “The BLOCK” or with moderate Mac knowledge may be able to defeat its effective but simple approach to securing your Mac.

Is That a Trick Question?
Security is a very important aspect of computing. Well-known tools like PGP effectively layer powerful security features over everyday computing. But most of us don’t need 1024-bit encryption for our documents; we just need a simple way to keep the local snoop from digging through our stuff.

“The BLOCK’s” innovative approach is unlike any other. When you turn your computer on, you see a dialog box asking for a password. This is where the similarity ends and the creativity begins. Instead of typing your password in and clicking “OK”, you must hit a sequence of keys (which you have preset), and click the “Shut down” button! In this way, potential invaders can try passwords all day and never gain access to your machine.

However, depending on how you set up “The BLOCK,” users may still be able to get in. Users can hold down the Shift key at startup to bypass “The BLOCK’s” extension, but “The BLOCK” has an option to disable starting with extensions off. However, this feature can become very dangerous because an extension conflict or forgotten password could possibly render your computer inaccessible.

The Summary
“The BLOCK” provides an easy solution to basic security concerns. Average users like your spouse, children, or co-workers may not be able to get into your computer, but you should know that its security may be child’s play for an extremely dedicated and skillful intruder, and for this reason “The BLOCK” shouldn’t be used in high-risk scenarios. However, “The BLOCK” is a shareware gem at only $10, and is highly recommended for any user seeking a simple solution to basic computer security.

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