Lower safety criteria for what and how long?


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Dear helpers,

Recently an important (for me) application on my MacBook Pro unexpectedly appeared to be inaccessible. Maybe due to safety criteria that were changed around the beginning of this year or even since I upgraded to Big Sur. Reason: the provenance could not be verified. Never saw this before, I could only get access by disabling safety acceptence criteria via System Preferences.

Now from there on I have a few questions:

- Is this lowering of safety criteria valid for this special application only or do I put other files at risk as well in this way?

- Is this valid only till I close this application, or is it permanent (for this application only?) till I reinforce safety criteria?

- Could I 'declare' this file as 'safe' for any future use?

Thank you for your answers, Dirk
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello,

There were numerous software security changes in the last few versions of macOS, especially Big Sur, which affect/limit the ability of third-party applications/drivers to access system/user data. These are to maintain the integrity of macOS, and protect your data from potentially harmful software like viruses/malware/etc.

-If you don't mind, what is the name of the application?
-Did you get some form or alert/error?

To answer you questions:
-If you clicked Allow in the Security & Privacy preference pane, it is only for that application.
-It is valid as long as the application remains installed on your Mac.
-You can make the exception above, but it is up to the developer to update/follow Apple's new OS security guidelines for future releases.

Hope that helps,

C
 
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Thank you Cory.

So I do not need to worry too much about what I did. Your answers helped me a lot!

Just a small thing. You stated: -It (the lowered safety level) is valid as long as the application remains installed on your Mac.
What do you mean by 'installed'? It is not mentioned under 'Applications' in Finder. Or do you mean: 'is being used (opened)' ?

So Apple indeed reinforced security. In fact the application in question is a kind of safe which served me since 2010 without problems. The warning I got was : "[the app] cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified."

I will try to contact the developer and try to find out if a modern version exists. That would most probably result in a safer situation.

But then more questions arise:
  • How do I transfer the data to the new app
  • Maybe you could recommend me an app that works well on my MacBook Pro
Hope I am not asking too much! Dirk
 
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Just to be more precise: I was talking about KeePassX. New: I downloaded the most recent version for the Mac, but also that one I could not open - same message. Dead end? (In fact KeePass was mainly developed for Windows....). Dirk
 
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Cory Cooper

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No worries.

Yes, I mean as along as the software is installed on your Mac, even if it doesn't have an application in your Applications folder.

This enhanced security actually started with macOS Catalina.

The alert "KeePassX" cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified. is in reference to KeePassX not being a registered and valid Apple Developer. You may be able to "allow" it to run by trying the steps in this article:
Developer cannot be verified macOS error/exception

You would need to work with the developer to see if there is a way to transfer the data to a newer version, if you can get it to run properly.

I don't know of anything similar, except for the password part. 1Password is what I use, which syncs across all of my macOS and iOS devices.

C
 

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