Long gone are the days when malware only infected Windows PC. Now due to increased sales of Mac, it has lured attention of hackers who have started developing malicious content for Mac devices.
Believe it or not, when it comes to Mac, the malware attacks are planned by the best in business and are more than terrifying than other threats.
So, stop being delusional and follow these steps to ensure safety and security of your machine.
1. OSx needs to be Updated
Whenever any threat arises, Apple releases security updates to shield the Mac against the threats. So, make sure to keep your system up to date.
These updates are the patches released which needs a quick restart. But most of the time, we keep on delaying the installation of updates, as we are working on a project or reading something important.
Here is the thing, this negligence can cost you way too much than you think.
So, from now on, whenever you see a pop-up window, which asks you to install updates, always choose a positive response!
2. Create A Non-Admin Account
While setting up a new Mac, it is necessary to create a login account, this account has administrative rights which allow user to install updates, applications or make any big changes on the system.
While using an admin account, has its privileges but it involves risks as well. It enables a user to install software which might contain malicious content.
Here, you can understand the importance of having Standard Accounts, as it has limited rights. These accounts enable users to use, change, and create files in their home folder, access folders on shared volumes if the permissions allow it, change settings to non-secure preferences in System Preferences, and install some software. As standard accounts are more limited, it should be used for daily work, just to be safe.
Use the standard account for day to day activities and when needed to make some major changes on to your Mac, type your admin credentials. It is understood that the system would prompt for a password more than it does when logged in with an admin account. But to stay safe, this is the pain you have to take.
3. Manage Your Password To Avoid Phishing Attacks:
Changing Mac passwords frequently and creating a unique set of passwords is a way to stay protected from the attacks. However, creating unique and complex passwords result into forgetting the password more often. Don’t worry, we have a solution. Try and use password managers which would make it easy to use a password and no worries to forget them.
4. Set A Lock Screen Password
When you setup your Mac for the first time or do a clean install, you need to check whether the system has set itself on automatic login or not. You need to create a user account and create a complex password. If you have automatic login enabled on your system, it could be risky as anyone can access your system and therefore your important data is unsafe .
You can disable Automatic Login by following these steps:
- Click on Apple Icon and choose System Preferences, then User & Groups.
- Click the lock then enter a password.
- Click on Login Options.
- Choose “OFF” from the “Automatic login” pop-up menu. It might prompt for an admin password.
5. Enable File Vault
This feature enables you to protect your Mac and its important data even if it is stolen. Apple File Vault is a good option to secure your files. It encrypts your hard drive using XTS-AES 128, a secure encryption algorithm. With this feature enabled, as soon as your Mac shuts down, the data on it, is encrypted and locked up. Only the authorized user can access the files on the system.
To enable File Vault:
Login to Admin Account ->Apple Icon -> System Preferences -> Security & Privacy-> File Vault. Once there, turn on File Vault.
6. Activate OS X’s Firewall
Mac enables you with the feature Firewall to block incoming connections from unwanted and unknown sources. Make sure, Firewall is turned on.
To turn on the firewall, you need to follow these steps:
- Click on Apple Icon -> System Preferences -> Security & Privacy.
- Select Firewall Tab.
- Click on Padlock to change the settings.
- It will prompt an admin password and now Turn on Firewall.
7. Don’t Install Any Or Every Software
You can easily combat the malware or malicious content, if you know what are you installing or downloading on your system. Always check the developer’s name. Whenever you install a software, your OSX will warn you, it is you who would decide what to install and what not to.
So, Choose wisely!
8. Importance Of Firmware Password
Though enabling File Vault is the best decision to protect your data, but it doesn’t mean that a boot USB device can’t wipe it clean and the thief could not use your Mac device after a clean install.
However, there is also a solution to this problem, Activate Firmware Password. It would appear when someone tries to boot your machine with USB.
You need restart the system in Recovery Console, to activate the Firmware Password, follow these steps:
- Restart your device, press Command and R key together just before Apple Icon appears.
- The Boot-time Progress bar will appear, lift your hands from the keyboard.
- There will be a prompt to select Language and Location.
- Now, click Utilities > Firmware Password Utility menu item.
9. Install Anti-Virus Software
Installing an Antivirus or Antimalware software is good for your Mac as it will keep a check on all the imminent danger. Symantec, MacAfee, Bitdefender and many more big developers have software with sturdy features to protect your Mac devices.
Along with installing it, you need to keep it up to date as whenever there is a looming threat, these antivirus software release updates with new virus definitions to keep your system safe.
Don’t think that an antivirus software will slow the performance of the system, it will scan the system only when the system is being used the minimum.
10. Keep A Check On Security & Privacy Settings
Do you know, knowingly and unknowingly, you are sharing your location with others via apps installed? To check, on which app, the location is shared, you need to follow these steps:
- Click on Apple Icon -> System Preferences -> Security & Privacy.
- Click on Privacy Tab.
- To alter the settings, you can unlock the Padlock with an administrative password.
Now you can control the access.
11. Think Again Before Leaving Your System Unattended
Even if you are going to your colleague’s cabin for a min or two, don’t forget to lock your Mac to ensure the safety and security.
To quickly lock your Mac, set the Hot Corners, to enable it, follow these steps:
- Click on Apple Icon -> System Preferences-> Desktop & Screen Saver
- Choose “Hot Corners”
- You can select one or two or multiple corners.
- Whenever you will hover the mouse on those corners, the screen saver will appear and you need to unlock the device to use it.
These are a few tips to keep your Mac safe. Try them and let us know, if they make any difference.