As a Mac user, it is easy to think that your device is secure and do little to prevent malicious threats. To a great extent, Mac security is indisputable. It runs on a Unix-based operating system that reduces its vulnerability to malware attacks. However, in recent times, there have been security concerns for Mac. A report indicated a 400% rise in Mac’s vulnerability to malware attacks over 2018 -2019. Although the report ascertained that the threats are not as malicious as common malware, it’s still an issue of concern for Mac users.
Many users have also reported attacks and threats from ransomware, keyloggers, spyware, bloatware, Trojan horse, botnet, data breaches, phishing, and more. These attacks are not necessarily due to a weakness in the macOS but user behavior. The truth is, no matter how secure a device is, users can still open the floodgates of vulnerability as a result of their behavior and activities.
This article considers top Mac security tips you can put in place to ensure that your computer is not vulnerable to malware attacks and other cybersecurity threats. Continue reading to learn more!
1. Stay away from Unvetted Software
Your first security tip is never to run or allow an unvetted software or program on your Mac. By implication, you should only download programs from the App Store. Mac vets programs before allowing them into the store to ensure they don’t bring any vulnerability to users. Besides, every month, hundreds of suspicious applications are removed from the store to keep users safe.
Apart from installing unvetted software, another area of vulnerability is the installation of browser add-ons. Some add-ons contain harmful malware and viruses that can expose users to identity theft and data/financial loss. Running flash player and java on your system can also put you at risk. Therefore, keep away from all forms of potentially harmful programs.
2. Set Updates on Automatic Install for macOS and Apps
Periodically, Mac releases important security updates to fix new vulnerabilities. While you can install these updates manually, the best option is to adjust your settings to automatically install updates for both macOS and Apps running on your device. Failure to do this might expose you to threats as it is easy for hackers to target devices running on old operating systems.
To automatically install updates for Mac, go to “Software Update” under “System Preferences”. Adjust the advanced settings to check for updates (including security updates), download, and install them automatically. Also, set app updates to install automatically from the App store.
3. Use an Effective Mac Antivirus
Although macOS has inbuilt protection that should never be disabled, you can’t totally rely on that for optimum security. Install effective antivirus software for Mac for additional protection. A good Mac antivirus is safe for your OS and will protect your device from ransomware, malware, spyware, phishing, and other malicious threats.
Some of the well-rated Mac antiviruses in the market are Intego, Avast, Norton, Sophos, Kaspersky, and Bitdefender. You can use any of those, or others you might also find effective, to keep your device safe.
4. Use Password Protection
Disable automatic login for your device and adjust your settings to always require a password when the device enters sleep mode or screen saver. This prevents intruders from gaining access to your Mac.
Also, set up two-factor authentication (2FA) to secure your Mac from hackers trying to gain access. You can set this up on your iCloud account by providing a phone number with which you will receive an authentication code each time anyone tries to log into your account from a new device
Another way to protect yourself is to always check your privacy settings and review the data you share with third-party apps such as contacts, location, calendars, and more. You can remove dormant apps completely while you disallow access for suspicious apps.
5. Install a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN is a layer of protection that can also help to keep your Mac safe online. VPNs shield your identity from hackers and websites by changing your IP address to another location. Besides keeping your original location unknown, a VPN on your Mac can also encrypt your browsing data, further making it impossible for hackers to see what you are doing.
Stay Safe Online
You can be exposed to other forms of cyberattacks through email phishing. This plays out when you receive an email disguising as a legitimate source such as your email provider, bank, government, or online retailer. Such messages usually request that you submit an update or provide personal information with a link to a phishing website that looks almost exactly like a legitimate one. Unsuspecting victims have provided information that left them vulnerable or scammed.
Despite implementing the above-suggested tips, you still have to be on the lookout for warnings from your device. Your Mac is built to detect threats, therefore, it gives warnings when it finds one. So rather than shunning those warning messages, it’s better to attend to whatever threat the message is pointing at.