While Macs tend to be more secure than their Windows counterparts, this does not mean that they are invincible. Since Apple’s share of the data market has grown over the years, hackers have placed greater emphasis on targeting these devices. If you are using a Mac, you need to be extra careful.
5 Mac Security Tips to Keep You Safe
Keeping your Mac safe requires a little attention to detail, but most tips are fairly simple and straightforward. Here are some of the leading steps you can take:
Create an account that is not an administrator for daily use
Once you set up your Mac, installation assistant will ask you for information such as your name, username and password. This data is then used to set up your first user account. Each Mac must have at least one user with administrator privileges, and the first account becomes the administrator by default.
Most people use their administrator account as their primary account, but there is something to be said for creating a non-administrator account for daily use. This prevents users from inadvertently installing malicious software or making changes to their computer.
2. Disable automatic login
Always requires a password to log in to your Mac. Automatic login may be convenient when you are at home, but what happens if someone steals your laptop at a coffee shop or airport?
Automatic login means that everyone who has your computer has access to your files. Requiring login and passwords keep people out – even if the device is lost or stolen.
3. Use a Password Manager
Long, complex, unique password is a must if you want to protect your Mac and the different accounts you can access on it. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to remember the correct password string for each account. This is why it is useful to use a password manager.
There are many great password management options for Mac. Choose the one that has the features you need. Dashlane, 1Password and Lastpass are three of the more popular and intuitive tools out there.
Related: You do not have to be a rocket scientist to manage passwords
4. Use a VPN
VPNs have become increasingly popular over the years. Adding one to your computer dramatically reduces your chances of an attack.
A VPN, also known as a Private virtual network, is a technical solution that establishes a private connection over a public network. In other words, VPN users are able to send and receive data over public and shared networks as if their device were connected directly to a private and secure network.
In addition to encrypting data, a good VPN helps block restricted websites through a process known as “tunneling”. This gives you access to specific content that may otherwise be banned based on your IP address and location.
There are a number of VPNs for Mac, including both free and paid versions. While free versions can provide some basic protections, paid versions tend to be much more secure (including many extra features). Do your research and find one that suits your greatest needs.
Check out: The impenetrable Mac is a thing of the past – Use a VPN
5. Run a two-way firewall
Apple has one built-in firewall which provides incoming network protection. However, this only protects you from certain attacks. For full protection, you must run a two-way firewall.
By placing an outgoing firewall on the incoming firewall, you get alerts when a software suddenly tries to connect to the internet. In other words, it tells you when an app or tool is trying to do something that you never intended to do.
Practice common sense
While there are many ways for cybercriminals to really “hack” into your Mac, the tips in this article should keep you pretty safe. In most cases, hackers find themselves by exploiting users and causing them to fall into their carefully laid traps. You can avoid these pitfalls by practicing common sense.
If something seems fishy or seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be careful and never give away sensitive information. If someone asks for sensitive information, always make sure they are who they say they are. This will help you avoid compromising situations and reduce the odds of being targeted in the future. Combined with the Mac security tips discussed in this article, a common sense approach will keep you safe.