Macs are generally more secure than their Windows counterparts does not mean their systems are secure. You may inadvertently put yourself at risk due to the extra security a Mac delivers since you do not take care of your private data as much as you should. You can harden your computer’s security and privacy settings on macOS. We have compiled the best practices and tips for securing your Macbook. They are mostly straightforward, free, or appear deceptively simple. In short, they give you the essential security tools and best practices you need to ensure your Mac computers are secure.
You can tighten up the security on your Mac with this guide. Even the most avid privacy defender is likely to commit at least one of these mistakes. Learn how to protect your Mac security and your private data with these 8 tips. The “convenience” of many macOS features can be an invitation for hackers, however. Security settings are imperative on computers that have access to customer databases or government systems.
- 1 Tips For Protecting Your MacBook
- 1.1 Create a standard (non-admin) account for everyday activities
- 1.2 Use a password manager to ensure that data breaches don’t put your identity at risk.
- 1.3 Install a two-way firewall for outbound/inbound protection
- 1.4 Be wary of software that instructs you to reduce the security of your Mac.
- 1.5 Check your macOS settings.
- 1.6 Enable FileVaut full-disk encryption
- 1.7 Keep your location private.
- 1.8 Use Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention
- 1.9 Check for software updates often.
- 1.10 Don’t leave your computer unlocked and unattended.
- 1.11 Protect Your Mac and Your Data
- 1.12 Turn on Find My
- 1.13 Install Mac antivirus software
- 1.14 Use VPN software
- 1.15 Avoid illegal file sharing.
- 1.16 Establish a backup solution
Tips For Protecting Your MacBook
These days, companies make information security policies that provide employees with guidelines and communicate everything they do. Your company may require you to follow any of the procedures in the following guide if it uses the Security app to manage its infosec program. Log in to your account to see any company policies that require you to follow these procedures.
It is also riskier to download files from others than to exchange them, as Macs remain a target for a growing number of attacks. You can take many steps to make your computer more secure and private, regardless of whether you use a personal or public computer. This list of 15 Mac-hardening security tips will help you secure your data.
Create a standard (non-admin) account for everyday activities
In the macOS setup assistant, you must provide your name, a user name, and a password for the software to create your first account. The first account you create must have administrative privileges, so the first account is an administrator account. This is useful but also potentially dangerous. You need the password to install software, and after you enter it, you can do other things.
There is a possibility of an administrator making mistakes, and they may change or delete important files. The administrator can also insert malicious software. However, users with normal access rights on a Mac cannot install anything. You can edit, create, and change files in a user’s home folder, access files on shared volumes with the appropriate permissions, change the preference settings to secure preferences in System Preferences, and install the software (if it doesn’t install items in the System and Library folders). Although they are more limited, the limitations of standard accounts can be helpful when performing everyday tasks.
You can use your files in that second account, as well as for daily activities. Your administrator’s password must always be entered when prompted. It is important to enter the administrator’s login information. The more passwords you enter, the greater the risk that an attacker will intercept them. It is a good idea to think twice about typing in your password every time asked.
In summary, using a standard account does not provide full protection against malware but is an effective way to identify malware and report it. This also prevents you from accidentally erasing documents that you did not intend to erase. You should set up two accounts to avoid any difficulties. The Understanding User Accounts guide for macOS explains how to set up a new standard account appropriate for everyday use and explains the differences between these types of accounts.
Don’t enable automatic login. You can use a Mac to automatically log in when you start it or install OS X on a fresh install. After you establish a user account, you can set this account to log in at startup automatically. This can be a serious risk if you use a laptop when traveling. The person who starts your Mac will be able to access all your files even if they find them – or steal them.
The Users & Groups pane in System Preferences may be set up to activate auto-login for you. The screenshot below illustrates that you cannot access this option if FileVault is active on your Mac. The files on this full-disk encryption are only accessible by regaining access to the computer with the appropriate password. Your iCloud password will not work for automatic login.
Use a password manager to ensure that data breaches don’t put your identity at risk.
The Mac security team routinely recommends that users create complex, unique passwords to make their accounts tougher to crack. You may also want to consider using different passwords on different websites. Data breaches on one site might reveal your user name and password, which cybercriminals could then use on other sites.
You tend to forget passwords more easily if they are more complicated. You need only remember a single password with password managers to access those hard-to-remember passwords. You can find a password manager that will help you keep your information safe by checking out our list of How to Choose the Right Password Manager of 2018. You can also use macOS and iOS Keychain to store passwords, autofill them, and sync passwords across devices. You can find out how iCloud Keychain works by reading our Mac and iOS Keychain tutorials.
Install a two-way firewall for outbound/inbound protection
The firewall on Apple’s network protects the inbound network. The firewall, however, only protects against particular kinds of attacks. The best defense against new malware and targeted attacks is to implement multiple layers of protection. You need firewalls with outbound protection if there is unknown malware on your Mac that needs to stop connecting to the Internet. In terms of malware protection, two-way firewall software provides the most important outgoing firewall protection.
You may be surprised at how good outbound firewalls are at alerting you when you download a piece of software that you didn’t know would connect to the Internet. This two-way firewall, included in the Mac Premium Bundle X9, offers real protection, containing inbound threats and preventing malicious programs from connecting to the Internet. Your data is protected from leakage while your Mac access is restricted.
Be wary of software that instructs you to reduce the security of your Mac.
In a few years, Mac users received the System Integrity Protection function. The result is that low-level software will have a much harder time installing on your Mac. The change prevents the kernel, the system’s central processing component, from being damaged by installing files in the System and Library folders.
The M1 Macs will receive a few new security enhancements in late 2020. This will make the installation of some software more difficult. The previous method of installing certain extensions was to authorize them through System Preferences’s Security & Privacy tab. Now, however, you need to change the security policy temporarily, reboot and then do the process all over again.
The app Rogue Amoeba’s Audio Hijack can record audio on a Mac and is one of these apps that require this procedure. There has been malware distribution, however, which circumvents this protection and installs the program. The Rogue Amoeba explains this. However, you should always be cautious if any software suggests that you do this. This workaround could potentially let malware access your Mac if you are not installing legitimate software.
Check your macOS settings.
Enable FileVaut full-disk encryption
Your Mac should have FileVault full disk encryption to ensure data security. Macs have supported this functionality for more than a decade, and it has proven to be a stable and efficient computer. In FileVault, you can encrypt your entire drive with XTS-AES 128 with a 256-bit key, which is one of the most secure encryption algorithms. Your data is not encrypted, so any person who steals your Mac can access it. After you shut down your Mac, FileVault automatically locks your drive. The user must log in to the Mac before accessing the drive’s contents. Having an obvious password is yet another reason to avoid it.
To enable FileVault, you first need to log in with an administrator’s account and then go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault. Turn on FileVault by clicking it. When FileVault encrypts a file, it does so transparently after the initial encryption, taking a long time on large drives. The encrypted file is then decrypted and re-encrypted when needed. The Apple article explaining how to encrypt files and folders has more information about FileVault.
Keep your location private.
What if you had different apps accessing your physical location? What applications receive your location information? You can check this in System Preferences. Click the Security tab, then click Privacy. You may need the administrator password to unlock the padlock and make changes.
The Location Services window will allow you to see whether Location Services have been enabled, and if so, which applications may access your location if they have. You might want to give certain apps access to your location, such as Maps, to get directions. The weather app works better when it knows your location. The Find My app should also be able to access your location.
Use Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention
The information collected by other people when you browse the web may compromise your privacy. In turn, advertisers use the tracking tools websites use to identify and track visitors to build profiles of those visitors. Apple Safari limits the amount of information that websites can gather using Intelligent Tracking Prevention.
The Prevent cross-site tracking setting should be enabled under Safari > Preferences > Privacy. In this way, Apple functions as a sophisticated privacy-protection system. The setting is enabled by default; however, you can temporarily turn it off to see how many trackers Safari blocks. You may be surprised at how many trackers are blocked when you do so. You can learn more about Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari’s New Privacy Report.
Check for software updates often.
The truth is that Macs are prone to a range of security threats, such as malware and vulnerabilities, and macOS receives regular security updates that fix these issues. On the Apple Security Update page, you can see a list of all the updates for Apple’s operating systems and individual applications. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain your software to thwart new threats. You can check macOS’s status by visiting System Preferences > Software Update. The advanced button allows you to change some settings.
The Macs on my network check for updates and download them but do not install them automatically. To ensure I’ve backed up my Mac before updating, we want an email alert when an update is available. Additionally, we want system files and security updates automatically installed. It is not always necessary to restart them, whereas they may not need to be followed by a restart for macOS updates. To stay protected, you should also update your apps. You can download malware using apps. You are updated in the Mac App Store as well as directly through the apps. You can read more about staying up to date with Apple software here. The program you are using should be updated.
Don’t leave your computer unlocked and unattended.
It is important to lock your Mac whenever you step away from it so that no one can steal your information. It is possible to set your Mac to ask for an unlock password when it goes to sleep or when the screen saver kicks in. This option can be enabled easily when you leave your Mac. The screen saver moves the mouse quickly to a corner of the screen as it activates. The steps listed above will let you continue downloading without interrupting it when you step away from your Mac. You can use them during an upload or download.
Protect Your Mac and Your Data
Turn on Find My
You can find out if your Apple device is near using the Find My app. The Find My feature lets you track AirTags, locate lost iPhones, and locate your stolen Mac. If your device is lost, you can also lock or wipe it with Find My. Your iCloud account allows you to use the Find My feature of iCloud to find, mark as lost, and erase your lost devices since it is part of your iCloud account. This feature is designed to protect your data completely. The Find My app allows you to locate friends and devices, as well as airbags. This article provides information on how to do that.
Install Mac antivirus software
They recommend antivirus software to their students partly due to the number of people who use their computer labs, trade data files, and take part in a variety of online activities. It’s risky to exchange files and download files. The level of security depends on the weakest link whenever there are many people sharing files in one area who feel safe. This is frequently seen in large organizations and universities.
Use VPN software
If you must shop online and have only access to public Wi-Fi, such as at an airport, coffee shop, or any other location with free public Wi-Fi, you may want to use VPN software. The Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts the data on your computer or mobile device to protect it from sniffers and hackers trying to steal sensitive information such as login credentials, passwords, and credit card information from your computer. Your IP address does not identify you, so websites cannot track that. Your ISP is unable to track you since all communication between you and them is encrypted.
Avoid illegal file sharing.
Your personal information will also be at risk if you install pirated software. The free distribution of pirated software is a popular method by malware authors since many people still believe that they can get something for free without considering the consequences. The recent past has seen many Mac software infected with malware, which is very dangerous to download.
Establish a backup solution
You can access Time Machine’s backup if disaster strikes your device. It is a good idea to make a double backup. The idea of keeping a backup of important data (or even cloning your entire system) on an external hard drive cannot be overstated. The Mac Premium Bundle X9 software lets you schedule automatic backups, so you will be able to recover quickly and easily in the event of a life-threatening event, such as theft, data corruption, or a natural disaster. In addition to synchronizing files between Mac machines so that each machine has the most recent files, you can create a bootable backup if your system fails and you cannot access your files.
The following security rules will help you avoid becoming a victim of the next big attack. The following tips will certainly make it more difficult for attackers to access your data, but nobody claims to have the perfect solution. If you take the time to read them, your Mac will be more secure and your information more private.