Stay Protected in 2021: 10 Security Tips for Mac Users

Security Tips for Mac Users

Want to make your Mac, hacker and malware-proof? Apple is generally great when it comes to security measures, but hackers are constantly finding new ways to steal data and infiltrate systems. And Mac-based threats are on the rise. Recent research showed that malware targeting Apple systems was increasing 400 times faster than PC-based threats. Read out this article to know 10 security tips for Mac users.

As a Mac user, you are facing more cyber risks than you think.

Hackers are online predators who gain access to your computer, usually by using phony emails, websites, or phishing scams to deliver malware to your computer, steal data, or access larger systems. On an individual level, digital threats make you vulnerable to things like identity theft and credit card fraud. 

Malware is software designed explicitly for malicious intent, such as gaining unauthorized access to a computer. According to the AV-Test Institute, 350,000 new malware programs and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) are detected every day, and that number is predicted to grow year on year. 

But as clever as hackers and their tools are, it is possible to stay one step ahead and protect your Mac against malware and keep your information safe. With that in mind, here are ten security tips for Mac users:

1.Choose a Strong Password

Security starts with choosing a strong password, and despite the enduring popularity of ‘password123’ and ‘qwerty’, these passwords simply don’t cut it.

A University of Maryland study that looked at hacker attacks and non-secure passwords discovered that 43 percent of all password-guessing attempts simply reentered the username to gain access. The study also found that hackers attack every 39 seconds, scary stuff indeed.

So put your thinking cap on and come up with a password that’s unique and hacker-proof.

To change your password now, go to system preferences, users, and groups and then change the password. It’s also a great idea to disable automatic login.

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On more recent Mac computers, you have the option to add Touch ID too, which means your unique fingerprint becomes an added security layer in addition to your complex password. 

2.Use a Password Manager

Using a password managing app such as iCloud Keychain or Dashlane is a super safe way of saving your passwords, so you don’t forget them. Not only that, but they also help you to come up with new, secure passwords. These apps come with near military-grade encryption, so no one’s getting in there except you.

3.Don’t Skip Updates

Apple releases regular security updates for iOS and macOS. While it can be tempting to ignore the update notification so that you can keep on browsing, it’s so important to update every time you get the chance. 

Updating fixes potential vulnerabilities that hackers can use to take control of your computer. 

To update your Mac now, go to the Apple menu and select About this Mac. In the overview tab, select software update; you can choose your preferences and then click update now. 

Before updating, it’s a good idea to backup anything important, just in case you lose anything in the process.

If you’d prefer, you can choose to let your Mac update automatically by selecting automatically keep my mac up to date.

4.Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to change your IP address at will by changing server locations. In addition, as you browse on a private network, all your data traffic is encrypted, so you become anonymous, and would-be threat actors cannot detect your activity or location. Using a VPN for Mac is one of the easiest ways to boost your security status instantly. 

A word to the wise, though: always choose a high-quality, paid VPN service.

5.Connect Using a Router

If possible, ditch the broadband modem and switch to a router. Routers are safer because they assign an IP address that you can only use. This is in opposition to modems that use a public IP address and can therefore be scanned by hackers.

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6.Choose a Trustworthy Antivirus 

Unfortunately, as good as Apple’s built-in security features are, they don’t always protect you against spyware, phishing attacks, and data breaches. You can take security to the next level by choosing a trustworthy antivirus and scanning your Mac regularly. More specifically, an antivirus that can protect against macOS-specific malware.

7.Only Download Apps That You Trust

The safest place to download apps is in the App Store. Before they enter the Appstore, Apple scans apps to check that they haven’t been tampered with and that they seem legitimate, but plenty still makes it past the tech giant’s gates. You can protect yourself even further against dodgy apps by checking reviews and comparing the app’s official website with the link on the App Store.

8.Backup your files

Apple was kind enough to include a feature called Time Machine on Mac computers, which allows you to regularly back up your files, automatically or manually.

The files go to a hard drive, so you will have backup copies of all your essential stuff if your Mac gets stolen or lost.

You’ll find the Time Machine in system preferences.

9.Use Firewalls 

Using a firewall is an essential step in protecting your Mac from hackers. Firewalls fight malware and block unauthorized traffic.

Every Mac computer comes with a firewall application. First, set up the firewall, go to menu and system preferences, then security and firewall. From here, you can customize your firewall settings to block incoming connections, such as screen sharing. You can also enable stealth mode to keep your Mac from responding to port scans.

10.Browse with Safari

Safari is Apple’s default browser that comes already loaded onto your Mac. Safari is fast, reliable, and updated frequently. Safari uses various functions that help to protect your Mac. Most importantly, it uses cross-site tracking, stopping ad companies from viewing what you’re browsing online and taking your personal information.

You can’t be too cautious when it comes to the world wide web. The most consistent way that you can protect your Mac is by being careful and vigilant. Follow these ten tips, don’t click on pop-ups, don’t open suspicious emails from unknown senders, don’t enter unfamiliar websites, and use the proper security software. You’re on your way to better Mac security.