Lots of people think that Apple devices are foolproof, and nobody even makes viruses for them. However, safety is always important when using a computer, and Apple devices are no different.
There are plenty of malicious actors that can pose a threat to your Mac, and there are lots of ways that potential hackers can access your identity or personal information, as well.
So how can we go about making sure that our Apple devices are safe? Luckily, there are a few simple tips that most users can follow to keep their iMacs and MacBooks safe from prying eyes and damaging files. This stuff is all very straightforward, and you should have no problem following these simple steps to get yourself safeguarded and on your way.
Disable Auto Login
When you first boot up your Mac after install, a new user account is created and set to log in automatically. Allowing user accounts to log in automatically without password verification is a serious security risk, especially if you’re on a laptop and travelling around for business. Having automatic log-in active means that somebody can just walk up to your computer and access your files.
Obviously this is something we want to avoid, so you can change it by going to the Users & Groups area of your system preferences. From there, click on â€œLogin Optionsâ€, and you’ll be met with a menu that allows you to choose user accounts for automatic login. Selecting â€œOffâ€ will disable the feature.
Use A VPN For Internet Browsing
When you access the internet, your ISP, as well as the websites you visit and some of the software on your computer, are able to track your browsing activity. Obviously, if you don’t want advertisers or government actors peeking in on your files, you will want to curb the amount of data that is tracked through your internet connection.
The best solution for this is to use a Virtual Privacy Network, or VPN for short. VPN services provide access to proprietary servers that allow you to encrypt your connection and tunnel it through third-party servers for a more private and safer connection. The best VPN for Mac uses strong encryption and retains minimal amounts of data on users’ activity while offering their services at a reasonable price.
Create A Non-Admin Account For Everyday Use
If hacker is able to gain illicit access to your computer, it will be quite easy for him to do his business if your default account has admin privileges. These permissions allow anybody at the helm to install and uninstall programs, delete important files that can be necessary to proper system functionality, and a host of other malicious acts.
Creating a second account and carefully choosing which permissions it has is an essential step to safeguarding your Mac. Using this account means that you will have to log in with your admin credentials when you want to install or uninstall software or perform similar tasks that require admin permissions. This is a bit of an inconvenience, but it also means that any potential hackers won’t be able to easily undermine your computer.
Enable Full Disk Encryption
Encryption is one of the most important cornerstones of digital security. Encrypting important data allows you to protect it against prying eyes, and can even safeguard your data in case your laptop is stolen or accessed illicitly.
Apple offers the FileVault full disk encryption system which will encrypt your entire hard drive using XTS-AES 128 bit encryption. This standard is quite secure and should be more than enough to stop any malicious actors from accessing the files on your computer. When FileVault is active, your computer will be automatically encrypted and locked down when you log off, sealing out any unwanted elements, and keeping your data safe inside.
Obviously, the dangers that Mac users face are ever-changing. Today’s digital landscape has a tendency to throw curve balls, and it’s a good idea to be ready for them. This means staying informed on all of the topics integral to security on your Mac.
This can be as simple as googling every once in a while to see if there are any new strategies for safeguarding your device. Of course, you can always go full ham and make a hobby out of cryptography and computer security. The choice is up to you, but the most important part is to stay in-the-know on the potential threats to your computer. Remember that knowing is half the battle!
So Where Do I Go From Here?
There are obviously plenty of ways that Mac users can safeguard their data and their systems. If you’re browsing the internet on wifi, using a VPN is one of the most important steps you can take. Never do online banking or sensitive activities on public wifi without using a VPN. Along with the other strategies on this list, you should be well on the way to keeping yourself and your data safe.