Macs remain a popular alternative to Windows PCs, but there are still security risks involved. Macs have always held that reputation of being less prone to attacks from viruses when compared to their Windows-based counterparts—and that may be so— but they are not fail-proof!
Just like Windows users, phishing is a concern, with the first half of 2019 alone uncovering nearly 6 million phishing attacks on macOS users. Malicious and unwanted software is also a significant threat. Around 255,000 attacks on macOS users were recorded from 2012 to 2017, all from malicious and likely unwanted program installations.
Thankfully, there are always steps we can take to help safeguard our Macs, and in this article, we will be exploring 5 of them:
1. Encrypt Your Files — FireVault
If a file is encrypted, it will prevent hackers from accessing any personal information within the file. In simple terms, encrypting files is a method of securing data behind a password. There are plenty of apps to help you do this, including a built-in option from Apple called FileVault, a pretty straight-forward solution, and easy to use.
2. Back up Your Files — Time Machine
If it is important to you, you need to back it up! It is strongly recommended you back up your files in case anything ever happens to your Mac. Apple has a helpful feature called Time Machine, where files are backed up on a separate hard drive allowing your Mac to restore recent periods. Time Machine takes up a lot of hard drive space, but arguably it is worth it, and other third-party antivirus services offer backup options.
3. Install a VPN
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an app that encrypts your traffic and hide your original IP address. Make sure you look into what a VPN is and how it works, because it would be a simple and effective tool to secure your device and protect your online privacy.
4. Install Antivirus Software
Many antivirus software options are available for Mac users, but some are better than others. It is worth taking time to find a good one, in particular looking for one that holds its own against macOS-specific malware.
Yes, Apple does provide some built-in security features, but this isn’t enough to protect against threats such as data breaches, keyloggers, phishing attacks, spyware, and ransomware. Look for a Mac antivirus with features such as spyware protection, internet security tools, real-time malware protection, phishing protection, and advanced ransomware detection and removal.
5. Keep the OS and Programmes Updated
It is crucial to stay up to date with the latest new releases for the Mac operating system and any programs you use. If a security vulnerability has been discovered, an update for the OS or program in question will usually be released to protect your computer from home. Criminals will target outdated software because they know how to discover where any security vulnerabilities are present and then exploit them.
For the best security for your Mac, practice all of the steps we have explored above. In addition to that, be sure to keep login details safe and pay attention to security and privacy settings. Sometimes you might have a default settings setup that allows apps to share and view your data.