Apple devices are known for privacy and security, but that does not mean you should not take some proactive measures to ensure your data is safe.
8 cybersecurity tips for your Mac
Here are eight tips you can try to secure your data on your Mac.
Tip 1: Try FileVault
FileVault is an in-built feature on your Mac. It encrypts your hard drive preventing any unauthorized access.
Encryption, in simple terms, means your data is jumbled up to prevent someone else from understanding what you have stored on your drive.
If you lose your laptop, your data will not be easy to read by an unauthorized party. Also, if you were to use your hard drive without encryption on a different system, all your data will be accessible to them. So, it is imperative that you turn on FileVault.
The caveat to this is that encryption of your data will take a toll on your battery life, but it can be a worthy trade-off if you consider data protection a priority.
When you do turn on FileVault, make sure you take a screenshot as proof to show you didn’t deliberately leak sensitive data if there is a data breach.
Tip 2: Use ‘Find My’
On macOS Catalina, Find My iPhone and Find My Friends has been clubbed into a new app called Find My. This helps you locate your Mac if it is misplaced or stolen.
This app also allows you to remotely erase your device and lock it to prevent unauthorized access. You could play a sound to locate your Mac if you misplaced it. If it is stolen, you would be able to see the last known location on Maps.
If your device is offline, your request to lock or erase it will be triggered the second it is back online. You should also talk to local law enforcement agencies and report your device as stolen.
Tip 3: Use firewalls
A firewall prevents hackers from connecting with your computer when you’re online. It is a one-step process to turn it on your ‘Security & Privacy’ setting.
If you know and trust certain apps, you can exclude them from this list.
Tip 4: Choose robust passwords
Don’t use the password for your Mac anywhere online. If there is an online data breach, then your Mac may also be compromised.
On a different note, you should not be using the same password online on multiple sites either. Use a password manager to create unique passwords for each website that you don’t have to keep track of. You just have to remember one master password to your password manager. Your password manager automatically fills in your data and logs you into websites where you have an account.
Tip 5: Create a standard account
A compromised admin account can make everyone that uses the system vulnerable to the threat. If there is malware downloaded to the admin account, it can impact all the other accounts on the Mac.
On the other hand, if a standard account is compromised, it does not impact any of the essential files.
So, the general recommendation is to create a standard account for yourself instead.
Tip 6: Keep your OS updated
A simple yet effective tip is to make sure you have the latest and updated OS. Apple releases new updates, which also include security patches which are crucial to ensure your device’s security is up to date.
You can enable Automatic Updates instead of doing it manually and risking your data in the process.
Tip 7: Get rid of clutter
Sometimes, an app or process may be already downloaded on your system, which may be secretly tracking you that you cannot manually remove. These nefarious files are often tucked away in folders or subfolders that one cannot manually check.
You can get rid of such suspicious files by doing a thorough check and using cleaning software. Getting rid of apps is even more difficult. Even if you remove them from your Launchpad, the installation files languish in some folder. To exterminate these apps, you should rely on some of the best reviewed app uninstallers that will make your job easy for you.
Tip 8: Stay safe when you are online
These are some common tips when it comes to staying safe online, but it is worth repeating. Don’t click on links in an email when you are not sure who the sender is or what the link contains. If you use Gmail, you will notice that Gmail scans attachments for you to make sure it is not a virus.
When browsing online, make sure you do not visit unsecured websites. These websites have HTTP instead of the standard HTTPS. This means a third-party service may hijack any information you pass onto the website. Especially when making payments or sharing sensitive data, you should avoid unsecured websites.
You can also install a VPN that hides your IP address and makes your location unrecognizable to someone trying to access your data.