In the past, most cyberattacks were directed towards PC users. But in 2017, there was an 80% increase in malware attacks on Macs.
So if you’ve been thinking you’re quite safe from cybercriminals, then think again. You may have been living with a false sense of security and have just been lucky that nothing unfortunate has happened yet.
Now that we have your attention, it’s time to up your security. Here are 7 MacBook cybersecurity tips you should know.
1. Have a 2-Way Firewall
On Apple devices, you’ll get a built-in firewall. A firewall is a type of gate that protects you from incoming and outcoming traffic (in theory). However, Apple’s built-in firewall only protects you from inbound traffic.
For this reason, you need to look for a third-party firewall that’ll protect you from both inbound and outbound traffic. There are many attacks that come in, infect your system, and then spreads itself by dispersing in outgoing traffic.
By having a 2-way firewall, you’ll have a double layer of protection against this type of malware. Nothing should be able to get in, and if it does, it won’t be able to get out. This is one of the best cybersecurity tips for Mac.
2. Have a Good Antivirus Program
In addition to having a 2-way firewall, you should also have a good antivirus program installed. That way, if you accidentally download something malicious, the program will pick up on it immediately and stop the install from even happening.
A virus scan for Mac can easily be done with any antivirus program you download. All you have to do is hit “scan” and it’ll analyze your entire MacBook for anything that may be malicious. You’ll then either have the choice to quarantine or delete those files.
Even when you’re not actively running a scan, it’ll still be there in the background, looking out for anything suspicious in your web traffic.
3. Always Install Updates
It’s not enough to just install these programs and just leave them be. Think of your relationship with cybercriminals as a continual game of cat and mouse; you don’t want to be the mouse, so you must be vigilant.
These hackers are always looking for ways into your network. They’re looking for any vulnerabilities they can exploit.
What updates and patches do is fix up those vulnerabilities. Because of that, the longer you postpone an update or patch, the higher the chance of you being hacked.
So the next time you think about hitting “install later,” you might want to think again. You want to stay on top of these updates to make it much harder for cybercriminals to infiltrate your network.
4. Use Unique Passwords
Hackers will do something called brute force attack. This is where they’ll keep trying multiple combinations of letters and numbers as passwords to try and get into your accounts.
You may have noticed that some websites will lock you out after you try different passwords a few times in a short amount of time for a forgotten account. While this may be annoying, it’s there for your protection. This is to slow down brute force attacks.
You can slow down hackers even further by using unique passwords on each site. Make them as strong as possible by using non-dictionary words and letters, symbols, and special characters if you can.
That way, if they somehow figure out your password to one account, they can’t then try it with all your other accounts and gain access to them.
Make sure you also change your passwords regularly. As they say, a moving target is harder to hit than a stationary one.
5. Use a Password Manager
From the above tip, you might be thinking: how am I supposed to remember a bunch of random strings of letters, numbers, and symbols?
Here another one of the best cybersecurity tips for Apple: get a password manager. This is an add-on that’ll store all your passwords in encrypted form, meaning it’s secure and locked away.
Not only will it do that, but it’ll also auto-fill any webpages where you need to enter your username and password. Plus, it can generate more random and strong passwords in the future when you need to change them.
6. Turn on Full Disk Encryption
The above tips are about digital security, but what about if your laptop gets stolen or lost? You should have some kind of physical security as well.
Full disk encryption is very easy to turn on, so there’s no excuse for not having it. This will lock up all your files unless you put in the right username and password.
So if someone steals your MacBook, they won’t be able to access your private files. This can be especially vital if you work with sensitive data that absolutely cannot fall into the wrong hands.
7. Use a Non-Admin Account for Regular Use
If you’re the only person who uses your MacBook, it may be simpler and easier to use the main account at all times. But this is the admin account, which can easily install and delete things.
You should create a second non-admin account for regular use. That way, if anything tries to install itself on your laptop, it’ll ask for permission first.
It may be slightly inconvenient, but it’ll give you 100% control over everything that’s installed on your MacBook.
Use These MacBook Cybersecurity Tips for a Safer Time Online
With these great Macbook cybersecurity tips, you’ll be able to better protect yourself against sinister criminals who want to infect your Mac computer.
Make sure to always keep everything up-to-date, stay on reputable websites, and don’t download any email attachments unless absolutely necessary! By taking the proper precautions with these Apple cybersecurity tips, you’ll leave fewer opportunities for cybercriminals to strike.
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