Mac Security And Privacy
People scare if other people are taking their personal information or breach their privacy. But fewer people are taking action to keep their information safe until they become the victim. This post will be going over tips that you can do to secure your Mac security and privacy.
Keep in mind; I will be listing all the recommendations down below in the notes and any critical information. I will give ten tips specific for Mac users to protect their data.
#Tip Number One
The first tip is you’re going to review your password settings. Please keep in mind that a strong, secure password consists of at least 16 characters with a combination of upper and lowercase, letters numbers, and symbols.
If you are not meeting all of those requirements, your password is not safe. So the easiest thing to do is come up with a random phrase, add some capital letters to it, some numbers and symbols, and you’re good to go.
First, what you’ll want to do is come up to the top left corner and click on the Apple icon. Then, go down to System Preferences and click on it.
Then, you will want to look for security and privacy, click on it, and then what you’ll want to do is click on the general option.
Besides, make sure that the required password option is checked, and you can set the time limit any higher than 15 minutes. That way, if you do walk away from your computer, it will lock itself and keep it secure.
Please keep in mind that if you need to make any changes, you will need to click on the padlock icon to unlock it, and then after you make the change, you’ll click on this lock again to lock it and save it.
Then, you will want to review the app settings (Red Circle). Depending on what operating system you’re on, some of you may have a third option here; most of you will have two.
You want to make sure that you choose the option that says ‘App Store and identified developers’ because that will help reduce the risk that you’ll install a bad or infected program or application on your Mac computer.
Most of you should have this setting. If you have a history of infecting your computer or installing bad programs, I would recommend going with this top option, Which is ‘App Store,’ but that will reduce and restrict what applications you can install on your Mac computer.
Next, you’ll need to go to the top and click on FileVault (still in security and privacy interface).
If the FileVault is not turned on again, click on the padlock, will be an option to turn it on, and then you’ll need to click on the padlock again to save that change.
This is an option where you can encrypt the entire drive on your Mac computer. It’s handy, convenient, and every single person with a Mac computer should be using this option.
Please keep in mind that this encryption is only as good as your password that we just previously talked about. So, if you have a weak password, it’s going to be easy to gain access to your encrypted drive.
Again, that is another reason you need a good password and make sure that it meets all of those requirements that I already talked about before. This is a handy feature because it will keep all of your information safe.
If your computer is stolen or lost, you won’t have to worry about someone gaining unauthorized access to your private information.
After that, click on the firewall and make sure that this is turned on.
What it does is prevents unauthorized incoming connections. When you are linked to the internet or network, a firewall will shield your Mac from unwanted interaction initiated by other computers.
However, for certain services and applications, your Mac can still allow access via the firewall. You can pick applications and apps for further control and choose if they can access the firewall.
Lastly, for tip number one, you need to click on privacy. This will allow you to review all the privacy settings on your Mac computer.
So, I would recommend going through every category here on the left-hand column. Still, the biggest things that you’ll want to review are the location services, photos, and analytics for maximum privacy. I would make sure all of these are unchecked.
For photos, I would review if any applications are using your photos; it will list them, and you can manage which applications have access and which do not.
The same thing with location services you can review what applications are using your location. For maximum privacy, you can disable it by unchecking the ‘enable location services’ box at the top to make sure none of them are using your location.
#Tip Number Two
Tip number 2 what you’ll want to do is go to the top left corner and click on the Apple icon, but this time, go to the App Store and click on it.
When the App Store opens, come over here to the top right-hand side and click on updates and this is just going to review and make sure that your Mac computer is up to date.
If it is not, it will list any updates that are available for you to click on and download, and install. Please keep in mind that updates are significant because they not only include stability updates but they also include security updates.
So if your Mac computer is not up-to-date, it is not secure. They should be updated automatically, but you want to come here periodically to ensure that your Mac is up-to-date.
#Tip Number Three
Tip number three, you will also want to confirm that all of your web browsers are up-to-date. Please keep in mind that Safari will update when you do the updates through the App Store but Google Chrome and Firefox you need to check separately.
So to do that, when you open up Google Chrome up in the top right corner, you will notice these three little dots you can click on it to open up a menu. Then, you’ll go down to where it says help and then click on.
Now, if Google Chrome is up-to-date, you will get a checkmark like confirming already updated. But if it’s not up-to-date, it will automatically start the update for you, and then you’ll need to restart Google Chrome to finish that update.
Now to check Firefox, you’ll do the same thing you’ll open up Firefox, but this time, you’ll go up to the top left corner and click where it says Firefox.
Then, go down to where it says about Firefox and double-check to make sure Firefox is up-to-date.
Now both Google Chrome and Firefox should be updated automatically in the background, but you do want to do this periodically to confirm that both of them are up-to-date.
Why need to updated? Because the update will include security updates that will keep you safe while using the web and internet.
#Tip Number Four
The next tip, make sure that all of your web browsers are clean. This means you want to make sure there are no malicious add-ons extensions or plugins installed on any of your web browsers.
Extensions are fun and convenient, but they are terrible for privacy and security. So the best thing to do is remove all unnecessary extensions.
My recommendation is to leave it the extension that very important and you use every day. For example, it would be anything that has to do with a password keeper, password manager, or password vault.
All other extensions should be removed even if it’s from a legitimate company like Pinterest because any extension can be exploited and hijacked.
Also, these are a common way for malware to gain access to your computer.
Also, if there is an extension you absolutely cannot part ways with, I would recommend at least disabling it when it’s not in use.
To do this, first, you need to open up Safari, and then up in the top left corner, click where it says Safari and go down to preferences.
Then, after you click on preferences, make sure that you have the extensions tab selected, and in the left-hand column, it will list any extensions that you have on your Safari web browser.
To uninstall and remove an extension, you select it on the left-hand column and then click on uninstall to remove it.
To disable the extension, you need to uncheck that box to disable it. I would also strongly recommend leaving the box in the bottom left corner checked to update these extensions automatically.
For Google Chrome, open up Google Chrome, come up to the top right corner and click on the three little dots and go down to where it says more tools, and from there, click on extensions.
Just like Safari, it will list all the extensions that I have on Google Chrome. The same thing, I would recommend removing all extensions, with the only exception being anything that has to do with your passwords.
To update, you need to turn on Developer Mode. Once on, an update option will appear at the top. Developer Mode available top right corner once you enter the extension page.
For Firefox, go open up Firefox and then come up here to the top right corner. Click on the menu button and go down to where it says add-ons, and over here, on the left-hand column, click on the extensions option.
The first thing you need to do if you have an extension on your Firefox; click on the gear icon and click on check for updates. To confirm that everything’s up to date.
After you’ve confirmed everything is up to date, then, the same principle, I would strongly recommend removing all extensions, with the only exception being your password keeper or password manager or password vault or extension that very important that you use daily.
I would strongly recommend that you disable any extensions that you keep that are not currently being used.
#Tip Number Five
For tip number five, you will want to make sure that your Mac computer does have a good antivirus program. Yes, Macs can get infected, and anyone still saying that Macs do not need antivirus software is wrong and not correct.
So you absolutely do need an antivirus program for your Mac computer. I will list links to four free antivirus options that you can look into.
But please keep in mind that paid antivirus software generally does give you better protection, and so if you do have the money, I would recommend looking into the paid version.
Keep in mind that the paid versions do offer better protection against ransom ransomware and zero-day attacks, as well as additional features like protecting your webcam and other stuff depending on your software you pick.
But if you don’t have the money go with one of these free options; your Mac needs antivirus software to keep it secure.
Besides the antivirus I mention above, there is another best antivirus for your Mac computer that you can use—many features they provide to protect you.
#Tip Number Six
Tip number six, you need to scan your Mac computer with anti-malware software to pick up anything that your antivirus program may have missed.
But for me, if you use the antivirus’s paid version, the good one of the antivirus, I am sure they a good to protect your computer from malware.
Yes, there are free malware removal tools, but the paid version much better than the free version for protecting your computer.
If you don’t have the money, I will share the free version, but you can still upgrade for better service.
I do recommend at least once every three months that you run these three free anti-malware software programs.
#Tip Number Seven
I would strongly recommend that you start using a VPN, which is a virtual private network. For those of you who do not know what that is, basically, what it does is encrypts all of the data going to and from your computer over the Internet.
If you use public Wi-Fi, this is a must-have. It would be best that you never used public Wi-Fi without a VPN because your information or private information can be exposed to other people on that network.
It would be best if you always used a VPN on public Wi-Fi. Even at home, especially with the loss of net neutrality, I strongly recommend that you use a VPN just because it will better increase your Mac computer’s privacy and security.
Please keep in mind that free versions are going to be slower than paid versions.
The free version has limited usage or features such you can use for one device only or one day there is a limited time you can use. There is a lot of free VPN out there, but I give two for my list:
You can upgrade to the paid version, which gives you more features.
If you have the money, I would strongly recommend looking into a paid VPN because it would be faster and have more features, and so the paid ones that I recommend would either be the paid version:
#Tip Number Eight
The next important tip is you need to back up the data on your Mac computer. Just in case it’s ever lost, stolen, broken, and I do recommend using a cloud service just because it is off-site and automatically encrypted to keep it safe.
Using a thumb drive or external drive is good, but those are on-site and often not encrypted. I do again recommend using a cloud service to have those features. Now, as far as free online backup solutions, you do have some limited options with iCloud.
It is minimal, with only five gigabytes of free iCloud storage space. If you want more, you do have to pay for it. Additional options are Google Drive or Dropbox, this a famous cloud storage, but I will list another excellent cloud storage for you.
So if you have the money some paid options that I would recommend:
If you don’t have the money, you can use Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud. It’s better than nothing to backing up your information on the cloud to keep it safe if anything happens to your Mac computer.
#Tip Number Nine
It would be best to use a password keeper, password manager, or password vault for tip number nine. The reason why is because you need to use a different strong password for everything.
Trying to remember all of those passwords is pretty much impossible. So a password manager will do that for you. It will often fill in the password for you, so you don’t have to type it every time.
Some options that I would recommend:
I would recommend looking into the premium services because having it sync the passwords across all of your devices can be very handy.
If you don’t have the money, use the free version, either way, you absolutely need to be using a password manager to store all of your passwords because you have to use a different password for every service to stay safe.
#Tip Number Ten
The last tip is the simple thing to do. You will want to go through and remove any programs and apps that you do not use.
One of the most common ways for malware to get onto a Mac computer is through the applications or programs you install, especially if you install a bad application or program.
Done give you ten tips you can apply to secure your Mac security and privacy. Some easy to do, and some you need to use the software.
There is a free version of the software you can use, but I highly recommend grabbing the premium services because it gives you more features. Take action now and stay safe!