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Apple makes quality devices that anyone can rely on, from students to industry professionals. That might explain why Apple saw a 70% increase in Mac-related revenue this past fiscal quarter. And while it’s impossible to predict whether revenue will only increase further, it’s clear that Macs and MacBooks are a staple of the technology world.
For those of you who own a Mac, how often do you go out of your way to secure it? Hopefully, your answer is “often.” Mac users do face different security risks, from phishing scams to viruses to theft, so it’s important that you do everything you can to keep your computer secure.
If you’re unsure of how you can keep your Mac safe, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s quickly go over eight ways you can protect your Mac!
8 Security Tips for Mac Users
1. Use a Password Manager
Passwords act as the first—and sometimes last—line of defense for your accounts. Compromised passwords endanger your accounts and the data within them, and using weak passwords only makes it easier for hackers to worm their way into your accounts.
If you want to secure your accounts, you can start by using a password manager, a program that offers a secure way of storing your passwords. Password managers also often come with password generators that you can use to create strong passwords that will stump the majority of hackers.
2. Download an Authenticator App
A strong password is not enough to protect your accounts, not anymore. If you want to ensure total account security, you’ll want to download an authenticator app and enable two-factor authentication on all of your accounts.
What two-factor authentication does is add a second verification step in the form of a one-time passcode. Only users with access to the two-factor authentication app you’ve set up will be able to access your accounts; it makes it much more difficult for others to access your accounts.
3. Install a VPN
No laptop is safe from the dangers of public networks. It’s no secret that public networks lack the security needed to protect users from cybercriminals who’ve set up shop on that network. It’s extremely easy to steal someone’s data on a public network, which is why anyone with a MacBook should install a virtual private network (VPN) as soon as possible.
A VPN for Mac users encrypts the data their device sends out, meaning that cybercriminals will have a difficult time getting their hands on your data, even when on a public network.
4. Turn Off Automatic Login
Automatic login makes the Mac experience just a little more convenient, but the security risks involved outweigh the convenience. The main fear is someone stealing your Mac and having easy access to it thanks to not needing to login since automatic login does it for them.
There’s an easy solution to this: disable automatic login. Yes, disabling it means spending a few extra seconds manually logging in yourself, but it’s very much worth doing.
5. Enable FileVault
Those who use their Macs for work and store sensitive information on them (blueprints, contracts, customer data, etc.) will want to take every step possible to ensure that data remains safe. The best way to do that is by enabling FileVault, Apple’s data encryption solution.
With FileVault enabled, the data stored on the Mac’s internal hard drive is encrypted. The only way to decrypt the data is via the Recovery Key, which only the user has. Due to its significance, users who enable FileVault should store their Recovery Key in a safe place.
6. Be Wary of Phishing Scams
Phishing scams haunt every platform, from MacBooks to Windows laptops. But what are they, and how do they affect you?
Phishing scams are scams that focus on manipulation and social engineering to trick users into giving away important data, such as credit card information, social security numbers, and vice versa. Despite their common appearances in people’s spam emails, a large portion of people still fall for them. To avoid falling victim to these scams, vet every email you receive, don’t click any pop ups claiming you’ve won something, and never fill out an online survey that’s not from a trusted source.
7. Only Download Trusted Apps
Apple is known for its harsh vetting of apps when it comes to its App Store, but malicious apps can still slip through the cracks, and there’s no telling how much damage these apps can do to your device.
Never download an app that you don’t trust. Vet the app yourself. Look at user reviews to see what people are saying about the app. And, most importantly, do not download a random app from a sketchy website.
8. Enable “Find My Mac”
The feeling of losing a laptop can only be described as terrible. That goes double for when you lose your Mac. If you ever lose your Mac or have it stolen right from under you, you’ll want to have “Find My Mac” enabled.
Find My Mac does exactly what it sounds like: locating your Mac using Apple’s location services. Find My Mac also allows you to remotely wipe the data off your Mac in case getting it back is impossible.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hates Macs. They’re fantastic devices, if not a bit expensive. If you have a Mac, however, you’ll want to ensure that it’s secured, and these eight tips will help you do just that.