Table of Contents
- Turn ON System Integrity Protection
- Monitor which applications use your location, webcam, and more
- Enable the Firewall
- Install Reliable Antivirus Software
- Use Virtual Private Networks
- Avoid Oversharing on Social Media
- Change Your Passwords Regularly
- Back up Computer Data
- Prioritize System Updates
- Secure Internet Browser
Overall, Macbooks are quite reliable as far as cybersecurity goes. You are less likely to deal with potential malware and viruses on a Mac instead of another computer.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that you can simply neglect potential threats and not worry about the Macbook’s security.
No, even if Macs are reliable, you should still have a proper cybersecurity strategy. If you are uncertain where to begin, the suggestions below should come in handy.
Turn ON System Integrity Protection
The first and foremost thing is to ensure that System Integrity Protection (SIP) is turned ON. By default, this setting is ON and it prevents the execution of unauthorized apps. This means that you won’t be able to download and install any unsigned applications that you see outside of the AppStore. You will have to turn OFF the setting manually before installing such applications.
To check whether you have SIP ON, launch terminal from Launchpad or Spotlight and type in the following command.
If it’s ON you’ll see “System Integrity Protection status: enabled”. To manually enable/disable SIP, check Apple’s official documentation.
Monitor which applications use your location, webcam, and more
The second best thing to do is actively monitor what applications control your system and how they utilise your system resources like webcam, mic, etc. You can check these by launching System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy.
If you find any suspicious applications in the list, make sure to find out what exactly is it and remove if necessary.
Enable the Firewall
Enabling the firewall will also introduce an extra layer of security. It should be disabled by default, so check the security settings on the Macbook. And even if it takes some of the system resources, having the firewall enabled is worth it in the long run.
The firewall will prevent potentially dangerous requests that may be coming from unwanted sources, like applications. You could also take a different approach and remove apps that are posing threat to the system. Click here to find out how to remove unwanted Macbook applications.
To turn ON Firewall, open System Preferences and navigate to Security & Privacy > Firewall. Click the lock icon to make changes and click Turn On Firewall.
Install Reliable Antivirus Software
It’s true that Macs don’t get infected with viruses and malwares quite as easily as in Windows; thanks to features like System Integrity Protection. But you can’t rule out the possibility completely so it’s good to to have a reliable antivirus installed on your mac.
Finding reliable antivirus software should not be that difficult. Sophos is a great choice for Mac users.
The important thing is to have antivirus software running in the background all the time. This way, it can eliminate threats after detecting them right away. Keep in mind that a proper cybersecurity strategy should revolve around reliable antivirus software.
Use Virtual Private Networks
Virtual private networks cost only a few dollars per month. For such a price, you can improve your Macbook security, access geo-restricted content, and benefit from online anonymity.
A VPN is like a tunnel that changes your original location but still allows you to access content on the internet.
For the most part, your internet connection at home should be fine. It is public networks you may use that pose potential problems.
Public Wi-Fi at cafes, hotels, or libraries is not secure, even if you need a password to access it. The network lacks security protocols, and joining it without taking security measures will expose your computer.
VPNs hide your tracks even if you use the public internet. In case somebody is waiting for an opportunity to jump at you and expose personal information or do other harm, they will have a much harder time if you use a virtual private network.
Avoid Oversharing on Social Media
It is easy to spend too much time on social media. Addiction to platforms like Facebook and Instagram are quite common, particularly among younger people. You might be wondering how this jeopardize your computer security, well, the answer to it is human error. Social media websites are a magnet to phishing attacks and scams, so make sure to share your personal details only when you are confident. Avoid personal details that could potentially expose you.
Ideally, you should limit your time on social media in general. However, if you struggle with that already, the least you can do is to act smart about what you share.
Change Your Passwords Regularly
Be smarter about the passwords you use. Instead of the same password for every online account, create separate combinations. Imagine what would happen if someone finds out your password on some random forum. If you use the same password for your social media and emails, they could access those accounts.
In addition, you should also stick to more complicated password combinations instead of a random word and a few numbers at the end. Take advantage of password generators online if you struggle with creativity.
Back up Computer Data
Backing up computer data is not a direct way to fight against malware and other threats, but you should do it regardless.
It is difficult to predict when something might happen to the Macbook. It could be a hardware problem, not something related to viruses. And if the said problem wipes your data, restoring lost files could be something out of your reach.
Use a Time Machine and an external hard drive or another storage device. Create backups and sync the files regularly so that the information is up to date.
Prioritize System Updates
Some Mac users are reluctant to update the OS right away because it takes too long to download and install a new version.
However, this reluctance puts the computer at risk. Missing operating system updates means missing potential security patches. There could be a new virus or malware threatening the macOS, and the OS developers have released a hotfix to prevent the threat.
Secure Internet Browser
The internet is full of potential threats which is why you should secure your browser as much as you can. Scanning your computer for spyware and malware is also a good thing to do especially if you’re a careless internet user. For starters, install an ad blocker extension so that you do not click on ads accidentally. A random advertisement could redirect you to a landing page that is crawling with malware.
Besides ad blockers, you should also keep the browser up to date. Also, avoid suspicious links even if you receive them from someone you know and trust. There is no need to take a risk by clicking on a shady URL but if you’re desperate to open it, at least check the link before you click on it.