If you have been using a MacBook for a while, you should have heard stories about how Macs are not prone to cybersecurity threats and that there is no need to worry yourself about the issue.
Well, macOS users may have fewer issues when it comes to computer viruses, but it does not mean that you should discard the possibility of attracting potential threats. If anything, MacBook owners who neglect to take proper care of their computers are more likely to become attacker targets.
As a rule of thumb, you should follow three important elements when developing a cybersecurity strategy for your computer. Taking care of these should be enough to prevent potential threats that pose a danger to the MacBook.
Malware and Virus Prevention
Given the variety of computer malware and viruses, reliable antivirus software should be your main priority. Sure, some would argue that a default antivirus tool is enough. XProtect, which is part of the “File Quarantine” on a Mac, is a feature that one can consider antivirus software.
However, like already mentioned, there are different kinds of cybersecurity threats. Some cause the computer to slow down; others wipe important data or become a reason why your Mac suddenly runs out of drive space, and you need to look for a source to help free up the computer’s storage. The default antivirus might not be enough for the safety you desire.
As far as choosing antivirus software goes, you have a plethora of options which is not necessarily a good thing. It can take a while to find the software that fits your needs. Nevertheless, you should still spend time researching online reviews. Or, if you know someone who can help you pick reliable antivirus software, then ask them for a piece of advice.
Make sure that the antivirus runs in the MacBook’s system background while the computer is turned on. If the software detects potential threats, take a closer look at them and if any of the files end up corrupted, do not hesitate and rid your Mac of these files.
Besides antivirus, you should also enable the Firewall. The feature is disabled by default. You can make the adjustment by going to the Security and Privacy tab in the System Preferences. There, you will see the Firewall tab and can enable the feature. Doing so will let you block unwanted incoming connections and further boost the overall computer security.
Proper Online Habits
Picking proper antivirus software and enabling the Firewall are good ways to set yourself up for success when fighting MacBook cybersecurity threats. Nevertheless, the focus should still be on how you use the internet.
There is a chance that you may encounter malware by transferring files from a flash drive that someone gave you, but the odds of that are relatively small. Besides, many people use digital services like clouds to transfer files or send them via email.
For starters, avoid shady links. Stuff like torrent websites should also be a no, given how unreliable those platforms are. You cannot know what you will get after downloading a file.
If an URL seems suspicious, ignore it even if you received it from someone you know and trust. You do not need to risk it.
Certain websites have aggressive ad policies. Clicking on a random ad may redirect you to a landing page that is crawling with malware. It is possible to eliminate the problem by installing an ad blocker. Sometimes, being aware of these ads is not enough because you could click on one accidentally.
Virtual private networks are also worth a shout. Not only do they offer online anonymity, but you can also encrypt your data while surfing the net. VPNs make it difficult to trace your browsing history and access other personal information.
The services are particularly useful when you have to connect to public Wi-Fi, which usually lacks security protocols. The internet at cafes, hotels, libraries, and other public places are not that safe, and it is recommended to connect via a VPN.
Lastly, passwords. Do not get in the habit of using the same password for every online account you have. Besides, instead of using simple combinations, take advantage of an online generator that can create complicated passwords which will be easier to crack.
Physical Access Control
Physical access control may not seem like that much of an issue if you are the only person using the MacBook and if you keep the laptop at home. However, if that is not the case, you should make certain adjustments to reduce the odds of someone causing you trouble.
You can and should trust other people, but there is no shame in giving yourself some peace of mind. After all, you rely on a MacBook for work and entertainment. A virus or malware that hinders the MacBook’s performance or exposes personal data is a possibility.
Instead of giving others full access, create a non-admin account that blocks certain features. Moreover, disable the auto-login feature as well.