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Mac computers are indeed user-friendly and secure. But it doesn’t mean that you should take the security they provide for granted. There are certain things you need to check on your Mac PC to ensure optimal protection at all times. Some of these include:
1. Check If The Firewall is Enabled
A firewall will help you keep those unwanted network connections at bay. One would think that a Mac PC would have it turned on by default, but it turns out it is not the case. Once you do turn it on, it’s important to note that a firewall, by itself, will only protect you from unwanted network traffic, but not necessarily malware as well.
2. Set The Content Sharing Settings
Did you know that your Mac PC can share files with other Macs? It makes it easier to collaborate on certain projects or distribute family photos. But it can also become a cybersecurity vulnerability. If you’re sure that you’re not going to need content sharing, disabling it is the best course of action.
3. Apply a Strong Firmware Password
Your Mac’s firmware is one of the most important things to keep safe from being tampered with. After all, it’s the part of code that’s invoked first when you boot it. To prevent someone from accessing your device with a custom boot launcher USB, it’s a good idea to set a strong firmware password.
4. Enable the Guest User
Enabling the guest user may not seem like a good idea at first glance, but it’s what you should do. The reason is that Find my Mac service relies on it being enabled. Many cybersecurity tips leave out the importance of protecting your device from physical threats. Device loss or theft can cause as much damage as other cyber threats, sometimes even more. But thanks to the service mentioned above, tracking your computer down becomes a breeze, even in such unfortunate events.
5. Run an Antivirus Scan
Mac OS threats are nowhere near as common as those that target Microsoft Windows. But antivirus is still something to keep in mind if you want to remain safe. Have you noticed Xprotect running on your system? That’s the default antivirus scanner for Mac PC. Of course, you’re free to install another one if you so choose. There are dozens of options available, including both free and premium antivirus scans.
6. Enable Two-Step Authentication
Two-step authentication is an extra layer of security that goes beyond having to rely on your password. Even if hackers manage to get their hands on it, it would still shield you from unauthorized access attempts. A hacker cannot access the apps or SMS messages on your smartphone that hold the confirmation code. So you should enable 2FA whenever possible. You can also download an app to have it on accounts that don’t feature 2FA by default.
7. Check the App Permissions
Some apps need extra permissions to allow you the functionality you’re used to. One such example would be the location services that enable the apps to read your physical location. Of course, there are other examples as well. Photo viewing apps request to access your photos library, for instance. These may seem innocent, and most of the time, they are. Review every permission you’ve given to make sure that every app checks out.
8. Make Sure Your Safari Settings are Airtight
Finally, check the settings in your Safari browser. That’s where you can opt against giving the ability for other websites to track you, to name one thing. Moreover, you can clear cache and cookies, which is a good thing to do every so often, performance-wise. In case you’ve decided to store any passwords in your browser, it’s also the place where you can reverse that decision.
Is That All?
Not quite. There are other things you can do to improve the security of your Mac PC even further. For instance, you should encrypt your sensitive files so no one will be able to see what’s inside without knowing the proper key. It can protect them from being exposed by a file-stealing malware or save you from paying a ransom. You should also use a VPN for Mac (https://nordvpn.com/download/mac/) if you’re about to connect to a public Wi-Fi network. It will ensure that no one will be able to eavesdrop on your conversations or intercept anything that you’re transferring online.
Cybersecurity for Macs is a topic that’s complex and wide, but these essential tips should help you configure your device for maximum safety. Now it’s on you to apply what you’ve learned.