How to Keep Your Mac Secure

Everyone wants to keep there Mac safe from harm, whether it be from a physical or cyber attack.

Here are a few of different things you can do to help you prevent or avoid “attacks”.

Use FileVault 2

File Vault 2 is used to encrypt your Mac’s  hard drive,  enabling it unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have the correct encryption key, a sort of software passcode.

Don’t Use Admin Accounts

When I set up a new Mac it is that the first account which is always the administrators account. This poses a security risk, since you have permission to delete and change things you normally wouldn’t have access to.

To stop this from happening you have to create a second account as a standard User.

You can do this in System Preferences > Users & Groups.

In your new account make sure you don’t have this option “Allow User To Administer This Computer” checked.

Disable Automatic Login

If your machine is stolen and you have Auto Log In enabled, the person now in possession of it  will be able to log in and immediately access all your data – which is the last thing you want to happen!

To disable automatic login:

  • go to System Preferences > Users & Groups
  • under Login Options in the sidebar,
  • make sure the “Automatic Login” drop down list says “Off”.

Following these steps will disable automatic login.

This means you will have to enter a password to login which will increase your security.

You can also increase the security further by changing the log in window from a List of Users to User Name and Password, now, if your machine does fall into the wrong hands, they will have to guess the username and password too.

Long and Strong Passwords

Adding extra letters and/or numbers to your passwords will increase the difficulty of guessing the correct password which will increase your security.  Make sure that the password is just long and memorable enough for you to remember, let’s be honest, if you make it too hard to remember you’re only going to right it down on a post it note, and stick it on the machine!

Use Up-To-Date Software

Old software can have bugs and holes in them which are fixed via patches in updated versions.

I recommend you use the software update at least every week if not every couple of days, to make sure you have the latest software. Things are not as easy to update if they not Apple Apps, or purchased from the Apple Store, but you can use third party apps to keep track of this like AppFresh.

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