Getting a Mac is an awesome experience in itself! I understand the excitement of getting started with the Mac from the first day itself.
But as the digital world grows, so are the threats. So people are always looking for ways to make their Mac more secure.
So finally, I have decided to come up with this detailed guide on MacBook security. In this guide, I’ll take about How to secure your MacBook, what precautions you can take, what is the best antivirus for Mac & other stuff that will surely help protect your Mac.
So, without much adieu, let’s get going.
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How to protect your Mac against security threats?
Keep your Mac Updated
This is possibly the easiest & efficient way to secure your Mac. Hackers from around the globe constantly snoop around MacOS & other Mac software to steal personal data.
The older your OS version gets, the less secure it becomes. Hackers specifically target such older programs, as they are well aware of their weak spots.
So I highly recommend Mac users secure their Mac with an Updated OS regularly.
And to be frank, updating your Mac is not rocket science.
Follow these simple steps & you are good to go:
- Click on the Apple icon available on the top left of your screen
- From the dropdown menu, select “About This Mac”
- Finally, select “Software Update” & proceed with installation instruction
Similarly, you also need to update all your apps too. You can do it by following these simple steps:
- Open System Preferences & navigate to “App Store”
- Check the tick boxes of “Automatically check for updates” & “Install App updates”
I know this doesn’t feel much. But trust me, you can this single step can offer robust protection against multiple threats to your Mac.
Install Dependable Mac-antivirus
Macs are the favorite targets of Hackers, as they are generally used by high-end individuals. So it becomes crucial to know how to secure Mac from hackers.
Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. Hackers constantly target Macs using advanced malware. Your Mac will be facing online threats like phishing attacks, ransomware, Spyware, Keyloggers & much worse.
So it’s critical to have the best Anti-virus for Mac that can deal with such threats & offer redundant protection. We recommend choosing software that is specifically designed for Mac. An ideal Mac Anti-virus should have the following traits:
- Internet Security tool
- Spyware protection
- Malware Protection
- Ransomware protection
- Malware detection & removal tool
I like Intego & ESET as they are equipped with all the features mentioned above. You can also check out these top 10 Mac Antivirus software:
I have personally used McAfee and now moved to Bitdefender.
Bitdefender – A global leader in cybersecurity
Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac, iOS, Android & Windows is the perfect companion for your devices. With Bitdefender, you can rest easy knowing your devices are protected.
Create a regular account for daily tasks
When you log in for the first time on your Mac, the setup assistant will ask you to create an administrator account. This will be the primary account that you can use to make all the changes to your Mac.
This account will have across-the-board permissions to make any change. But this can be risky. If someone else is using your Mac & installs some malicious software or app, it can compromise your private data.
So I would recommend you create a separate secondary account to manage all your daily tasks. This secondary account will have limited permissions. You might have to enter your admin passwords a lot of times. But it’s worth the protection your secondary account offers.
Whenever someone tries to install any software, he/she will have to enter an admin credential. If it’s you, you’ll be reminded that the software you are about to install can harm your Mac’s security.
Alter your default Privacy & Security settings
Just like any other device, certain software & apps on Mac have access to your private data. This includes your password, location, calendar, contact, & diagnostic data.
This poses a serious security threat to your Mac. So I’ll recommend tweaking a few privacy settings to keep your data safe.
For e.g., Go to “Security & Privacy.” Navigate to the “Privacy” tab, as shown in the figure. Here you can see the list of all the apps that are accessing your private data.
If you are skeptical about any app, deselect the permission checkbox for that particular app.
You can also stop Apple from accessing your data. By doing so, your Mac will stop sending data to the Apple server automatically.
Use a secure Password Manager
There is nothing more important than setting a strong password for your Mac. It offers robust security, even if your laptop is stolen. But this is not enough. You need something that saves your passwords for different social media accounts, websites & apps securely.
That’s where iCloud Keychain comes into the picture. It’s Apple’s own password manager. It saves your private data with 256-bit Military-grade encryption. But the drawback here is its limitation.
iCloud Keychain works only on Safari.
So it’s better to use a secure Password Manager for Apple-like Dashlane. This super-efficient & secure password manager will take care of all your security woes.
- It creates complex & secure passwords.
- It saves your password securely.
- You won’t have to enter passwords while logging into different websites & apps.
- It warns you if your password is compromised during a data breach
- You can update all your passwords with a single click.
In short, Password Manager for Mac is vital to protect your data.
Activate 2-factor authentication
2-factor authentication, or simply 2FA, is an excellent step that will take your Mac’s security to the next level.
This is a simple process where instead of just your password, you’ll also have to enter a randomly generated pin received on your number to log in to your iCloud account.
This ensures that even if the hacker manages to crack your password, he/she won’t be able to guess the 2-FA pin. So it acts as an additional layer of security.
Setting up 2-FA is very easy on Mac.
If you are using older versions of macOS Mojave or older macOS X version:
- Go to System Preference
- Click on iCloud
- Open Account Detail
- Select Security
- Click on “set-up Two-Factor Authentication
If you are using macOS Catalina:
- Go to Security Preferences
- Apple ID
- Password & Security
- Set-up Two-Factor Authentication
Add your phone number & you are good to go!
Get two-way firewall protection.
Although Macs come with inbound firewall protection, it is not enough in the wake of rising security breaches. In such one way, firewall offers protection against a limited number of threats.
So instead, I’ll recommend using two-way firewall software that offers better protection. You can read more about two-way firewall protection here.
Securing your Mac is not rocket science. All you need is some tools, software & knowledge about basic security steps.
I hope these 7 steps to secure your Mac will help you protect your personal data. In case you are looking to boost your Mac’s performance with additional accessories, do check out our List of Best Macbook Pro Accessories.
Is it mandatory to set 2-FA for my Mac?
No, it’s not, but I highly recommend it. 2-factor authentication or 2-FA is an excellent way to ensure an added layer of security to your Mac.
Is there any alternative to iCloud Keychain?
Of course! There are a lot of options available online. Search “Password manager for Apple” & you’ll get a long list of tools available online.
Can a VPN offer some protection to my Mac?
Yes, using VPN, you can hide your exact location. You’ll be using the internet anonymously. This will prevent the hacker from tracing your system & attacking it. So VPN can surely offer better protection.