Online threats like malware and ransomware attacks against Apple devices especially MacBook are surging and require attention like never before.
Cybersecurity is a growing concern in 2022 for everyone – including those using Linux and Apple since these two platforms are considered secure as compared to others. Espicially when it comes to Apple devices, conventional wisdom still has it that MacBooks and iPhones are less vulnerable to cyber attacks than devices running Android or Windows.
That’s not necessarily true. In fact, in recent years, MacBooks were targeted twice as frequently. That’s why it’s crucial for Apple users to stay as vigilant as those on other operating system (OS). If you want to step up your cybersecurity, here’s how to perform a review of your devices to stay safe and frustrate crooks trying to steal your data.
Keeping your OS and Apps Up-to-Date
First, check if there are any updates available for your operating systems or Apps. Let’s be honest: Installing updates is nobody’s favorite activity as it takes alot of our time. Often, at the worst of moments.
But updates typically include essential security patches therefre it is vital that your computer and smartphone are up to date.
In many cases, cyber criminals don’t bother to find new vulnerabilities to get at your data. Instead, they exploit known or old weaknesses, for which development teams have already issue fixes. Whether users have bothered to install these updates is a different question.
Fortunately, remedying these vulnerabilities is fairly easy. Set aside half an hour every week to check for updates and install them. That way, you can easily keep up with any necessary patches and benefit from developers’ hard work.
Set Up Automatic Backups
Next, prepare for the worst by making sure that automatic backups are enabled. If you do fall victim to a cyberattack such as a ransomware attack, having backups is invaluable.
Ransomware shuts down your devices and makes your data unreadable until you transfer a payment to the cybercriminals who targeted you. Having data backups someplace else gives you much greater leeway to find another way out of the situation.
Setting up backups on Apple devices is relatively easy. You can either enable iCloud backups or set up a Time Machine on an external hard drive.
Vet Your Passwords and PIN Codes
As a next step, review your passwords and PIN codes, both for your devices and accounts. This piece of advice is high up on any list of fraud prevention tips.
Yet a lack of password hygiene is one of the most frequent causes of cyber breaches. Even high-profile hacks such as the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack can be traced back to weak passwords and a lack of two-factor authentication (2FA).
This is hardly surprising. Most of us know the danger of using simplistic passwords, or re-using passwords and PINs across multiple devices and accounts.
Nonetheless, some of the most frequent passwords in 2021 were still cringe-worthily simple. (Think “123456”, “qwerty” and “password”.) Plus, 56% of people freely admit to reusing passwords, despite knowing the risks.
To brush up your security, perform a password review. Make sure to set a complex PIN code for your iPhone and iPad, and choose a complex password for your MacBook.
Then, go through the passwords of your accounts and check that they are sufficiently difficult to crack, that they weren’t involved in any data breaches, and that you don’t reuse them across accounts.
If you use Safari as your default browser, you have a head start. Access the Passwords tab in the Preferences. All the passwords that are too weak, compromised, or reused will be flagged with a little warning sign next to them. This way, you’ll know exactly which ones you need to change.
Activate FileVault Encryption
Another step towards cyber-securing your Apple devices is to activate FileVault encryption. This is Apple’s inbuilt encryption capability for your hard disk. It uses XTS-AES-128 encryption with a 256-bit key.
This way, even if someone gains access to your machine, they won’t be able to access your files. Plus, FileVault is quick and easy to set up. Apple provides an in-depth, step-by-step guide to help users set all the right configurations.
Invest in Cybersecurity Software and Run Scans Regularly
Finally, make sure that you have quality cybersecurity software (antivirus installed on all of your devices and that you regularly run scans.
Most providers of cybersecurity platforms offer plans that include multiple devices and a wide array of features, from VPNs and antivirus to identity theft protection services.
You should also consider investing in premium plans for cybersecurity tools. Free tiers offer a certain number of features, but they are often limited and need to be deployed manually.
Premium tiers, on the other hand, allow you to stay up to the latest developments and schedule automatic scans. That way, you can stay secure without having to take action apart from looking at periodically generated reports.
It takes some time and effort but maintaining the security of your device is crucial. By following the aforementioned steps and reviewing your devices’ security, you can make sure to ward off ever increasing cyber threats.