11 easy tips to secure your Mac against hackers

Today, it is still true that Mac has less malware problem than its counterparts Windows and Android. But, it does not mean that Mac is immune to hackers, or that Mac users should take its security lightly. In 2013 Reuters reported that some Mac operating systems of Apple employees were infected with malware. So, case in point here is that your Mac operating systems are in dire need of security than you think.

One year in Mac OS X history

In July 2016, NBC News channel reported news that “One photo could hack your Apple device,” which fortunately Apple found and patched through updating its software.

In Aug 2016, reported at HackRead, Apple issued an update v9.3.5 for its iPhone to patch three zero-day vulnerabilities that hackers could use to gain remote access to your device for surveillance.

“On 1st September 2016, the Citizen Lab updated its report to identify same vulnerability, dubbed as “Trident,” exist in Mac operating system as well. They also advised Mac users to update their OS X software.”

Follow these easy steps to give your Mac strong security and hard to penetrable:

Create standard user account

A standard user account is a non-admin account of Mac. It is recommended to use a standard user account for everyday activities and the administrator user accounts for system configuration. The benefit of this is that whenever an unauthorized app tries to install on your system it will ask for administrative privileges and you can identify whether the app is untrustworthy.

Disable Automatic user login

By default, Mac is setup to automatically login in your user account. This is a potential problem when you are connected to a public Wi-Fi or traveling. You can change this in your OS X, to do this:

  1. Click on “Apple” button
  2. Click “System Preferences.”
  3. Choose “User & Groups” tab.
  4. Click the Lock button below, enter your administrator password.
  5. Click on “Login Options” tab
  6. Choose “Off” from pop-up window after you click “Automatic Login”
  7. Choose “Name and Password” from the pop-up window after clicking “Display login window as.”

Turn off Java and auto download in Safari browser

The attack discussed earlier exploited a vulnerability in Java, which Apple fixed but until it was late. It is advised to remove Java, but if it is a necessity then turn Java off if you are not using it. To disable auto download in Safari browser:

  1. Go to the settings of your safari browser
  2. Uncheck “Open safe files after downloading” in General tab.

Remove standalone Flash Player

Flash player is a pain, it keeps on updating and patching vulnerabilities found. If you don’t need flash player standalone app remove it from the Mac system. To manually remove Flash Player follow this official guide of Adobe.

Disable Remote Login

Apple has the option to allow other devices to remotely access your Mac. It is a good option if you traveling and would want to access your device. But, it is also a backdoor for hackers to access your device remotely. To disable this option go to:

  1. Click on “Apple” button.
  2. Select “System Preferences” to access the option.
  3. Choose on “Sharing” option.
  4. Remove check from “Remote Login.”

Set GateKeeper to prevent digitally unsigned apps

GateKeeper is a malware check app which protects your Mac from malware and misbehaving apps downloaded from the internet. Set your GateKeeper to alert you when you download any digitally unsigned app, or if the file is not from Apple store. It adds an extra layer of protection to you Mac.

Install Mac Anti-Virus software

Download an antivirus, which is now mostly free these days, which keeps your system in constant check.

Update your Mac OS X regularly

HighSpeed Internet conducted a survey and revealed that “82.5% of the people initially ignored prompts for system updates, and majority people confessed delaying the updates.”

Apple keeps on updating its OS X software regularly. It is recommended to update your Mac immediately as it receives the update from Apple. To do this:

  1. Click on “Apple” button.
  2. Select “System Preferences” to access the option.
  3. Choose “Software Update” option.
  4. Select “Check for update” option.
  5. Choose frequency to daily (or set manual frequency).

Install a Tracker app

Install some tracker app as an insurance measure on your Mac and smartphone to secure your data. In case your Mac or smartphone gets stolen, you can delete your personal data remotely from either of the devices.

Use a VPN software

To ensure your network security and online privacy use some best VPN for Mac systems to ensure Mac encryption, online security and access to blocked contents.

Use Two built-in firewalls

Mac has two strong built-in firewalls in its system. These are IPFW Packet-Filtering Firewall and Application Firewall.

Application firewall prevents sets limit on program incoming connection from other computer networks. Setup Application firewall through Apple’s guide.

IPFW Packet-Filtering is an advanced level firewall which requires editing in the host file, which is hard for casual users to follow. You can keep it to default settings, or follow this guide by the University of North Carolina.

Conclusion

These are some easy tips, certainly not all, to give solid security to your Mac system against hackers. The main point to focus here on is to keep on updating your Mac and keen observation before opening and installing program or web-site.

About Author:

Rebecca James is Editor in Chief at Most Secure VPN. She has worked with diversified online businesses to help grow and voice their presence on Social Media. Rebecca is passionate about online security and privacy, blogging and living life in outskirts. You can reach Rebecca on Twitter (@Rebecca_Jeames) or directly at mostsecurevpn.com

Rebecca James

Rebecca James is Editor in Chief at Most Secure VPN. She has worked with diversified online businesses to help grow and voice their presence on Social Media. Rebecca is passionate about online security and privacy, blogging and living life in outskirts.