While Windows dominates the industry, it’s hard to deny the influence of the Mac devices. From sleek laptops to full-on PCs, Apple has a little something for everyone. And with an intuitive user interface, minimalistic design, and many features, it’s no wonder that Apple has become one of the most successful companies ever.
That said, not everything about Macs is perfect, and like most other operating systems, macOS has a long way to go when it comes to security. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can Secure Your Mac Devices.
5 Security Tips for Mac Users
1. Install a Password Manager
The first thing any Mac user should do is check over all of their passwords and make sure they are solid and unique. If there are repeats, change the passwords. If they’re not strong enough, change them.
That said, keeping track of all of your passwords can be tedious, annoying, and downright tricky. If you want to a) generate solid passwords and b) keep them organized in one place, you can use a password manager.
Password managers store your passwords in an encrypted “locker” that you can access at any time with a Master Password. They’re safe, secure, and easy-to-use, and most of them come with a free password generator you can use at any time.
2. Use a VPN
Technology has reached the point where almost every public space has a network that visitors can connect to. These have become the norm, and for some (like remote workers), these public networks are near-essential. So it’s a shame that public networks resemble a considerable threat to people’s cybersecurity.
See, public networks rarely require a password to access. This is because requiring a password would defeat the purpose of public networks: to allow visitors to access the Internet. However, public networks also often lack proper encryption, meaning that people using the web send data through a network without any encryption whatsoever.
If you find yourself using public networks more often than not, be sure to install a VPN on your Mac devices. With a VPN, a Virtual Private Network, your data will be encrypted even while on a public network.
3. Watch Out for Phishing Scams
In the early days of the Internet, people were eager to click on absolutely everything they could find. Unfortunately, this included emails sent by scammers posing as friends, family members, and even royalty figures.
These scams often asked victims to wire a certain amount of money—a figure usually somewhere in the thousands—and then the scammer would send money back. The scammer never ended up sending money back.
These types of scams are known as phishing scams. What separates phishing scams from your typical scams is that phishing scams rely on social engineering (read: manipulation) to extract information from the victim, usually personal and financial information.
Phishing scams are all too common, and many people fall for them every year. Look for the warning signs that indicate phishing scams and never click on any links sent to you by a random email.
4. Update macOS Often
While as intrusive as Windows updates, macOS updates can come off as pretty annoying. Apple will warn users about any updates they need, and while this is very helpful, there are a handful of users who would rather ignore these warnings than act on them.
Do not ignore these messages.
There is nothing more important when it comes to cybersecurity than installing software updates as soon as possible. These updates typically contain various security fixes, from minor security flaws to day zero vulnerabilities. Ignoring these messages means putting your Mac devices at risk of infections. In other words, always install software updates when given a chance.
5. Avoid Sketchy Apps
Apple products have one advantage over other platforms because Apple’s “walled garden” of approved apps and programs are typically safe. It’s not like an Android system, where an innocuous-looking app could be malware in disguise.
However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t stragglers that litter the App Store. According to iOS developer Kosta Eleftheriou, the App Store is littered with scam apps that have affected thousands of people over the years. Kosta has gone as far as to sue Apple over their inaction.
While the App Store is generally more secure than alternative digital storefronts, it’s not 100% secure. Malicious apps sneak their way in from time to time. Before you download anything onto your Mac devices, verify that the app is trusted, well-reviewed, and well-received.
Apple has paved its lane in the tech industry with its Mac line of products, and while Apple has taken user security seriously, users still need to take matters into their own hands at times. Downloading a VPN, learning about phishing scams, installing a password manager: these and the other tips will help you keep Secure Your Mac Devices.