Trending September 2023 # How To Fully Secure Your Mac # Suggested October 2023 # Top 10 Popular |

Trending September 2023 # How To Fully Secure Your Mac # Suggested October 2023 # Top 10 Popular

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Macs are quite secure by default, but that doesn’t make them impenetrable. Use these tips to make sure you secure your Mac as much as necessary.

Tightening up security on your Mac is just one of the more than 10 ways you can improve your Mac experience with macOS Ventura.

1. Turn on FileVault

FileVault is a whole-disk encryption system. It wraps all of the contents of your disk in a layer of encryption. Even if attackers have access to your physical hard drive, they cannot decrypt the data without your password.

FileVault is turned on by default in all new Macs. But if you have an older Mac or used a Time Machine clone to copy your Mac’s files to your new machine, FileVault might not be turned on. You can adjust this under the “Privacy & Security” pane in the System Settings app.

Tip: Running an older version of macOS? These tips are just as effective no matter which version of macOS your are running. If you cannot wait to get your hands on the latest version of macOS, learn how to install the macOS beta on your Mac.

2. Choose a Complex Login Password

While this tip is most important for users who travel with laptops, it’s a useful tip for everyone. Using FileVault will not matter if your password is “password.” This setting is also found under the “Users & Groups” pane in System Settings. Simply select the “Change Password … ” button.

Of course, that password doesn’t do any good if you don’t use it. Make sure you set your computer to require the password as soon as it sleeps. You can find this option under the “Lock Screen” menu in the System Settings app. If you use a desktop Mac, get in the habit of manually sleeping your computer to ensure it’s always protected.

3. Use a Password Manager

These days, securing your personal data does not involve your Mac’s hard drive. Instead, your data lives in the cloud, social media accounts, and remote backups. Unless secured with a complex and unique password, that data is vulnerable to silent, remote extraction.

You can download a password manager like Dashlane or 1Password to get started right away. Use the password generation tools to replace duplicate or simple passwords with long and complex ones. Also, turn on two-factor authentication for any accounts that support it.

If you are not comfortable using a third-party password manager, you can always access iCloud Keychain via the “Passwords” pane in the System Settings app to manage security. Apple’s built-in password manager offers robust security tools, including end-to-end encryption, duplicate detection, data breach alerts, and passkeys. Passkeys allow you to authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID, removing the need to remember passwords.

Good to know: concerned about cross-platform compatibility when it comes to your password manager? Rest assured! You can use iCloud Keychain on Windows.

4. Employ Encryption

For highly confidential documents, you’ll want to encrypt them separately from your whole-disk encryption scheme. 1Password offers the option to upload up to 1GB of files, which are secured with the same method that protects your password. You can also use apps like Encrypto to easily encrypt your files before you send them.

Tip: you can configure quick access controls for your favorite apps and utilities by learning how to customize the Menu Bar in macOS.

5. Use Find My Mac to Wipe Remotely

This will also enable you to remotely wipe your Mac if it ends up in the wrong hands. Even if you can’t recover the device, you can make sure information doesn’t wind up in the wrong hands.

6. Ensure Your Firewall Is On and Enable Stealth Mode

By default, your Mac’s software firewall should be on. But just in case you’ve turned it off, take a look under the “Firewall” tab of the “Network” pane. You can also use third-party firewalls like Little Snitch that offer more complex protection.

You can enable additional protections by turning on stealth mode. This stone-cold preference name keeps your computer from responding to network probing applications like “ping.” Find the setting under the “Options …” button of the Firewall pane, down toward the bottom. To confirm this safeguard, select the “OK” button.

7. Turn Sharing Off Until You Need It

If you frequently use your Mac on a home network, you might have file sharing turned on. If you ever use your computer on a network you do not completely control, you need to turn that off.

It’s best to turn “Sharing” options on only when you need them. This includes File Sharing and Printer Sharing. It’s better to close up all potential ports when you’re on a public network than risk an unexpected intrusion.

8. Secure Your Network Activity

Your Mac isn’t just about its hardware. It’s also about the networks that your Mac connects to. Poorly secured routers can often be a vector for attack.

Image source: Unsplash

Make sure you’re using the most up-to-date firmware for your router and a secure and complex password. If you give your password to any guests, change the password as soon as they are done.

You can further secure your online activity with a VPN. This will encrypt your network traffic, preventing prying eyes from checking in.

9. Encrypt Your Backups

Any smart computer user will have a backup system. But if your backups aren’t as secure as your main drive, they represent a vulnerability. Make sure you encrypt your Time Machine backups under the Time Machine preference pane.

Image source: Apple

Also, make sure you encrypt any other backups you have, whether cloned disk or web-based backups.

Frequently Asked Questions How can I tell if my Mac’s security has been compromised?

If your Mac suddenly begins suffering from system freezes or apps become unresponsive, it may be because a malicious program is running in the background. Unexpectedly high CPU usage on your Mac could also indicate a virus. If you suspect that your Mac has been infected with a virus, it is a good idea to factory reset your Mac and restore it from a prior backup.

How can I locate malicious files and apps on my Mac?

You can discover how to enable the root user on Mac to gain read and write privileges to the entire file system. This allows you to peruse the files and databases on your Mac that are normally hidden. If you see something out of the ordinary, be sure to do a quick Google search before you delete it.

I see an app that I did not install in my Menu Bar. How do I remove it?

If you see an app that you do not remember installing in the Menu Bar, it could be a malicious application that violates your privacy by surveilling your activity in the background. You can learn how to customize the Menu Bar in macOS to quickly identify and delete these malicious applications.

Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Brahm Shank.

Brahm Shank

Self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur and tech enthusiast Brahm Shank is captivated by the impact of consumer tech: “It’s profoundly moving when people discover that the phone in their pocket or the tiny computer on their wrist has the power to enrich their lives in ways they never imagined.” Apple, Inc. and its unique position at the intersection of technology and the creative arts, resonates deeply with Brahm and his passion for helping people unleash their potential using technology. Over the years, Brahm has held various podcasts – including famed technologist David Pogue of The New York Times on topics such as Big Tech and digital wellness.

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