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6 Guides to Boost Your Mac Security

Robby Fester,

Being more secure than most of its competitors, Mac still has gaps in the security. Recently, Mac user base has greatly expanded, which is a temptation for cyber hackers. So, for a high level of your Mac’s security, we would like to offer you a few measures.

1. Backing up data with Time Machine

Time Machine is an app dedicated to back up your system. It is distributed exclusively with Mac OS. Time Machine generates backup files for the whole system saving them on external hard drive, so the user can restore them later. The app produces hourly backups for the recent 24 hours, as well as daily backups for the recent month, and weekly backups for older data. If the system becomes short of space, the oldest weekly backups are automatically removed and the free space on the disk increases. The program supports a few configurations including a hard drive connected to the computer, drive shared by an AirPort Time Capsule (wireless router sold by Apple), or local network volumes that use the Apple Filing Protocol.

2. Disabling Java and Flash plugins

Careless use of Java plugins bears some danger to your comp’s security, as they do not usually perform any security checks before running a content, which may create a chink to malware attacking the system. So, some security experts suggest to disable both Java and plugins. Such an advice is especially wise, as today most sites have shifted to HTML5 so you almost never need Java to browse the internet. How to disable them? On your Mac system, you go to Applications folder, select General tab, and then just uncheck all the Java boxes. After that, you need to disable Flash. For this to be done, use your Chrome or Firefox to configure the settings.

3. Using firewalls

Similarly to other systems, OS X is equipped with an in-built firewall that provides some protection from malware and makes it possible for applications to create external connections without any restrictions. Your system’s security would benefit from the Little Snitch, which is a strong firewall for Mac systems that allows a reliable control over the connections between the internet and the system. The firewall’s Version 3 contains the Automatic Profile Switching feature that can assist the user in applying different rules depending on the network. Little Snitch performs a number of functions and informs the user when an application tries to establish an external connection. A quick action whenever you get such a notification may save your data from being stolen, because in such cases there is a probability that the program tries to transfer your personal data. The Little Snitch handles various interphases, like AirPort, PPP, as well as network cards. In addition, it is capable of blocking unreliable IP addresses.

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4. Activating Keychain

If you use the same password for multiple accounts, it may create a hole for the hackers to steal your valuable personal and/or business data. To prevent this, you may use different passwords when entering different accounts. Certainly, many passwords are sometimes difficult to remember. For this purpose, you have the Keychain,  in your disposal which is OS X’s password manager. Keychain will assist you not only with keywords, but also with certificates and other valuable data. The password manager safely stores such info in its memory. To use Keychain, you need to set it up on your Mac. For this to be done, you have to choose iCloud pane located under your system preferences. Then you select Keychain checkbox and enter your Apple ID and password. You will be directed to compose an iCloud security code, after that you are required to insert your phone number and then just wait for the SMS with the confirmation.

5. Disabling automatic login

Automatic login is certainly a boon, as you do not need to enter your password every time you wish to log in. At the same time, it is a suitable gap for those evil characters who desire to access your Mac system without your consent. In such an environment, you’d better print a couple of symbols to feel on the safe side. In order to turn off automatic login, head to System Preferences and choose Users and Groups. Then select the lock icon (left hand corner) and insert the admin password. Now, select Login options, and click the ‘off’ on the drop down.

6. Using File Vault to encrypt files

The tool called File Vault introduced by Apple in 2003 represents an on-the-file encryption scheme designed to protect the user’s info. File Vault allows you to encrypt files in the user account. To decrypt the files, you have to enter your account password or use the recovery key. Prior to switching on File Vault, do not forget to back up your info. To turn on the File Vault on your Mac, head to System Preferences and choose Security and Privacy tab, then locate File Vault. Now, enter your password to enable File Vault.

Conclusion

These simple hints are sure to assist you in boosting your Mac system’s security. Also, you should perform security checks on a regular basis to reveal and remove any existing or potential risks.