On Mac computers, virus outbreaks are rare but not non-existent. And because it is so rare, Mac users are 2X disappointed when they become a victim of malware and theft compared to Windows users. Hence, don’t be lax when it comes to protecting your computer. Take the necessary steps to defend your Mac against malware and theft. Keep the following tips in mind:
Use a Unique, Strong Login Password
Setting up a good password is one of the first things you should do when setting up your Mac. You may think that this isn’t an important step if you are going to use your computer at home, but this is a layer of protection you must not ignore.
Without a password, anyone can have access to your computer and may go through your photos, email, etc. Although Mac computers have a number of security features to keep your data safe, others can gain access to your confidential information if they get past the login screen.
During setting up your Mac, you can select your password manager, and you can modify it later as well.
On macOS Ventura, navigate to the System Settings app > select Touch ID & Password > set up a password or change the existing password. If your Mac has Touch ID, you can enter multiple fingerprints and choose the one that will be used for Apple Pay and others.
On macOS Monterey, you have to go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General and then set up a password or change the existing one.
Lock the Important Folders
Use macOS and Disk Utility to password-protect the important folders on your Mac. How to lock a folder in Mac? Follow these simple steps:
- Ensure everything you want to protect is in a folder
- Open Disk Utility > select File from the menu bar
- Hover the mouse cursor over New Image > click Image from Folder
- Choose the folder you wish to protect
- Select the encryption level: 256-bit or 128-bit
- Type a strong password for your folder and name the folder if you want
- Under the Image Format option, choose Read/Write and click Save
Modify the Lock Screen Setting
Modifying the lock screen setting is essential because you want your Mac to automatically lock itself when there’s a period of inactivity. Otherwise, you will be away from your desk, and someone can snoop to check your files.
You can instruct your Mac to wait for fifteen minutes or an hour before it automatically locks itself. This setting can be adjusted according to your preferences. You can even set it to lock after five minutes of inactivity. With this setting activated, the display will be turned on, and you need to re-enter the password to access your Mac.
If running macOS Ventura, head to System Settings to modify the lock screen settings. And those running macOS Monterey can go to System Preferences.
Lock the Mail App
Did you know that your email is as much of a risk as Chrome or Safari? If it is not locked down, it can leak something important that might be devastating. You can protect yourself by stopping scammers from using tracking pixels hidden in pictures that let the scammers know you have opened their email. For this, you can switch on Mail protection on your Mac.
Go to the Mail application and click Settings > Privacy > select Protect Mail Activity. This is going to hide your IP address and privately load remote content. Senders won’t be able to see what you are doing.
You can also hover over email addresses and links in the message to see the URL. This will reveal to you whether the URL is genuine.
Use a VPN
An extra layer of protection can be added to your Mac by using a VPN. A VPN is a technology designed to encrypt data and route it to an endpoint operated by the folks running the VPN services. This keeps your data completely private, and you can browse the web anonymously.
iCloud Private Relay is Apple’s pseudo-VPN for users paying for iCloud+, and it encrypts all web traffic. However, it does not hide users’ regions and only works with Safari.
Hence, if you need a VPN to protect your information and privacy online, you can install a dedicated VPN. Some popular options are NordVPN, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, etc. When choosing a VPN, make sure to go through the features. The top choices are those offering a no-logs policy, a wide range of server locations, low latency and high encryption levels.
These are some handy tips and tricks to defend your Mac against malware and theft. These security features and functionalities will help you gain complete peace of mind. Do not waste any more time in implementing these security measures. All the best!