Securing your Mac

August 17, 2015

Contrary to popular belief, Mac users are as vulnerable as Windows users.

The first time I owned a computer the first thing was suggested to me is that I should install an antivirus.  This is was the first warning I’ve gotten while using a Windows machine. When I started using a Mac however, things were in a slightly different tone. Mostly everyone I have talked to seemed convinced that viruses are non-existent on Macs – that statement can neither be confirmed nor denied.

At that time however, there is a huge percentage of Windows users compared to Mac users, and that may be one of the reasons why such attacks are geared towards Windows users, hence it is normally the operating system that always gets targeted.

I personally was using both a Mac and a Windows computer for a couple of years now and while I always try and keep my Windows PC scanned for virus with a regular antivirus subscription, I never had the same routine on my Mac and thankfully, I haven’t had any serious problems with it.

That being said, to say that a Mac doesn’t need any security may be being little overconfident. Like any other computer, the Mac is still vulnerable to attacks – it just knows to prevent it better than most Windows machines.

If you’re reading this article try not to worry about your Mac’s security. The combination of Apple’s dedicated software team ensures all Macs are secure, but just case you want to keep it secure, here are a few steps you can follow.

Updates, updates, updates

We all know how annoying it is to get updates on Windows but just like the Mac, every update is substantial to keep the system secure and patch any known issues – so the moment you see the update prompt  on your Mac, make sure you hit install.

Keychain makes it easier

There are a plethora of password manages available out there but did you know that the Mac has its own password manager called Keychain? It can store and remember all the passwords that you have for your account and since it syncs via iCloud, you can use Keychain on our iOS devices as well that use the same Apple ID.

FileVault

FileVault is basically the Mac’s version of Disk Encryption. This means that all data stored on your Mac will not be readable should the inevitable happens. You can turn on FileVault through the Security & Privacy menu in the System Preferences.


Keep that Firewall up

If your Mac does not have a Firewall it is essential that you turn on the Firewall. You can find it under System Preferences and then Security & Privacy. It’s disabled by default, so make sure you turn it on. Mac OS X’s firewall can also let you control incoming connections for each application that accesses it.

Gatekeeper

A new feature introduced on newer Mac OS X versions is Gatekeeper. It acts as a way to protect you from unwanted installations on your Mac. Gatekeeper will only allow the installation of apps that have a unique Developer ID assigned by Apple. Apps without this identifier will automatically be blocked – unless you manually approve it.

Install an antivirus

If you’re truly concerned about the security of your Mac then your best bet is to install antivirus software. Avira, Bitdefender, Avast and Kaspersky all have their own antivirus software suites catered for the Mac and does the same functions as its Windows counterpart.

These simple tips should help you keep your Mac secure at all costs. As we all know, prevention is always better than cure.

by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. When he’s not busy playing with the latest games, Victor usually spends his time collecting Blu-rays and building his own movie library. As the Online Editor for T3 Middle East, he develops and writes content for www.T3ME.com which includes reviews, features, and videos in addition to managing its social media and web content.