Do not get fooled by some articles that claim how Macbooks are not prone to cybersecurity threats. Despite its reliability, macOS still has ways to go before it can prevent potential malware and other problems by itself.
Therefore, as a Macbook user, you need to take some measures to not put the computer as well as yourself at risk. Some malware is pretty aggressive, and it may look to gather personal data in addition to slowing down Mac’s performance.
The tips below can be a reference to those who feel like their laptop might be at risk. Create a solid cybersecurity strategy and give yourself some peace of mind.
Tip #1 – Consider Removing System Junk Regularly
The more unnecessary files there are on the computer, the higher the odds that a virus may infect one of these files. There is specific malware that targets temporary system junk. And since temporary data is not visible unless you tinker with the system settings, many Macbook owners are not even aware of its existence.
Look at the list of available cleanup software online and get one for yourself. Get in the habit of removing unnecessary temporary system junk regularly. Doing that should not be a chore as you will have a cleanup utility tool that does the work for you. Not only will it boost your security, but it will also help with the overall Macbook performance thanks to more available storage on the hard drive.
Tip #2 – Change Default Antivirus Software
XProtect is the default antivirus software for macOS. You would be better off replacing it with an alternative. There has been some feedback from users who have relied on XProtect and found that it does more harm than good.
There are better antivirus alternatives. Research online or ask for recommendations from tech-savvy people you know. And once you get antivirus, do not just leave it running in the background. Performing custom disk scans at least once every week is a good piece of advice and worth following.
Tip #3 – Limit Physical Access to the Laptop
If you live alone and never take the Mac with you when leaving home, the problem does not exist. However, if there is a chance that someone else may use the computer, you need to make sure that they will not have access to the computer.
If it is someone you know, create a separate non-admin profile. Also, disable the auto-login feature so that only those who have the password can log in to the main account.
Tip #4 – Be Smart With Your Password Usage
Speaking of passwords, you would be better off by not using something simple like “password123” or another random combination of a word and a few symbols. There are online generators that can create difficult passwords for you.
Also, avoid having the same password for multiple accounts. If someone finds out your password, they could potentially access most of your profiles, including social media and emails.
Tip #5 – Invest in a Virtual Private Network
Virtual private networks are a good investment. They provide anonymity, restricted content, and security. Avoid free VPNs as they are not as secure. Spending a couple of bucks for the sake of privacy and security should not be an issue.
VPNs excel when you have to connect to public Wi-Fi. For instance, since the internet at hotels or cafes is available to the public, it does not have the necessary encryption protocols. That creates an excellent opportunity for hackers to set a trap and attack unsuspecting people.
Meanwhile, if you browse via VPN, you will have a different IP address and encryption that makes you difficult to expose.
Tip #6 – Remember to Install OS Updates
System updates come with more than just the latest features and performance improvements. The developers also react to the most recent malware and provide security patches.
Missing an update may put the system at risk, and even reliable antivirus software may not help you in some instances. Despite the fact that an update may take a while to download and install, you should set some time aside and have it ready at your earliest convenience.
Tip #7 – Back up Your Data
There is no need to take a risk. If something does happen to your data, why not prepare in advance by creating backups? You can use the Time Machine tool and an external hard drive, for example. Or, as an alternative, transfer data to cloud storage. Dropbox and iCloud give you the option to upgrade the plan to get more storage.
Tip #8 – Change Your Net Surfing Habits
While you are online, be wary of pop-ups and other aggressive types of advertising. It would be worth your while to install an ad blocker extension. Just like the name suggests, the extension prevents ads and minimizes the odds of clicking on an ad and getting redirected to a landing page that is crawling with malware.