People like a Mac device for its portability, sleek design and most importantly, the comfortable level of security that it offers.
However, the Mac is not without its flaws or security trapdoors that a user can fall into.
Just the Internet itself brings with it a plethora of anonymity concerns and security threats to any device. To protect yourself on the Internet, nothing is better than a VPN.
A Virtual Private Network accomplishes in one click what Cybersecurity has been working towards for years by disguising your IP address (your online identity). Online anonymity, strengthened privacy, and extra features (such as removing geo-blocking!) and in-built firewalls.
Not every VPN works for every function or best on each device, however; this IPVanish review is an example of how you can weigh a product’s pros and cons to see if it matches your needs.
With the App Store making sure everything coming through is of a certain quality and won’t compromise the users’ experience or data, there’s no shortage of tools you can use to take your Mac to the next level.
The essentials of Mac security
Before we get to the tools, however, it’s important to see whether you’re getting the most out of your Mac as-is.
Do you make sure to keep your device up-to-date?
You’ll find updates released regularly both for the system (OS) itself and security updates for the apps you use. These updates are patches for breaches either foregone or foreseen, giving you peace of mind through prevention.
The second thing that’s important to see to is to not install anything that your system warns you against.
It’s always best to go through the App Store, but if you’re not, make sure to look around for forums and comment sections that can attest to the quality of the app and whether it’s secure to download and use. Of course, only ever download from the developers’ official websites.
Additionally, you can (and perhaps should) enable full disk encryption within the device itself with no other software needed. This way your data will be useless should anyone manage to steal anything.
You can do this through the Security & Privacy in System Preferences, where you’ll find FileVault. Simply turn this on and enjoy the XTS-AES 128-backed lock on your entire hard drive.
Create backups with Carbon Copy Cloner
Carbon Copy Cloner is an astonishingly helpful piece of software that lets you create fully bootable backups of your entire system.
This is what security is truly about: having a back-up plan ready to go in the face of failure. With this, you’re without worry if your system goes down, crashes, or is compromised: you can simply start from where you left off.
This one isn’t available on the Mac store due to their policies about custom backups but is kept up-to-date regardless by the developers in tandem with each new feature that Apple introduces.
There’s actually much more that the app can do, which you can find out all about over at the Features page on their official website as well.
Keep an eye on your security with Lookout
Available on the App Store, Lookout is a surprisingly multi-functional tool that doubles as protection and security.
You can use it to find your device in case of theft, be notified when an app or website is in breach of laws regarding misuse of your data, and even comes with insurance if you get the premium version of the otherwise free app.
What’s more, it’ll even monitor your social media and SSN to see if someone’s stealing your data, identity, or any other sort of fraudulent activity being committed in your name.
Be in control of all network connections with LittleSnitch
A similar app to the previous is LittleSnitch LittleSnitch. This one will tell you what data is being sent and received to and from your computer, giving you the option to kill any suspicious processes.
It’s a bit more geared towards the user that won’t get overwhelmed by the amount of data being thrown at them but is nonetheless intuitive and not that hard to learn. It’s definitely the first thing you’d want in order to be aware of malware trying to get inside your system.
Remove all malware safely and completely with MalwareBytes
MalwareBytes will protect you against danger from files, USBs, websites, and any other entry points you could think of.
It’s more than an antivirus; the Mac system is pretty good at picking those up when it comes to it. Malware Bytes sees disguised harmful viruses and processes (with a mix of what you could call “detective work” and artificial intelligence) for what they are and keeps you in control of your system.
In a lot of cases, get this one app and you’re good to go.
Use a password manager to stay on the safe side
Lastly, it’s important to mention that you shouldn’t reuse the same password across multiple platforms and that each password should be of some relative complexity.
To this end, a password manager comes in handy. You use a master password to access the manager on your own device, and it then handles the passwords for your accounts. This means that if one of your accounts or passwords was to get hacked, the thieves wouldn’t be able to use it to access your other accounts as well.
In a time like this with data breaches and leaks every day, something like this is crucial and will round off your Mac security nicely.