1. Use iCloud 2FA
No matter how secure your password is, hackers have a way of deciphering it, making your data vulnerable to fraud and scams. You should consider investing in two-factor authentication to keep hackers from accessing your data even when they know your password.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) requires you to input a randomly generated code along with your password when logging into your account. Since this code is generated one time, hackers cannot figure it out, so they cannot access your account.
To set up two-factor authentication on iCloud, you should navigate to System Preferences > iCloud > Account Details > Security > Set Up Two-Factor Authentication. When setting up the two-factor authentication, you should key in your phone number. This means that every time you log into your iCloud account online or on a new device, a one-time password is sent to your phone.
2. Uninstall Java and Flash player
While Java and Flash players provide additional functionalities such as the ability to listen to music and watch videos from within the browser, they may put your data in danger. Flash players and Java have full access to your system, making them an excellent target for hackers. Just one ad containing malware could infect and control thousands of Mac devices.
To protect your device from security breaches arising from Java and Flashplayer, you should consider investing in an app uninstaller for Mac from sites like mackeeper.com to safely uninstall these plugins while still protecting your device from viruses.
3. Disable automatic login
To set up a new Mac or install a new version of macOS, you should create a user account. By default, this account is set to log in whenever you start your device. While an automatic log-in can be convenient, it also makes confidential information vulnerable to unauthorized personnel.
Anyone who finds your Mac and starts it up can access your files, including personal emails and customer data. To disable automatic login to your computer, you should:
4. Do not leave your Mac unlocked or unattended
When you step away from your device, especially when you are in a public setting, be sure to lock your Mac's screen, even when stepping out for just a few seconds. It only takes a few seconds for a tech-savvy individual to install spy software on your computer, giving them access to your personal data.
Consider setting your screen display to timeout to reduce the chances of someone accessing your Mac when left unattended. An inactivity notification is a configured period when you can be inactive, and after this period, the screen is locked. You will have to input a password to log back in. You do not have to worry about forgetting to lock your screen while stepping away from the computer with a timeout setting. Timeout settings are also effective in increasing your device's battery life.
5. Use a password manager
You should create a complex password that includes upper and lower cases and numbers for all your online accounts, including online banking portals and social media accounts. However, with so many online accounts, you may end up using a similar password for different platforms to make it easier to recall. This makes it easier for hackers to crack your security codes, which is why you should consider using a password manager.
A password manager helps you create new complex passwords instantly, secures current passcodes, saves time logging into different apps and websites, and stores card data for online shopping. Apple provides its in-built password manager called iCloud keychain that helps create and save passwords in apps such as safari. To set up an iCloud keychain, you should:
6. Enable FileVault
All valuable information, including private data from your job, personal photos, and passwords, are often secured in your disk drive. This means that if anyone gains physical access to your device, even when they do not know your Mac's login password, they can easily read sensitive information.
To protect confidential data, you should use Filevault, a security feature in your device that encrypts all data on your macOS hard drive using the XTS-AESW 123, a secure encryption algorithm. When you turn on the FileVault, the drive is locked when you shut down the Mac, and only when an authorized user accesses the device and keys in the passcode can the hard disk's contents be viewed. To enable your device's FileVault, you should:
7. Upgrade to latest macOS software
With the increased security threats, including malware and vulnerabilities, Apple is constantly developing new macOS software versions to combat data fraud. You should continuously check for new software updates and upgrades to enhance your device's security and performance. To update your Mac and its apps with new and improved security features, you just have to click the Apple menu icon > select system preference > software update, and enable 'Automatically keep my Mac up to date.'
8. Create a non-admin account
The macOS setup assistant requires you to provide your name, user name, and passcode to set up a new Mac. This information is useful when setting up your user account, and by default, you become the device's administrator. You can install and remove software on the device, change settings, and create and delete other users. Any mistakes on the device by the administrator could lead to changing or deleting essential files to your Mac, so you should consider creating a standard or non-admin account.
A standard user account has limited access rights to the device. This means that if the security of the non-admin account is compromised, the harm is more limited than when the user has administrative privileges. Use the standard account to create, use and change files, store personal data and perform other everyday functions that do not require administrative rights. A non-admin account is also crucial where other people access your Mac. To create a non-admin account, you should:
9. Enable firewall
MacOS combats the increasing frequency of malware and targeted attacks with an essential feature, the firewall. A firewall acts like a fence that prevents potentially harmful connections from other computers from getting to your device. To enable the integrated macOS firewall, you should:
Once you turn on your device's firewall, you can click on the 'Firewall Options' to select the trusted apps you do not want to be restricted.
It is worth noting that the macOS firewall only provides inbound protection, so your device is still vulnerable to unknown malware. To protect your device from sophisticated malware and attacks, you should consider investing in an outbound firewall. Outbound firewalls notify you about downloaded apps and materials that connect to the internet without permission.
10. Backup your device
Your Mac is always at a risk of getting stolen, lost, or it may need repairs. You should consider backing up your files to ensure that you always have a copy of crucial documents. macOS has a backup tool known as Time Machine that automatically saves copies of your files and applications. If you run out of disc space, the Time Machine tool deletes older versions of your files to pave the way for new ones. If you're not sure how to set up Time Machine on your Mac, here is a guide:
11. Avoid public Wi-Fi
Tech-savvy users and hackers can easily listen to your network traffic when using a public WIFI, especially those connections that do not require passwords. This keeps crucial information, including bank data, vulnerable to unscrupulous individuals. You should avoid using public Wi-Fi at all costs. Instead, consider using your mobile phone to create a Wi-Fi hotspot.
You could also limit your Mac from connecting to any Wi-Fi connection without permission by clicking the Apple menu icon>system preference> Networks> choose the WIFi you wish to prevent your unit from joining automatically.
With the increase in cybercrime and fraud today, you should invest in various ways to protect your data. Familiarize yourself with the above crucial methods to enhance your Mac security.