Being the owner of a MacBook may make you feel like you are achieving your wildest dreams. But hey! Is your MacBook secure enough to let you enjoy its features privately? If your MacBook security is compromised, the evil pocket sniffers can detect vulnerabilities in your device and infect it with malware or steal your data.
The powerful MacBook is a product of Apple and is the future of the notebook and is highly capable. This super-cool gadget is a dream to all – and here, the term ‘all’ means thieves and hackers as well. Your MacBook is a precious gadget that holds all your information, but is it secure enough from malware, privacy, and data theft?
Tips To Secure Your MacBook from Malware, Privacy & Data-theft
Let’s have a look at these MacBook security tips that you can use to make your gadget impregnable and hack-proof:
Have you enabled your MacBook’s OS X Security Features?
OS X – the Mac operating system – has some extraordinary security features for its users. The only threat they transmit to the MacBook security is these security features – although already installed on the OS X – are not enabled by default.
Therefore, MacBook owners must enable these security features on their own. The basic settings that need configuration to boost your MacBook security include:
Disable Automatic Login and Set a System Password
Although it is pretty convenient when you do not have to enter your password each time you boot your gadget or when the screensaver chips in, you might as well allow the thief to feast over the unprotected data. But with the generation of a tough and strong password, you can enable this feature and put another hurdle in the thief’s course.
Enable FileVault Encryption
What would be your opinion if we ask whether putting up a password for your account is enough to protect your data after your MacBook has just been stolen? We are unaware of your opinion, but ours is that it is not enough just to protect your MacBook with a password.
What a hacker does is that he pulls out the hard drive from your MacBook and connect it to another computer using an IDE/SATA to USB cable. This way, the computer will read all the MacBook’s drives like any other DVD or USB drive hooked into it. Thus the need for an account or password to gain accessibility to your data ultimately goes into the trash as the hacker has already bypassed the OS’s built-in file security. They are now accessible to your files, neglecting who is logged in.
Don’t get all broken down now, as with OS X’s built-in FileVault encryption tool now, you can easily prevent the above from happening by enabling file encryption. You have to set up a password on your profile that links the files needed to be encrypted and decrypted by FileVault. The FileVault encrypts the hard drive with XTS-AES 128, a secure encryption algorithm. It might sound a bit complicated, but as you have no clue what is happening, the real deal is happening in the background. This way, MacBook security is boosted as your data remains protected until and unless the password is protected. Even if the hacker removes the drive and tries to extract data, he will fail miserably.
You can even encrypt your MacBook folder with Apple’s built-in feature, which encrypts your folder through an encrypted image file. This prevents unauthorized access to your data; you don’t even require third-party programs for this feature.
Turn on Your Mac’s Built-in Firewall
The Mac’s built-in Firewall propagates the MacBook’s security by hindering most hackers’ efforts to gain insights into your MacBook from the Internet. Once the Firewall has been enabled, it will also regulate inbound network connections and outbound traffic. A pop-up box always appears whenever an application asks for your permission before they attempt an outbound connection. It is your choice whether to allow or dismiss the access they request.
The security features mentioned here can be accessed by clicking the Security icon in the OS X System Preferences window.
Install Patches? Helpless we are
The cat and mouse chase is still on the go, and the digital version comes with the exploit and patch game. Here, the hackers look for vulnerabilities in the app and generate an exploit. The app’s developer addresses the vulnerability and then creates a patch to fix it. The users install this patch, and thus we go round and round the same clock.
The Apple-branded software updates are routinely checked by Mac OS X, which approaches you with the updates so you can download and install them. Microsoft Office, a third-party software package, has its software update app that checks for available patches. If you are a MacBook security freak and do not trust the automatic updates, you can look for a manual ‘Check for Updates’ feature offered by different apps in the Help menu.
Make it a habit of checking updates either daily or at least once weekly so that you may play your part in keeping the MacBook’s security up-to-date and prevent any software-based exploits.
Uninstall the Flash Player
Adobe Flash is now considered a hoard of vulnerabilities and requires perpetual software updates to patch up the new defects. This is why many security experts are now asking to close Flash Player down. It is better for your MacBook security that if you don’t have to use a Flash Player, you should uninstall it without giving it any second thoughts. You can do this in two ways:
- Use the Adobe Flash Uninstaller or,
- Follow Adobe’s uninstall guide to remove the Flash Player manually.
Lock Down your MacBook
If a hacker is determined to infiltrate your MacBook security, he will surely do it regardless of how many security layers you add up for defense. But on your behalf, you can at least put up a good fight and try to fend off the hacker’s attempts.
Every MacBook comes with a Kensington Security Slot, known as a K-Slot, located on the right side of the headphone jack on the left side of the gadget. This Kensington Lock security device allows you to physically hook up your MacBook with a steel cable to a large furniture item or any other immovable object.
As we know, the lock can be picked, or the steel cable can be cut with an appropriate tool, but even a tiny sign of security will force the thief to have second thoughts. The essential Kensington Lock has many varieties. It costs about $25 and is readily available at most office supply stores.
Protect your MacBook with Chronic Configuration
Suppose you want to augment MacBook security and are curious to travel deep into your settings to clear your doubts regarding the ironclad MacBook security. In that case, you can download the OS X security configuration guides to the Apple support website.
These guides will help you gain insight into all the available settings so that you may lock down every element of the OS and ensure that the MacBook security is bulletproof.
The mesmerizing yet powerful MacBook is a gadget anyone can ever wish for. But this gadget needs some help to boost its security against malware, privacy, and data theft. As mentioned earlier, the security features can be put into service to prevent your MacBook from falling victim to upcoming threats. However, don’t forget to balance your MacBook security and its functioning. Otherwise, you will end up locking your MacBook to yourself.
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About the Author
Rebecca James is an IT consultant with forward thinking approach toward developing IT infrastructures of SMEs. She writes to engage with individuals and raise awareness of digital security, privacy, and better IT infrastructure.More from Rebecca James
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