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How To Secure Your MacBook from Malware, Privacy & Data-theft

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Being the owner of a MacBook may make you feel like 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 vulnerability in your device and infect it with malware or steal your data.

The powerful MacBook is a product of Apple and being the future of the notebook, it is highly capable. This super-cool gadget is a dream to all – and here the term ‘all’ means the 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:

  1. Have you enabled your MacBooks’ OS X Security Features?

The OS X – that is 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 quite 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 data that you have left unprotected. 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 will be your opinion, if we ask you 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 though, but ours is that it is definitely not enough just to protect your MacBook with a password.

What a hacker do 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 drive just 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 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 entire hard drive with XTS-AES 128, a secure encryption algorithm. It might sound a bit complicated but as you have no clue of what is actually happening, the real deal is going on in the background. This way MacBook security is boosted up as your data remains protected until and unless the password is protected. Now even if the hacker takes out the drive and tries to extract data out of it, he will fail miserably.

You can even encrypt your MacBook folder by Apple’s built-in feature which encrypts your folder by means of an encrypted image file. This prevents unauthorized access to your data and 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 security by hindering most hacker’s efforts to gain insights of your MacBook from the Internet. Once the Firewall has been enabled, it will regulate inbound network connections and outbound traffic as well. A pop-up box always appears whenever an application asks for your permission before they attempt an outbound connection. It is your choice now whether to allow or dismiss the access they ask for.

All of the security features mentioned here can be accessed by clicking on 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 up. 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 and it approaches you with the updates so you can download and install them. Microsoft Office, being a third-party software package, has its own software update app that will itself check for available patches. If you are a MacBook security freak and do not trust the automatic updates, then you can look for a manual ‘Check for Updates’ feature offered by different apps, located 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 security up-to-date and prevent any software-based exploits.

Uninstall the Flash Player

Adobe Flash is now considered to be a hoard of vulnerabilities and therefore, requires perpetual software updates to patch up the new defects. This is the reason why many security experts are now asking to close down Flash Player. It is better for your MacBook security that if you don’t have to use a Flash Player then you should uninstall it without giving it any second thoughts. You can do this by two ways:

Lock Down Your MacBook

If a hacker is determined to infiltrate into 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 K-Slot that is located to the right side of the headphone jack on the left side of the gadget. This Kensington Lock is basically a security device that allows you to physically hook up your MacBook with a steel cable to a large furniture item or any other object that is immovable.

As we know that the lock can be picked or the steel cable can be cut with an appropriate tool, but even a small sign of security will force the thief to have second thoughts. The basic Kensington Lock has many varieties it costs about $25 and is available at most office supply stores easily.

Protect Your MacBook with Chronic Configuration

If you really want to augment MacBook security and are curious to travel deep into your settings to clear your doubts regarding the ironclad MacBook security, then you can go to the Apple support website and download the OS X security configuration guides.

These guides will help you gain insight into all the settings that are available so that you may lock down every element of the OS and make sure that the MacBook security is bulletproof.


The mesmerizing, yet powerful, MacBook is a gadget that a person can ever wish for. But this gadget needs a little help to boost up its security against malware, privacy, and data theft. The above-mentioned security features can be put into service in order to prevent your MacBook from falling victim to the upcoming threats. However, don’t forget to maintain a balance between your MacBook security and its functioning, otherwise, you will end up locking your MacBook to your own self.

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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.

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