With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as a catalyst, there’s been a dramatic rise in cybercrime over the past 12 months. And no one is immune to cyberattacks, including macOS users. Yes, there’s the belief that Mac computers are less vulnerable to cyber threats and that the on-board security software is all you need to be safe. That might have been true in the past, but things have changed significantly in recent years.
The rising popularity of Mac computers has made the macOS platform a prime target for cybercriminals. Getting hacked is no longer a question of If, but rather When and How, even for mac users. There has been an explosion of Mac-focused cyber threats globally, including phishing, malware, viruses, and hacking. Below, we look at some steps you can take to protect your macOS device from these threats.
Turn on FileVault
Encryption is one of the most outstanding ways to protect sensitive data from cybercriminals. Once enabled, Apple’s built-in encryption tool — FileVault — will encrypt all the data on your start-up disk. FileVault will prompt you for a password when waking your device from sleep or screensaver. Go to System Preferences-> Security & Privacy and click on the Lock icon to turn on FileVault.
Antivirus for macOS
Built-in security software is not enough to protect your device from rising macOS-focused threats. Used in tandem with healthy security practices, macOS antivirus can keep your device safe from phishing attacks, adware, and other types of malware. There’s a decent range of options to choose from when it comes to installing antivirus software on your Mac.
Install a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) refers to an online security solution designed to improve privacy and anonymity on the internet. A VPN encodes your traffic and conceals your IP address and replaces it with a fake one. Using a VPN for Mac on your computer will increase protection against a wide range of online threats including hacking, spying, identify theft, and Wi-Fi attacks, especially on public Wi-Fi networks.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication, or 2-FA, is an electronic authentication method used to boost the security of online accounts beyond just a username and password. 2-FA provides an additional layer of protection for your Apple ID. When enabled, 2-FA ensures that you are the only person who can access your account even if someone else knows your password.
Keep Your Software Up-to-Date
They may not seem that important, but software updates are essential for security. Many cyber attacks take advantage of software vulnerabilities in common applications, like browsers and operating systems. Old software contains vulnerabilities that hackers already know how to exploit. Keep your OS X version and other programs on your Mac up to date to patch these vulnerabilities.
When it comes to security, Macs are just as vulnerable as PCs. It’s just that attackers simply choose to target the more popular platform. However, the number of Mac users has been rising steadily over the last couple of decades. As the macOS market share increases, so do macOS-focused cyberthreats. As a Mac user, security is no longer a responsibility you can delegate to the manufacturer.