Keeping your device secure and maintaining your privacy should be an important task for every Mac user. Although, we hardly care about it. Given all the hacker attacks, we need to be extra careful while sharing or downloading our data. In order to secure your MacOS, you need to keep in mind simple tricks. There are two things that can pose a threat to your data, one is network over the internet and the other one is a person who has physical access to your Mac. It is recommended to keep your macOS up-to-date, but this is not the only way to secure your Mac.
In this post, we have listed some of the best security tips and tricks for your Mac.
1. Security & Privacy Settings
Whenever someone talks about securing a device, we check our security settings, so we will start with Security and Privacy Settings. Follow these steps:
- Go to Apple Logo-> System Preferences.
- In System Preferences, go to Security & Privacy Panel. Under this, you will get four security tabs.
- To modify the settings, click on a padlock, located at the bottom of the screen and enter username and password of your Mac.
2. Enable Firewall
Turning on the firewall on your Mac to block all unwanted incoming network connections. Mostly the firewall is turned on by default but if it is not. Follow these steps to enable it:
Go to Apple icon then choose System Preferences.
- Under System Preferences, click Security & Privacy and look for Firewall tab.
- You will see a padlock at the bottom left corner of the window, click on it to enter login credentials.
- Click Turn On Firewall.
- Click Firewall options and from a dialog box, click Enable Stealth Mode window.
- By enabling Enable Stealth Mode window, your Mac becomes invisible on public networks.
- Under the Firewall tab, click Firewall Options to customize the settings. You will get to a list of apps & services which can get inbound connections.
- If you want to add an app or service to block inbound connection, click + button located at the bottom of the list.
- It blocks inbound connections but has no control over outbound connections.
3. Use Password
Go to Apple icon and then to System Preferences.
Under System Preferences, go to Security & Privacy and then General tab.
You need to take care of three settings:
First, set a password for a user account, or you can also change the password if you want.
The second one will allow you to decide whether you need a password to unlock Mac when it goes to sleep, or screensaver hits your screen.
You can also control how you login to your Mac. By check marking the box beside Disable Automatic Login, you always have to enter a password to start your Mac. However, you can uncheck the settings, you risk giving unauthorized access to your computer.
With Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac, you can let your Apple Watch unlock your Mac. So, if you are wearing your Apple Watch, unlock watch and your Mac will get unlocked easily.
Note: To use this setting, make sure Internet Sharing is not enabled.
Always keep passwords which are alphanumeric and a combination of special characters. You can also use password managers to avoid the stress of remembering passwords.
4. Control From Where You Download Apps
You need to go To Apple icon-> System Preferences-> Security and Privacy. Choose General.
On General Tab, look for Allow apps downloaded from:
It would have two options available: the App Store, App Store, and identified developers.
Choosing App Store will only allow you to download App from App Store however if you choose the latter option then you can download apps from both app store and developers recognized by Apple.
5. Turn On FileVault
If you have FileVault turned on, then the files stored in your user account will be encrypted. To access the files or decrypt the files, you need your account credentials or a recovery key that you have created when you turned on FileVault.
It can be pretty inconvenient for you to input your password every time you want to open a file. It takes time to encrypt your files on Mac which can be a disadvantage. However, if you really want to keep your data secure on your Mac, it is advised to turn the setting on.
6. Check Your Privacy Settings
Privacy Settings comes with number of settings and controls. On the Privacy window, you will get a list of options such as Location Services, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders and more available on the left-hand side of the panel.
Location Services: It enables you to have control over apps which can access location data. If you don’t want the app to access location data, then you can turn the services off completely. You can stop individual apps from accessing your location data.
You can change the settings of Contacts, Reminders, Photos, and Calendar to control which apps can access information related to the native apps of Mac OSX.
You can control other apps in terms of which app can access apps like Facebook, Twitter, and others.
Accessibility: With this option, you can manage which apps can control your Mac by some means.
7. Check Safari Privacy Settings
To secure your Mac, you can alter Safari Settings to control your Privacy. To do that, follow these steps:
- Launch Safari from the Dock. Go to Safari menu and select Preferences.
- There are different tabs on the Preferences window, go to Privacy.
- It enables you to avert websites to track you and online activities. Moreover, you can control which websites can store cookies on your Mac.
- You can make changes to your location data. In High Sierra, the settings are under Websites->Location. Under this option, you can allow or deny websites to access location data.
- You can also check or uncheck storing website credentials or autofill & password sections according to your preferences.
Note: You can go incognito or open a private window, to do that press Shift+Command+N, which lets you visit websites which even keeping a record of it. You can also delete Safari History from Safari menu. It deletes cookies and cached data, from the websites you go to.
8. Check What You’re Sharing
You can share files from Mac to another. One of the methods is via sharing entire screen to assist remote working. To enable screen sharing, you might need user credentials however it is not that safe. If you don’t use the service that often, it is advised to turn it off. To turn it off, follow these steps:
- Go to Apple icon, click System Preferences.
- Go to Sharing icon.
- You will get a list on the left-hand side of the panel.
- Check for the checkmark beside the boxes with On heading.
- Uncheck the boxes if you want to disable the service for any of the items on the list.
9. Apply A Firmware Password
Mac OSx comes with various security options such as FileVault and more to keep your data safe. However, it certainly can’t stop someone to use Flash Drive to boot your Mac and erase all the data from the disk.
Well, Apple provides the best security for Mac to prevent this as well. You can apply a firmware password. This password prompt will appear if someone tries to boot your computer using a flash drive or other unusual ways. To activate Firmware Password, you need to access Recovery Console.
- Restart your Mac and when Apple icon comes up, press and hold Command and R key together.
- As you see a boot time progress bar, release the keys.
- Choose language and location when asked.
- Now go to Finder Menu-> Go-> Utilities
- From Utilities, click Firmware Password.
- Now follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process.
Note: Remember the password as if you forget it, only Apple can unlock your computer for you.
10. File Sharing & Screen Sharing
To secure your mac, you can use File sharing and screen sharing on your Mac.
File Sharing: This option enables you to access other computers with Linux and Windows computer to approach your computer’s file system. With the option enabled, it allows AFP (Apple Filing Protocol), SMB (Windows File Sharing) and NFS (Network File Sharing). File Sharing is also used for accessing one Mac’s Files from another Mac through Internet. In case you don’t want to use Back To My Mac, then turn File Sharing option.
Screen Sharing: It is not the option used by normal users. Screen Sharing is mostly used by tech support to control your screen to troubleshoot from a distance. With this option enabled, even Linux and Windows computers can be used to access Mac’s screen. If you don’t want screen sharing to be used, turn this option off.
11. Enable Guest User
If you don’t anybody to access your personal files but your computer is generally used by your roommates or friends. You can enable Guest user account. It is also an important feature under Find my Mac as it helps you to track in case you lose your Mac, or someone stole it.
To make sure Find My Mac is enabled, go to Apple icon and then click System Preferences. Locate iCloud and then check whether there is a checkmark beside Find My Mac located at the bottom right corner.
To make sure guest user is enabled, go to Apple icon and then click System Preferences. Under System Preferences, locate and click Users & Groups.
So, these are some of the best security tips and tricks for your Mac. You can use these hacks to secure your Mac and that way you don’t have to work on your Mac computer without any worries.