The myth surrounding the Mac is that viruses and Trojans cannot harm its system. This is only partly true, and it should not tempt you to treat the security of your Mac as a casual matter.
Most malware, such as Trojans and viruses, is written for the Windows operating system. This is because Windows computers are much more widely distributed. For cybercriminals, it is more worthwhile to work on that platform. Windows malware does not do direct damage to a Mac because its architecture is different. However, the Mac can pass on malware.
Here is a second reason to secure your Mac: Although the architecture of the operating system makes it hard for malware developers to program a functional virus, worm, or Trojan, it is still feasible.
These tips will help you to secure your Mac
- Set a password
Secure your Mac login with a (strong) password. You can store it in the “General” section under “Security” in the system settings. There you can determine how quickly the password has to be entered when the computer has switched to sleep mode.
- Work with a user with no system rights
The macOS operating system has various rights and roles. The user automatically created when the system is set up always has system rights. After entering his or her password, the user can access areas in the file system that include the core functions of the operating system. These privileges allow security-related system settings to be changed. For this reason, create a new user that has no admin rights under “Users & Groups” in the system settings. You can then use it for day-to-day work. This will keep malware from spreading further to system-related data.
- Rein in your apps
In the “General” section in the system settings, determine where programs should come from even just to be installed. The “App Store” option gives you the greatest amount of security because that is where Apple tests apps before releasing them.
- Check permissions
The Mac can make a good number of its network resources available, and they can then be used by the external systems. These include systems like directly connected printers, files, or even an internet connection. Permissions like this are a potential gateway for criminals or damaging apps. Take a critical look at the permissions in the system settings and only enable those that you need.
- Enable your firewall
The Mac has a built-in firewall. To stop incoming connections, it is best to enable it. To do this, run “Firewall” under “Security” in the system settings. Then enable the firewall by clicking the switch.
- Install a virus scanner
Get yourself a Mac virus scanner and update it regularly. It not only finds the (few) known malicious programs developed for the Mac; this kind of software keeps your computer from spreading Windows viruses found in files or emails.
As an option, the Mac’s “File Vault” offers a possible way to encrypt the entire data system. That makes it hard for data thieves to do their work.