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If you follow technology-related news, you may have noticed a growing threat data breach and Malware attack Last few years.
This means reviewing your own security settings is now more important than ever. You might be wondering, if a big company like Facebook and Block (formerly Square) gets hacked, how do you protect your personal information with limited resources? The good news is that it’s easier than you might think.
A key aspect of IT security is personal vigilance. After all, most malware attacks succeed because people click on phishing links and download malicious files. That’s why you have an advantage over the bigger tech giants – your attack surface is much smaller, and you have complete control over your security protocols.
Not sure where to start making your Mac more secure? Here are the most important security policies you should follow.
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1. Install the MDM profile
You probably know that companies often run MDM (Mobile Device Management) solutions. MDM allows administrators to remotely access corporate devices to update software, monitor compliance, or wipe them remotely.
You can also benefit from using MDM in your personal life – if your Mac is stolen, you’ll be able to find and lock it down before any of your data gets compromised.
Apple devices have a built-in framework that supports MDM and can be enrolled into an MDM solution through Apple Business Manager.
2. Use a password manager
Password managers are not only secure, they are faster than manual logins, and help you avoid phishing attacks when logging into online services by not filling out our credentials on the wrong website.
In terms of login credentials, it is critical that:
- Do not store passwords in clear text
- Do not print passwords on paper
- Do not share passwords with anyone over unencrypted communications
Choose the best password manager for you and your family, and make sure you use it every time you need to create a new login.
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3. Turn on multi-factor authentication
Having secure login credentials creates a wall of defense against potential attackers. But it’s better to have two.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) requires you to confirm your login on another device by creating an OTP (One Time Password) or sending a push notification to your smartphone via email, an authentication app or SMS. Note: 2FA authentication via SMS is not considered a best practice due to SIM swapping threats.
4. Enable Disk Encryption
Keeping all data confidential on your device should be your top priority. Encrypting your hard drive ensures that the data on it cannot be read through a data dump if you lose your device.
Turning on disk encryption on a Mac is as easy as enabling FileVault:
- Open System Preferences.
- Go to Security and Privacy.
- Click to lock to make changes and enter your user password.
- Open the file vault.
5. Backup all data
Accessing recent backups can help avoid data loss due to device theft or damage, especially with the rise of ransomware attacks.
To back up data on a Mac, you’ll need an external hard drive (or cloud storage solution) and backup software. The most popular backup tool on the Mac is Time Machine, a default macOS application.
Turn on the time machine:
- Open System Preferences.
- Go to the time machine.
- Select the backup disk.
- Check “Encrypted Backup” and set a password.
- Click Use Disk.
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6. Update software and operating system
Software and macOS updates often contain bug fixes and security patches to keep your Mac even more protected. Make sure to always install the latest updates.
For macOS, use the Software Update pane in System Preferences. For most apps, you can use the App Store Updates tab or manually check for update availability.
7. Keep the VPN turned on in public places
When you’re at home, you can assume your internet connection is secure. Just make sure to use a strong password and an encryption algorithm like WPA2 or WPA3 for your WiFi access point.
Outside of your home or office environment, it’s important to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for added security. A VPN encrypts traffic as it leaves your device, preventing snooping, especially on public WiFi networks that aren’t password-protected.
8. Always lock your device
Leaving your device unattended and unlocked is a clear invitation to someone to steal your data and other important information.
If your Mac keyboard doesn’t have a lock screen button, you can use the Control + ⌘ + Q shortcut to quickly lock the screen.
Alternatively, assign a Hot Corner to the screen to lock it:
- Open System Preferences.
- Go to Desktop and Screensaver.
- Switch to the Screen Saver tab.
- Click Hotspot.
- Set any corner as the lock screen.
Now, every time your cursor hits a specific screen corner, your screen will automatically lock.
The tips above only cover some basic security practices. But following them will help protect your devices and protect them from attacks and data breaches.
Also, make sure to review important security protocols with your family or anyone who regularly uses the same WiFi network. Teach them how to spot phishing attacks and stay away from any suspicious communications in the future. After all, your security depends on its weakest link.
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