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5 Mac security features you should be using

While Macs are generally very user-friendly, people don’t always understand the best way to configure their security settings. So whether you’re setting up a new computer, upgrading to the latest OS X or simply wanting to make your current set-up more secure, here are 5 things to protect you from a Mac Attack:

By Jennie
14 May 2020 / News, Security

5 Mac security features image

1. Activate Full Disk Encryption (FDE) using Filevault 2

FDE encrypts your hard drive while it’s at rest, so if your computer’s ever stolen or otherwise physically compromised, no one can access your data without your unique recovery key or password. Once you’ve enabled FileVault 2, it generates a recovery key that only you can use, which it encrypts it and stores in a secure escrow system.

How to turn on Filevault:

  • From the Apple menu, go to System Preferences then click Security & Privacy.
  • Click the FileVault tab.
  • Click the Padlock Symbol  then enter your administrator name and password.
  • Click Turn On FileVault

2. Disable automatic login

Turning off automatic login is a simple way to protect your Mac. Yes, it means you’ll need to choose your user and enter your password whenever you turn on your computer. But this minor inconvenience eliminates a major risk – that if anyone finds or steals your computer, they’ll have unrestricted access to all your data.

How to disable automatic login:

  • Go to System Preferences, then click Users & Groups.
  • Click the Login Options button.
  • Click the Automatic Login dropdown menu and select Off

3. Turn on Screen Lock

When you leave your computer unattended, whether you’re in the office or working remotely, you could be leaving it open to attack: a hacker can infect an unlocked laptop with malware in just a few clicks. So although it’s not especially convenient, it’s vital to automatically lock the screen when you’re not using it.

How to turn on Screen Lock:

  • From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  • Click Desktop & Screen Saver.
  • Click Screen Saver, and use the slider to choose how long to leave your screen idle before activating the screen saver.
  • Click Show All to go back to the main System Preferences window.
  • Click Security, and then click Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver.

4. Secure Password Generator

Weak and repeatedly used passwords are one of the most common security risks so being able to create one quickly and uniquely is really useful – abc1234 is no longer going to work against anybody who is serious about accessing your precious work and data!

There’s a really useful Secure Password Generator function on your Mac that will create passwords for you.

How to generate a secure password.

  • Open System Preferences
  • Click Users and Groups

  • Click your account name in the list, then Change Password.
  • Click the Key icon next to the New password field

You’ll then be given a choice of the sort of password you want to create. This will be unique and, more importantly. super-secure.

5. Disable Guest Accounts

Creating a guest account is an easy way to let someone use your computer, without giving them access to your files and settings. But it also creates serious security risks. Because if a hacker gains access to a guest account, they can access the data in your local apps and change their logins and settings, download malware or malicious scripts to your /tmp directory, or even remotely access your admin account.

How to disable Guest Accounts

  • From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  • Go to Users & Groups and click the Unlock icon.
  • Click on Guest User
  • Untick the box for Allow guests to log in to this computer.

 

Activating these five Mac security features will massively strengthen your computer’s security. But if manually changing your settings is too fiddly or time-consuming, you can also automate this process using policies developed by Dr Logic and Jumpcloud.

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