Every one wants to keep there Mac safe from harm, whether it be from physical attack, such as it being stolen or from cyber attack from some intent on giving you a bad day. Inspired by the review of WatchMac I did the other day, I was having a look around the Internet for a couple of different ideas on how to keep you Mac safe from yourself and other users. This post will list a couple of different tips and tricks ranging from the simple, to the slightly more complicated.
Don’t Use Admin Accounts
One of the things that bugs me when I set up a new Mac is that the first account is always the administrators account. As it is a new install you always forgot about this little feature. It is a big security risk, since you do have permission to delete and change things you normally wouldn’t have access to. To relieve this problem you have to create a second account. Do this under System Preferences > Accounts. In your new account make sure you don’t have the check, in the check box option “Allow User To Administer This Computer”. This should close quite a big loop hole.
Disable Automatic Login
If you laptop does get stolen the last thing you want is to enable any thief to automatically log in. To disable automatic login, go to Accounts Preferences again, under Login Options in the sidebar, make sure the “Automatic Login” drop down list says “Disabled”. This will disable automatic login. It does mean you have too type you password to login but it does increase your security.
This one thing that I personally insist on is, long passwords. For any user accounts or passwords for disks try and make the password as long and as memorable as possible. Add extra letters and numbers to your passwords. This makes guessing passwords a lot harder and increases your security.
Use WPA for Wireless Networks
It doesn’t that much longer to use WPA encryption on your Laptop and routers. WEP can be easily cracked with a little bit of know how. WPA increases your security as it uses a different method of encryption. When you do choose a password, pick a long password as mentioned.
Disable Sharing Options
You can create quite a few access points if you enable the various different types of share on your Mac. Under System Preferences > Sharing, you can pick various different options such as File Sharing, Remote login, etc. Each of these can be used as a possible method of attack, especially if you are using a public network. Disable all of the Sharing options which you will never need, and only turn on the other options when you have to use them. This blocks any possible security holes.
Use Up To Date Software
Old software can have bugs and holes may be patched in newer versions. As a rule of thumb always try and keep software up to date. I recommend you use software update every couple of days, to make sure you have the latest software. I also recommend you use apps such as AppFresh to keep none Apple apps updated to the latest version.
Hopefully these basic rules will keep your Mac as secure as possible. I could have gone into a lot of depth such as using Terminal to secure your IP tables from possible intruders, but I don’t have much knowledge of deep level Mac operations. As well as this it is pretty hard for less experienced users to get a hold of. I wanted to keep this article brief an to the point.
If you have any other Mac security tips, please leave a comment.