There are now more than 100 million Mac OS X users, and thus it was also only a matter of time before malware developers really threw himself upon this platform. As a Mac user, you can no longer automatically assume that you are safe from viruses and other malicious programs.
The last eruption of Flashback Trojan, which has already infected more than 700.000 Macs, shows that the risk is indeed very real. In many cases, the user need not do anything to get your computer infected – Trojan slips automatically through a the Java security files.
Here is 10 tips for you to secure your Mac
1. Create an account that does not have administrator rights
The default account on a Mac is an administrator account, that lets you make changes to the operating system that you want. But actually that can help cyber criminals exploit your system and sneak unwanted software onto your Mac. Most everyday tasks such as sending e-mail and web browsing can be easily done from an account without administrator privileges.
To make a new account on your Mac, go to Setting -> Account and click the plus in the bottom.
If you’re on an administrator account you might need to click the lock in the bottom before you’re able to click the “+”.
2. Use an Internet browser sandbox function, which is known to fix problems quickly
It is recommended to use Google’s browser “Chrome”. Partly because it is updated much more frequently than Apple’s native browser Safari, Chrome in part because such contains an integrated “sandbox” version of the application Flash Player.Sandbox mode isolates the applications you run in a browser from the rest of the operating system, and thereby possibly stop. malware from spreading.
You can download Google Chrome here (external link)
3. Uninstall the separate Flash Player installed on your Mac
Unfortunately the Adobe Flash Player is often a target for cyber criminals who are trying to tilluske access to your Mac. Therefore, an earlier version of the program represent a great risk when you surf the Internet. Therefore, remove all older and unused version of Flash Player and make sure you only have the newest version on your Mac.
4. Fix Java problem
Java, just like Adobe Flash Player, is, unfortunately, an easy target for cyber criminals that wants access to your Mac. It is recommended that you completely uninstall the separate installation of Java, and just use your browser’s Java plug-in. Unfortunately, Apple does not want Oracle, the company behind Java, update their program directly. Apple wants to do it themself, as with almost anything else, but it is unfortunately often not done, before several months after the update is available, leaving Java with a major security vulnerability.
Which is why you should leave it to the Java plug-in in your browser.
5. Use the “Software Updater” and patch your machine quickly when new updates are available
Many of the latest attacks against Macs have used older or non-updated software.For example, it is much easier for cyber criminals to attack Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 than the 2011-updated version. This is however the case for all software on your Mac, so you should be aware of updating your software as soon as there are new updates available.
I would recommend checking for update at least once a week, preferably 2 times a week, just in case.
You can update your Mac manually by clicking the Apple-symbol in the top left corner and click “Software update”.
6. Use a “password manager” to keep track of your codes
Mac has a built-in “keychain”, which makes it easier to keep track of all your tags. In this way, you can create long, difficult codes to your most important applications, for example. online banking without having to remember them all. You can find this by searching (click cmd+space) for keychain and open the program it finds. Here you’re able to find the password to for example all the Wi-Fi networks you’ve used and a lot more! So go ahead and make some long passwords for your programs, e-mail etc., it just got a lot easier to remember them!
7. Disconnect IPv6, AirPort and Bluetooth when not in use
Cybercriminals can exploit all of these connectivity options to gain access to your machine. Therefore, it is alway a good idea to turn-off these when you’re not using them.
8. Take advantage of the ability to encrypt your entire hard drive (File Vault)
In Mac OS, you can use FileVault to encrypt your entire hard drive. It can be an advantage if your Mac is stolen because the thieves in this case can not access your data.
You can find FileVault by searching for it on your Mac (cmd+space).
9. Update Adobe Reader to version 10 or later
As with Java and Flash Player Adobe’s PDF Reader is a popular program to attack for cybercriminals. Version 10 contains a large number of security updates, so make sure you have at least this version installed.
You can go ahead and download it here (external link)
10. Install a good security program
“Macs can not get viruses” is a term you have probably heard before. It comes from the famous “Mac vs. PC” commercials from 2006. Unfortunately, this statement is no longer true, and if you do own a Mac, you should ensure the best possible with antivirus software.