True or false? Macs don't get malware.
As the Mac becomes ever more popular, especially among younger users, hackers are working diligently to infect as many new devices as possible. In fact, Sophos Naked Security reported that 1 in 5 Macs are infected with malware. Just as Windows users have become more adept at protecting their devices and information, Mac users need to be as well.
Below, we provide you with simple tips to protecting your Mac or iDevice.
Tip #1: Upgrade/Update Your Operating System and Software When Available
- Upgrade to the latest OS for your particular Mac model.
- Enable automatic updaes (keep in mind that Apple does not have a regular scheduled update release cycles.)
- Patch third-party software vulnerabilities with security updates as they become available.
Administrative access is required to install any updates on Mac OS X.
Tip #2: Install (and Auto-Update Anti-Malware Software)
- Download and install Sophos Endpoint Security and Control free from UA’s software license website.
Tip #3: Set Up a User Account in Addition to an Admin Account
- A User Account can provide an extra layer of protection against malware for Administrative accounts (or admin accounts) when installing software or downloading files.
Tip #4: Secure Your User Account
- Keep information on your Mac secure by setting up a required password when it wakes from sleep or restarts.
Tip #5: Use Full Disk Encryption (Mac FileVault)
- Full disk encryption (FDE) is an easy way to protect your data from unauthorized viewers.
- Macs have the benefit of easy full-disk encryption with Mac FileVault.
Tip #6: Back Up Your Data
- In the example of a laptop being stolen or accidental file deletion, a backup copy can determine what type of data was on the stolen laptop and render the original copy less critical.
- Helpful Note: The external hard drive should be at least as large as your Mac's hard drive.
Visit the Apple Support website for more information on Mac backup programs.
Tip #7: Install Theft Recovery Software
- Theft recovery software provides an opportunity to locate your device, when it is reconnected to the Internet.
- Use iCloud’s built-in "Find My Mac" capability (free), or purchase software such as Lojack For Laptops Standard, Orbicule's Undercover, or Prey.
Note: UITS does not support these applications. Use at your own discretion.
Tip #8: Set a Firmware Password
- Setting a firmware password not only prevents a thief from reformatting your hard drive without this password, it also makes it difficult for a thief to circumvent theft recovery software.
- Visit the Apple Support website for directions on setting a firmware password.
Note: Should you sell or give away your Mac, remove the firmware password so that the new owner can set a new one.
Tip #9: Disable Java
- Because it is installed and enabled on both Windows and Mac devices, cybercriminals love to target Java.
- Disable Java on your system, unless you find yourself using it frequently.
- Visit the Apple Support website for instructions in disabling Java.
Tip #10: Use a Password Manager
- Password manager software provides a convenient and secure way for users to store passwords and PIN numbers, by creating one complex password that is easy to remember, but hard to guess (we recommend passphrases).