Secure Your Mac: A Step by Step Guide to Avoid Getting Hacked

As Macs become more popular, they are increasingly becoming targets for malware and other security threats. There are some simple precautions you can take.
Updated 17 October 2022
Secure Your Mac: A Step by Step Guide to Avoid Getting Hacked
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United States Scam & Fraud Statistics 2020

$3.3 billion total fraud losses
4.7 million fraud reports

1.4 million reports of identity theft

Source: 2019-20 Consumer Sentinel Report

Sections on this page
  1. Be Careful Clicking on Links and Be Mindful About What You Install
  2. Enable Automatic Updates on Your Mac
  3. Use a Password Manager
  4. Enable the Firewall in Settings
  5. Use FileVault Encryption

There are a number of simple steps you can take to secure your Mac. These include keeping your software up to date, using a strong password, and avoiding suspicious websites and email attachments. By taking these precautions, you can help protect your Mac from malware and other security threats.

Be Careful Clicking on Links and Be Mindful About What You Install

When it comes to protecting yourself online, one of the most important things you can do is learn how to spot scams. This means being able to recognize phishing attempts and being careful about what you download. Phishing attempts can come in many forms, so it's important to be aware of the different types of scams out there. One common type of phishing attempt is when someone pretends to be from a company or website that you know and trust, and tries to get you to click on a link or download something. These can be very convincing, so it's important to be vigilant.

Another way to protect yourself is by being mindful of what you install on your computer. Only download software from trusted sources, and be sure to read reviews before installing anything new. Most Mac software is available via the built in App Store - available via the main Apple menu in the top left of the screen. By following these simple steps, you can help keep your computer safe from scammers and malicious software.

Mac App Store
A safe place to download software is from the built in App Store on your Mac

Enable Automatic Updates on Your Mac

One of the best ways to keep your Mac secure is by enabling automatic updates. This ensures that you always have the latest security patches and software updates installed, which can help protect your computer from malware and other threats. Automatic updates can be enabled in your System Preferences, and we highly recommend doing so to help keep your Mac safe and secure.

Turning on automatic updates is easy - simply open System Preferences and click on the "Software Update" icon.

Keep in mind that some software updates may require a restart of your Mac. This is normal - just follow the onscreen instructions.

Software Updates
Enable Auto Updates in Settings

Use a Password Manager

Passwords are important for online security and using a password manager can help you create strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts. Password managers let you manage your passwords in one place and make it easier to keep track of them - even if you have multiple accounts. They also help generate secure passwords and store them securely so you don't have to remember them all.

It is better to use a password manager than using similar passwords for all sites. Even if you have a system for creating passwords like the first few letters of the site followed by a few constant words you use in all passwords, this is generally not safe as once a hacker can see the system you use, it is trivial to try that system for other passwords you may have.

Good choices for password managers on the mac are:

Enable the Firewall in Settings

The built-in firewall on your Mac can offer some basic protection against malicious software and hackers. To enable it, open System Preferences and click on the Security & Privacy icon. Then click the Firewall tab, and finally click the Turn On Firewall button.

You can also configure the firewall to allow only specific applications access to the network.To do this, first open those applications in question, then go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall and check the Allow box next to that application.

Remember to keep your firewall up-to-date in order to enjoy the best possible protection against online threats.

Use FileVault Encryption

FileVault encryption is a quick and easy way to protect your data from thieves or prying eyes. All you need is a password to encrypt your hard drive, and as long as your Mac remains secure, even if it's lost or stolen, your data will stay protected.

FileVault is an important step in keeping your Mac secure, so make sure to do it as soon as possible. If you ever lose your Mac or it's stolen, thieves will not be able to access your data if it's encrypted with FileVault.

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