Tips to up the ante on Mac security

Natalia David
8 June, 2012
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Apple’s escalating popularity is a well known fact, but what is not quite as commonly known is the menace that accompanies the fame of Mac devices. With the rise of malware, which is specifically designed to target Apple devices like Mac, OS X, Trojan Flashback, the need for securing your Mac devices has become all the more significant. Here are a few ways you can fortify your Mac device.

Turn Off Java

When the Flashback Trojan struck down over 0.7 million Apple computers, what all of them had in common was they were all on outdated Java browser add-ons. Now instead of waiting for months for Apple to roll out Java, what you can do is turn it off from the Safari browser. In case you do not use Safari, you can turn Java off on your PC.

Keep It Updated

Regularly run Software Update and ensure that you have the latest OS X and Safari on your machine. Running the Software Update once a week and ensuring that all the updates and patches are installed should shore up your device’s security.

Password Protection

A strong password can protect most devices from hacking manoeuvres and the same goes for your Mac device. Try and create complex passwords, with eight or more characters and try and use as varied keys and symbols as possible. Also, avoid using the same password for all your accounts; this allows hackers to absolutely run havoc with your security and privacy once they get access to any one of your accounts. Also turnoff automatic login options and use password managers like LastPass if you find entering your passwords again and again to login too much of a hassle.

Fortifying Firewall

Mac OS X has an in-built firewall which protects unauthorised personnel from accessing the device remotely. Ensure that the firewall is turned on or else your phone’s vulnerability knows no bounds and any potential hacker would have your PC monitored in next to no time.

The myth of safe files

Once upon a time we had safe files in our devices, which meant that the “Open safe files” option was a decent protective wall. However, these days there is no such thing as a “safe file” and even mp3, PDF, .jpg and .doc files can have hacking codes which could be a threat for your Mac. Hence, unchecking the “Open safe files” option would also help you sort out your system.

Share and scare

Barring the times when it’s absolutely necessary – like printer sharing or a quick transfer of files – try and minimise sharing your device. Sharing systems weaken your machine’s defense mechanism and hence think hard before you use Bluetooth or Airport.

Safe Downloading

Online downloads are one of the most common routes of PC spyware or malware transfer, which is precisely why reassessing whether the downloading location is safe is advisable. Also, ensuring that the software you are downloading is downloaded directly from its origin to reduce the risk of spyware transfer.


FileVault – which has now been upgraded to FileVault 2 – can secure the device’s hard drive. You’d need OS X Lion or a higher software and Recovery HD to run FileVault. This basically protects your data with a password hence limiting unwanted access.

Keeping things up to date

Keeping apps updated – like for example the Acrobat Reader, which is quite often a hackers’ go-to app – can be decisive in ensuring your device’s security. Keeping the apps updated adds the latest security enhancements into the app and in turn into the device.

Mac devices are increasingly becoming the hub of hacking attempts. Hence, it is becoming increasingly important that you take the precautionary measures and ensure that the access door to your device is firmly shut.



Natalia David, contributes towards PC monitoring software, cell phone spy software and spy software for blackberry.



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