The Essential Cybersecurity Guide for Mac Users in 2021

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There are currently 100 million Mac users globally, with the number of users on the steady rise. Until a couple of years ago, Mac OS malware was somewhat limited and controlled. Security is no longer limited to hardware. Cybercriminals are tech-savvy and smart individuals who don’t care whether it is a PC or Mac; fake anti-virus, Trojans, and other scareware; Mac OS is no more safe from cybersecurity threats. 

Despite the very safe operating system of Mac OS, it is recommended to incorporate safety measures to avoid becoming a potential victim of the ever-increasing cyber-attacks. 

Read on to learn more about our recommendation on seven simple tips to increase your Mac OS’s security. 

Make a Non-Admin Account



For daily activities, we recommend avoiding logging into your account as an administrator. Typically, Mac’s default account is an administrator user, making it easy for malware writers to hack into your Mac while taking advantage of it. 

That said, for daily activities, it is recommended to create a non-admin user account while logging in as an administrator only when you are performing administrative tasks on the Mac. Search for ‘System Preferences’ on the ‘Accounts’ pane, and create a non-admin user. 

Subsequently, use a non-admin account for your everyday tasks, such as checking emails and browsing the internet. By using a non-admin account, you will curb the potential threats of malware attacks and the damage of zero-day.  

Use Google Chrome

Why? Well, the answer is simple – Google Chrome comes with its sandbox. Additionally, the solid track record of Google Chrome allows you to fix innate security issues efficiently. Since Google and Google Chrome are updated a lot more often than safari browsers, Chrome is more likely to block malware. The silent yet efficient automatic update mechanism of Google Chrome mitigates the implications of removing security vulnerabilities. That said, by making Google Chrome your default browser, you can ensure your Mac stays free of security threats. 

Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Many Apple users think they don’t need a VPN since Mac OS is well-known for its inbuilt security features. A VPN’s objective isn’t necessarily to protect you locally or to safeguard you from malware. Its primary function is to anonymize and protect your data after it has “left” your Mac. A Mac VPN is essential for safeguarding your privacy, i.e., your bank details, passwords, location, etc. 

Remove/ Uninstall Your Flash Player 

This might sound a bit odd to you, but your Flash Player’s vulnerability can expose you to vicious cyberattacks. Furthermore, if you have an older version of Flash Player, it is more likely to put you at a greater risk of a security breach while you are scrolling the internet. 

First, download the Adobe Flash Player Uninstaller for your Mac OS, and search for the Mac OS version while selecting the Apple icon. Subsequently, choose “About This Mac”. Paste the information in the downloaded Adobe Flash Player Uninstaller, and remove the Flash Player from your Mac. 

Address Your Java Issues 

It is not only the older version of Flash Player that can be the cause of data breach, but you need to address and solve all problems related to Java. Java is the preferred target for cybercriminals looking for a soft spot to plant malware on your Mac OS. 

To solve the Java problems, we would generally recommend removing it from your Mac OS completely by uninstalling it. Since Apple doesn’t permit oracle to directly update Java for Mac, it usually takes several months for Apple to do it themselves, which means that Mac users remain exposed much longer than PC users during that time. 

Go to Application/ Utilities and access the utility of Java Preferences. Next, all you need to do is to uncheck the boxes adjacent to the versions displayed in the General tab. Nonetheless, if you have to use Java for certain apps, make sure to disable Java in Web browsers in general and in Safari. 

Regularly go for Software Updates 

Many hackers take advantage of outdated software. Amongst the most commonly exploited and hacked suits are Oracle’s Java, Acrobat Reader, and Microsoft Office. Nonetheless, other outdated apps can be hacked into as well. That said, if you are still using Office for Mac 2008, we recommend getting it updated to the latest version as soon as possible. Whenever you see the “Software Update” message, make sure to go for the update and reboot your system after the fixes have been applied.

Disable Bluetooth When Not in Use

To protect your data and privacy, you must ensure to switch off connectivity services, such as Bluetooth, IPv6, and AirPort, when these aren’t required. The three mentioned services are the widely-sought after entry points for potential attackers and hackers. IPv6 is relatively less used in Mac’s communication protocol. However, it is recommended to have the IPv6 disabled proactively. 

Conclusion

Two aspects contribute greatly to the increased chance of falling victim to malicious cyberattacks: the user’s lack of knowledge and old/ outdated software. By following the tips mentioned above and recommendations, you will steer clear of falling victim to malicious attacks.

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Marie Foster
Marie Foster is a reporter based in UK. Marie has also worked as a columnist for the various news sites.

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