Apple has various built-in security measures to help identify and block malware. Gatekeeper will check an app you want to download to see if it has a developer’s certificate. There’s a box you need to click to approve an app before you open it, and you should never just ignore it. Sandboxing helps to limit the damage by not allowing malicious software to use a microphone or camera or access data without permission. X-Protect checks apps when you launch them.
A Mac, therefore, generally provides you with a safe operating system. However, due to the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, malware and viruses can still sneak in. Here are five tips that can help prevent infections or attacks from happening.
1. Hackers Are Increasingly Targeting Browser Plugins
Technically a virus is a little bit of code that can infect your system. Malware is a wider term that describes anything malicious that can affect your Mac. A trend that’s making Macs more vulnerable is that malware is increasingly targeting browser plugins instead of the underlying OS.
When your Safari browser is infected with malware, you’re likely to experience a number of problems. You may experience search engine redirects, website loading issues, malicious ads, and pop-ups. The virus can even direct you to download programs to help you fix the issues, but it just makes them worse. If you want to know how to remove a virus from Safari, it’s simple to do it by using a few manual solutions or cleaning tools.
Safari will automatically open ‘safe’ files after you download them. For extra security, you can disable this feature and manage the opening of downloads yourself.
- Open Preferences and click the General tab
- Uncheck the box next to Open ‘safe’ files after downloading
2. Make Sure The Firewall And Malware Definitions List Are Enabled
Making sure the firewall is on will help to protect your Mac from malware.
- Go to System Preferences and click on Security and Privacy.
- Choose the Firewall tab.
- Make sure the green light is showing, and turn it on if it isn’t.
- Click on Firewall Options and check the Enable Stealth Mode box.
Mac OS X has a malware definitions list that can help to combat potential attacks and threats. It is enabled by default, but you can check that it is turned on and is receiving updates.
- Open System Preferences and click on Security and Privacy.
- Look for the automatically update safe downloads list under the General tab. Make sure it is checked.
- Check the update list manually if you’re worried the latest version isn’t installed.
3. Install Updates Regularly
One of the most important preventative measures you can take to keep your Mac safe is to regularly update apps and software. Updates often contain security features that help to improve protection. Apple regularly issues updates.
- Open Software Update from the Apple menu and install updates when available.
- Open the App Store and download available updates to apps.
Safari updates are installed with other macOS updates. Browsers like Firefox and Chrome will alert you when your browser is outdated, and a newer version is available. It is easy to unsuspectingly download potentially dangerous and unnecessary apps. To uninstall apps, you check the video below.
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4. Install Updates Regularly
One of the easiest ways to distribute malware is through email messages. Never click a link in an email unless you know who it is from. Phishing is a common practice today, and you can get caught out if you aren’t vigilant.
An email may look legitimate because it appears to come from an authoritative source or one that you’re familiar with. It will invite you to click on a link to read an important message or access a form. You may be tricked into opening an attachment that contains a virus or visiting a website that asks you to fill in personal information.
This advice also applies to links on social media – only click a link if you know where it leads. There are multiple Facebook and other social media platform scams that can trick you into revealing personal information that scammers can use for any purpose they want.
5. Encrypt Your Personal Data
You should ensure that all your sensitive and personal data is encrypted. Using a password manager is a good step. Most of these apps encrypt and store bank account and credit card details. By encrypting data, it is scrambled beyond recognition. You can only unscramble it by using a cryptographic key like a code or a password.
Cyber security works in layers, and encrypting your personal data offers another layer of protection. You may want to encrypt files like legal documents, financial records, confidential project files, etc. This means that even if your Mac is stolen or lost, your personal details and sensitive information will be safe.
As cyber criminals become more sophisticated in their attempts, even Mac users can experience problems. By using the above tips, you can reduce the risks of experiencing problems from malware.