It’s no question that MacBooks are valuable pieces of technology. This becomes especially apparent when you take into consideration what today’s newest MacBooks can do, compared to other laptops and computers out in the market. The sheer number of apps available, combined with the MacBook’s raw power and specs, should be more than enough to make it worth the price tag.
However, just like any other laptop or computer out there, MacBooks are NOT immune to viruses, malware, and other online threats. This is why security should be a top priority, whether you just got a new MacBook or you’ve had one for years.
Right now, the question you’re probably asking would be something like, “How can I make sure that my MacBook is well-protected against all sorts of nasty hacker-instigated threats out there?” Luckily, you can increase your MacBook’s security with these tried and tested tips.
- Turn on the application firewall.
Since the debut of the Mac OS X v10.5.1, Apple has included an application firewall for the MacBook. This handy additional safeguard for your MacBook allows you to control connections per application instead of just per port. The feature adds an extra layer of security to your MacBook because it prevents apps from taking control of open network ports.
Here’s what you need to do to set it up.
- From the Apple menu, click on System Preferences
- Click Security or Security & Privacy
- Click on the Firewall tab
- Click the lock icon on the lower-left corner.
- Enter your administrator username and password
- Click on “Turn On Firewall” or “Start” to activate the firewall
- Click Advanced to customize your firewall settings.
On the advanced settings, you can either block all incoming connections or allow only specific applications to connect. Blocking connections prevents all sharing services from receiving connections. The only system services still allowed to receive incoming connections are configd, mDNSResponder, and racoon. Meanwhile, by allowing only specific applications, you can add or remove apps at any time. Either way, you’re guaranteed some degree of protection for your MacBook.
- Set up a firmware password.
On top of your account login password, a firmware password provides your MacBook with additional protection. Here’s how to set it up.
- Ensure that your MacBook’s OS is updated to at least OS X 10.8; if not, update your MacBook.
- Start up from Mac OS Recovery.
- Hold down Command (⌘)-R immediately after you turn on your MacBook and release once the Apple logo appears.
- When you see the utilities window, click on Utilities then click on Firmware Password Utility. Click Turn On Firmware Password.
- Enter a firmware password then click on Set Password.
- Quit Firmware Password and restart your MacBook
The great thing about the MacBook’s firmware password is that unauthorized users who don’t know have the password can’t start up from any disk other than your designated startup disk, which means it prevents the use of most startup key combinations.
- Always update your system.
Apple updates the Mac OS whenever they find threats that can compromise the security of MacBooks. This is why regular system updates are crucial to the security of your device. Constantly updating your Mac OS means that you are always one step ahead of those who want to exploit your system, and it isn’t hard to do either. You just need to follow these steps:
- Open your MacBook’s App Store application.
- Click on Updates on the App Store toolbar at the top of the window.
- Click on Update All to download every update or click on each update one by one.
For a more convenient experience, you can also set your MacBook to download the updates automatically by doing the following:
- Click on the Apple Menu.
- Click System Preferences, then click App Store.
- Select “Automatically check for updates”.
- Select “Download newly available updates in the background”.
Constant updates are one of the best ways to protect your MacBook and its data, so make sure you do.
- Back up your data with Time Machine.
Data can be lost or damaged through corruption or malware infections, so it’s critical to back up all the data on your MacBook. To protect your data, use the Time Machine software on your MacBook. It’s a user-friendly backup tool, so you’ll likely have no problem with it. Here’s how to use Time Machine:
- Connect an external storage device to your MacBook.
- A prompt will appear asking if you want to use the device to back up your data with Time Machine.
- Select “Use as Backup Disk”
Once you set it up, Time Machine will automatically back your data up for you. You can now rest easy knowing that your data is safe. You can read more about setup, restore and delete MacBook Time Machine backups here.
Once you perform the aforementioned tasks, you no longer need to worry about the security of your MacBook. See, keeping the information on your MacBook safe is so simple!
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