You’ve probably heard that Mac malware does not exist. Sorry, it’s a myth. True, in days of yore, Trojan writers were not particularly interested in Apple, but now the company’s technology is being increasingly targeted by cybercriminals. Malware
for macOS is still rarer than for Windows, but it is growing in volume every year. Let’s take a look at how to guard against Mac-based malware and other threats.
Unsurprisingly, all the most important protection-related stuff is to be found in the Security and Privacy settings.
First things first, set a password to log into your Mac. It should consist of at least 10 characters, including lower/uppercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. That way, you will protect the device from strangers — be they overly curious acquaintances,
small children who want something to play with, or cybercriminals who stole it. We have already talked about creating strong and secure passwords in the course on Internet security. Also, don’t forget to lock your Mac whenever you leave it unattended!
If your Mac does go AWOL, its finders may try to extract information directly from the disk by installing it into another computer.
To protect against such a scenario, use FileVault. This technology encrypts the drive, so anyone who doesn’t know your password will be locked out.
Including you if you forget it — so take care when setting up encryption. You can either retain the option to reset the password through iCloud, or get a recovery key.
The first option is more convenient, but requires thorough protection of your Apple ID. We discussed the how-tos of this in the data protection course. A recovery key is more reliable in theory, but you must never lose it. The choice is yours!
Apple does its best to protect users, including against malicious apps, so all programs that want to get into the App Store are carefully verified. If there is no good reason to do otherwise, download apps only from this official store.
To avoid getting hooked by scammers who release malware under the guise of useful files, it is better to play it safe and allow the installation of apps only from the App Store in the security settings.
If you simply must install a third-party program, a reliable security solution tailored to macOS, such as Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac, cannot be over-recommended. (By the way, all users of the system will benefit from it.) It will remove any
malware that has already penetrated the computer, and protect against future infection attempts.
Some apps are very nosy and desperate to gain access to data that they do not need. If, say, a video player requests access to location data, don’t be afraid of saying no. Be sure to check the permissions you already issued under Privacy. Incidentally,
there you can also block data collection for statistics.
There is still less malware out there for Mac than for Windows, but phishing, unfortunately, is equally effective on all devices. (To refresh your memory, take a look at the “How you leak your data” lesson in the course on security basics.)
Vigilance combined with applications that verify clickable links will help protect you from account and credit card thieves. Such applications will block access to suspicious pages and websites that have a bad reputation. Kaspersky Internet Security
for Mac also provides such tools, along with special protection for online payments and blocking camera/microphone-based spying.
Another useful technology for Mac users on the go is a VPN.
Even if you avoid suspicious links and protect your computer, intruders can still intercept personal or financial data when you use public Wi-Fi networks, for example, in a café, subway station, or airport. But intercepted data is no use if encrypted
— that’s where a VPN comes in.
Some security solutions have their own built-in VPN. For example, in Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac it automatically checks networks that you connect to, and prompts to enable a secure connection if on a public network.
If your security solution has no built-in VPN, we recommend getting a separate one, such as Kaspersky Secure Connection.
Lastly, a bit more about passwords. Strong and, crucially, unique passwords are required not only to log into the system and Apple ID, but for all your other accounts too: social networks, instant messengers, online stores, and so on. If you don’t
overly trust your imagination or memory, a password manager will come to the rescue.
We discuss in detail how such programs work in lesson 3 of the Device Security and Privacy course. If your security solution does not come with a password manager, you have the option to install Kaspersky Password Manager.
Now you know how to make your Mac secure. Want to protect your data on other devices too? Then check out our lessons about protecting smartphones, tablets, and computers running iOS/Android/Windows.
Hopefully not, but let’s suppose your Mac gets stolen. Since you set a login password, the thief has to remove the hard drive and put it in his own computer, where he tries to read it. But your photos and documents are safe if you previously enabled...