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Four easy ways to increase the security of your MacBook

Popular perception might lead you to believe that MacBooks and other Mac machines are already safe and immune to viruses and similar security issues. But don’t be fooled. Macs are known to be vulnerable to viruses and even some of the same security holes that plague PCs.

Of course, you can use antivirus software on MacOS to protect yourself, but a few simple steps can also give you extra peace of mind. Here are four ways to protect your MacBook.

Enable FileVault

File safe in the MacOS settings page.
Arif Bacchus / Digital trends

Our first tip is one that may have slipped under your radar. As part of the security features of your MacBook, you might have noticed something called FileVault. This is a setting that can help encrypt all data on your primary MacOS hard drive. With it, your data will be encrypted using the XTS-AESW 123 encryption standard. This makes it harder for someone to access your files if your Mac machine were to be stolen.

FileVault is available on Mac OS X Lion or later. You can access it by clicking on the Apple menu and choosing System Preferences> Security and confidentiality> Safe tongue.

When enabled, you will still need to sign in to your MacBook with your account password. If you forget your MacBook password and want to unlock your data, you can use your Apple ID as an alternative to unlocking. If you lose both your account password and your FileVault recovery key, you won’t be able to log into your Mac or access the data on your startup disk. Any encryption you start will happen in the background while you are connected to AC power.

Use a firewall

Firewall in the MacOS settings.
Arif Bacchus / Digital trends

Firewalls are something we’ve talked about before for Windows machines. On Macs, however, you can use the built-in one-way firewall in the same way to control connections made to your computer from other computers on your local network. A one-way firewall is built in and it can basically help unauthorized applications take control of network ports already open for applications you have approved. Here is how to use it.

Head to the Apple menu, choose System Preferences> Security and confidentiality> Activate the firewall. After that, you can specify some apps that can connect or block all incoming connections, allow built-in apps to accept connections, or only downloaded apps. You can even choose stealth mode, which will make it harder for hackers and malware to find your Mac.

Keep in mind that we call the built-in firewall a one-way firewall because it only offers protections on inbound networks. You will need a paid outbound firewall for true protection against the most sophisticated attacks, as it alerts you to something you have downloaded that connects to networks without your permission.

Change app security settings

Application security settings on MacOS.

Officially, Apple notes that the safest place to get apps for your MacBook is the App Store. All apps listed on the store are reviewed by Apple to make sure there is no malware, virus, or other items that could damage your Mac. Of course, there comes a time when you will need to download additional software from the web that is not in the App Store (like Chrome or Photoshop), so Apple has set the security and privacy settings to allow it. ‘App Store as well. as Identified Developers, by default.

But if you really want your Mac to be super secure, you can change the setting by App Store only. Once you are sure that you don’t need to download any additional apps, this ensures that something in your downloads won’t sneak into your system and hack into your Mac without your knowledge.

You can change this setting by going to the Apple menu and choosing System Preferences> Security and confidentiality> General, then scroll to Authorized apps downloaded from. In this section, you can change things so that only apps from the App Store are downloaded. You can also visit this page to grant exceptions to certain applications through the Open anyway button as you see fit.

Always keep your computer locked when you go away

Security and privacy in MacOS settings
Arif Bacchus / Digital trends

Our final tip is one that may seem a bit obvious but still deserves mention. If you happen to get away from your laptop at any time, we suggest you always keep it locked. We also suggest that you enable the option to require a password after your Mac wakes from sleep mode or when the screen saver turns on.

You can configure your Mac to log out when not in use by going to the Apple menu and then choosing System Preferences,> Security and confidentiality. From there, click Advanced, so Log out after… minutes of inactivity. We also suggest you go to Security and confidentiality, so General , and selecting Require a password… after starting the day before or the screen saver.

As a final tip, we also suggest using Hot Corners. With Hot Corners, you can hover the mouse over any corner of the screen to automatically lock your Mac. Visit Desktop and screen saver> Mission control> Hot corners. You can then choose a modifier key (like a command) and one of the corners for the lock screen.

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