Increase Macintosh Protection Without OS X Antivirus Software
Besides installing Mac antivirus software or other Apple security utilities, there are several simple ways to enhance the overall security level on a Mac OS X computer.
For decades Apple computers have been more or less free of computer viruses and malware. But in recent years, this trend has changed.
As the popularity of Mac laptops and desktops increases so too has the number of security threats posed to Apple computer users.
For some users, antivirus software and security utilities seem to be the best solution for protecting modern Macs from these new threats. However, many experienced users claim that Mac antivirus software can be more trouble than it is worth. Furthermore, installation and configuration of these programs can be somewhat overwhelming to the non-tech savvy Mac user.
Thankfully there are a handful of basic changes that Mac users of all levels can implement to help protect their Mac from viruses, malware, and other security threats.
Changing System Preferences to Improve Mac Security
There are few simple changes Mac users can make in the System Preferences in order to better protect an Apple computer against security breaches. First off, open the System Preferences pane and click on the “Security” icon to view the security settings for the computer. Checking all the boxes may introduce some cumbersome security verification for some users so at the very least, be sure to check the boxes for the following parameters:
- Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver
- Disable automatic login
- Use secure virtual memory
Download the latest Mac OS X Security Updates Direct From Apple
Another easy way to increase security on Mac computers is to ensure that the System software is up to date. Updates are available by clicking on “Software Update…” under the Apple Menu. These software updates are for the various programs that make up Mac OS X (such as iTunes and Safari) but also include important Apple OS X security revisions.
Users can automate the software update process by clicking on the “Software Update” icon in the System Preferences window and choosing how often they would like to check for updates.
Also Read : Useful Tips to Secure & Speed up Your Mac
Advanced Security Measures For Mac Users
For those seeking, even more, security for their data, there are two other options to consider: installing and running the Firmware Password Utility and activating FileVault.
The Firmware Password Utility can be found in the Utilities Menu on the Leopard OS X install/restore DVD. Once copied and activated, the Mac will require the user to enter a password each time the computer is booted up.
FileVault can be accessed from the Security icon in the System Preferences window. This program allows the user to encrypt all data stored in the home folder. Once this is done, the data cannot be accessed without a master password (chosen at time of encryption).
This added security feature prevents almost any unauthorized access to the encrypted files. Users implementing this feature should be aware that, should they forget the master password, all the encrypted data would be inaccessible.
Other Ways to Protect Data and Increase Security on Mac Computers
Be sure to use a complex password for user log in purposes. Usually, a combination of letters and numbers works best.
Create a guest account on the Mac for all friends and acquaintances who may use the computer at any given time. This account will help prevent any accidental downloads or installations while someone other than the primary user is using the computer.
Last but not least, Mac users concerned about data loss should regularly backup files and folders. This can be done via data backup software or a data backup service.