Follow these security tips to keep your Mac safe

Contrary to what you may believe, cyberthreats target not only Windows computers. Macs are also vulnerable to internet-based risks, and it’s critical that every Mac user protect their devices from such threats. Keep your Mac secure by following these steps.

Check your privacy settings

Make sure that your Mac settings are set up properly to keep your data safe. Manage the information your Mac makes available across the internet or on a network by going to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy. From there, you can choose which information to share and with whom. For example, you can specify which apps are allowed to see personal information, such as your location, contacts, photos, or music.

Take advantage of the firewall

A firewall protects your Mac from unwanted contact initiated by other computers on a network or the internet. It protects your computer by allowing only authorized services and apps to communicate with your Mac, so be sure to enable macOS’s built-in firewall.

To do so, just go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy Then, click Firewall. If the padlock icon at the bottom left is locked, click it and key in your username and password. Enable the firewall by clicking Turn On Firewall.

To modify Firewall settings, click on Firewall Options… just below the “Turn Off Firewall” button. You will find a list of services and apps that are allowed to receive inbound connections. If you want to add an app or service to the list, just click the “+” button below the list itself. However, we recommend keeping this list as short as possible, as the apps listed can be exploited by cybercriminals.

Another useful feature to enable is stealth mode. This option will make your Mac more difficult to find, thus keeping hackers and malware at bay. For instance, if you are in a coffee shop and connected to its unsecured Wi-Fi, enabling stealth mode will make your Mac invisible on that public network. To turn on this feature, just tick the box next to “Enable stealth mode” in Firewall Options. A dialog box will pop up, and you can click on the “Enable Stealth Mode” button.

Set up a firmware password

Every new Mac today has the FileVault encryption automatically enabled. This means that your device already encrypts the hard drive by default, and the only way your data can be accessed is by logging in. Keep in mind, though, that this feature won’t necessarily save your account in case someone reinstalls the operating system or uses a memory stick to boot the Mac and remove all data from your hard disk.

To increase protection, set up a firmware password. Do this by restarting your computer, then pressing and holding down Cmd+R before the Apple logo shows up on the screen. You can let go of the keys once the progress bar pops up.

When the utilities window appears, click on Utilities in the menu bar, then choose Startup Security Utility or Firmware Password Utility. Click on Turn On Firmware Password… and simply follow the succeeding instructions.

Finally, quit the utilities window, then choose Apple menu > Restart. Make sure to never forget or misplace your firmware password, because only Apple technicians can recover it.

Ensure that your confidential data remains private by performing minor tweaks on your Mac’s system settings. It takes only a few minutes to ensure lasting online protection. If setting up a firewall or firmware password sounds a little too advanced for you, or if you need to set up more advanced defenses, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

This post was originally published on this site

Follow these security tips to keep your Mac safe

Contrary to what you may believe, cyberthreats target not only Windows computers. Macs are also vulnerable to internet-based risks, and it’s critical that every Mac user protect their devices from such threats. Keep your Mac secure by following these steps.

Check your privacy settings

Make sure that your Mac settings are set up properly to keep your data safe. Manage the information your Mac makes available across the internet or on a network by going to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy. From there, you can choose which information to share and with whom. For example, you can specify which apps are allowed to see personal information, such as your location, contacts, photos, or music.

Take advantage of the firewall

A firewall protects your Mac from unwanted contact initiated by other computers on a network or the internet. It protects your computer by allowing only authorized services and apps to communicate with your Mac, so be sure to enable macOS’s built-in firewall.

To do so, just go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy Then, click Firewall. If the padlock icon at the bottom left is locked, click it and key in your username and password. Enable the firewall by clicking Turn On Firewall.

To modify Firewall settings, click on Firewall Options… just below the “Turn Off Firewall” button. You will find a list of services and apps that are allowed to receive inbound connections. If you want to add an app or service to the list, just click the “+” button below the list itself. However, we recommend keeping this list as short as possible, as the apps listed can be exploited by cybercriminals.

Another useful feature to enable is stealth mode. This option will make your Mac more difficult to find, thus keeping hackers and malware at bay. For instance, if you are in a coffee shop and connected to its unsecured Wi-Fi, enabling stealth mode will make your Mac invisible on that public network. To turn on this feature, just tick the box next to “Enable stealth mode” in Firewall Options. A dialog box will pop up, and you can click on the “Enable Stealth Mode” button.

Set up a firmware password

Every new Mac today has the FileVault encryption automatically enabled. This means that your device already encrypts the hard drive by default, and the only way your data can be accessed is by logging in. Keep in mind, though, that this feature won’t necessarily save your account in case someone reinstalls the operating system or uses a memory stick to boot the Mac and remove all data from your hard disk.

To increase protection, set up a firmware password. Do this by restarting your computer, then pressing and holding down Cmd+R before the Apple logo shows up on the screen. You can let go of the keys once the progress bar pops up.

When the utilities window appears, click on Utilities in the menu bar, then choose Startup Security Utility or Firmware Password Utility. Click on Turn On Firmware Password… and simply follow the succeeding instructions.

Finally, quit the utilities window, then choose Apple menu > Restart. Make sure to never forget or misplace your firmware password, because only Apple technicians can recover it.

Ensure that your confidential data remains private by performing minor tweaks on your Mac’s system settings. It takes only a few minutes to ensure lasting online protection. If setting up a firewall or firmware password sounds a little too advanced for you, or if you need to set up more advanced defenses, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

This post was originally published on this site

5 Most common security breaches

From attacks on mobile devices to ever-increasing types of malware, cybersecurity has never been more challenging. One of the best ways to stay protected is to be aware of cybersecurity threats. To that end, here are five common ways your IT systems can be broken into.

1. You are tricked into installing malicious software

There are countless ways you can be tricked into downloading and installing malware. One is by downloading software from torrent websites. When you visit these sites, you are told to download software in order for the site to load properly. Once downloaded, the malware that came with the software infects your system. In other cases, hackers send emails with a malware-infected attachment.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to avoid accidentally installing malware:

  • Never download files from an untrusted source. If a website is asking you to download something, make sure it’s reputable and reliable. Double check the URL of the website as well, as hackers can spoof legitimate websites and use similar but slightly altered URLs, such as “www.g00gle.com” instead of “www.google.com.” If you are unsure, it’s best to avoid downloading and installing the software.
  • Always look at the name of the file before downloading. A lot of malware is often deliberately given names similar to those of legitimate files, with only a slight spelling mistake or some unusual wording. If you are unsure about the file, then don’t download it. If you know the sender, you may contact them to verify the file’s authenticity.
  • Always scan a file before installing it. Use your antivirus scanner to check downloaded files before opening them.
  • Stay away from sites with torrents, adult content, or those that stream pirated videos. These sites often contain malware, so avoid them altogether.

2. Hackers obtain admin privileges

Many users are logged into their computers as admins. Being an administrator allows you to change settings, install programs, and manage other accounts. The problem with this is that if a hacker manages to access your computer with you as the admin, they will have full access to your computer. This means they can install other malicious software, change settings, or even completely hijack the machine.

Even worse is if a hacker gains access to a computer used to manage the overall IT network. Should this happen, they can control the entire network and do as they please.

To avoid these unfortunate situations, limit the administrator role only to users who need to install applications or change settings on their computers. Installing antivirus software and keeping them up to date, as well as conducting regular scans, will also help reduce the chances of being infected.

3. Someone physically accesses your computer

Your system can also get infected with malware or your data can get stolen because someone physically accessed your systems.

Let’s say you leave your computer unlocked when you go out for lunch. Someone can just walk up to it and plug in a malware-infected USB drive, which can infect your system. They can also manually reset the password, thereby locking you out.

An easy way to defend against this is to secure your computer with a password. You should also lock, turn off, or log off from your computer whenever you step away from it. You can also disable drives like CD/DVD and connections like USB if you don’t use them. Doing so will limit the chances of anyone using these removable media to infect your computer or steal data from it.

4. Someone from within the company infects the system

A disgruntled employee can compromise your IT systems. They can do so much damage such as deleting essential data or introducing highly destructive malware.

The most effective way to prevent this, aside from ensuring your employees are happy, is to limit access to systems. For example, you may find that people in marketing have access to finance files or even admin panels. Revoke unnecessary access rights and ensure that employees only have access to the files they need.

5. Your password is compromised

Passwords are typically the main verification method businesses use to access their accounts and systems. The issue with this is that many people have weak passwords that are easy to crack. To make matters worse, many people even use the same password for multiple accounts, which could lead to a massive breach.

It is therefore important to use strong and different passwords for your accounts. It’s best to also utilize multifactor authentication, which requires users to present more than one way to verify their identity such as a password plus a fingerprint or a one-time code.

If you want to learn more about securing your systems, contact us today.

This post was originally published on this site

5 Most common security breaches

From attacks on mobile devices to ever-increasing types of malware, cybersecurity has never been more challenging. One of the best ways to stay protected is to be aware of cybersecurity threats. To that end, here are five common ways your IT systems can be broken into.

1. You are tricked into installing malicious software

There are countless ways you can be tricked into downloading and installing malware. One is by downloading software from torrent websites. When you visit these sites, you are told to download software in order for the site to load properly. Once downloaded, the malware that came with the software infects your system. In other cases, hackers send emails with a malware-infected attachment.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to avoid accidentally installing malware:

  • Never download files from an untrusted source. If a website is asking you to download something, make sure it’s reputable and reliable. Double check the URL of the website as well, as hackers can spoof legitimate websites and use similar but slightly altered URLs, such as “www.g00gle.com” instead of “www.google.com.” If you are unsure, it’s best to avoid downloading and installing the software.
  • Always look at the name of the file before downloading. A lot of malware is often deliberately given names similar to those of legitimate files, with only a slight spelling mistake or some unusual wording. If you are unsure about the file, then don’t download it. If you know the sender, you may contact them to verify the file’s authenticity.
  • Always scan a file before installing it. Use your antivirus scanner to check downloaded files before opening them.
  • Stay away from sites with torrents, adult content, or those that stream pirated videos. These sites often contain malware, so avoid them altogether.

2. Hackers obtain admin privileges

Many users are logged into their computers as admins. Being an administrator allows you to change settings, install programs, and manage other accounts. The problem with this is that if a hacker manages to access your computer with you as the admin, they will have full access to your computer. This means they can install other malicious software, change settings, or even completely hijack the machine.

Even worse is if a hacker gains access to a computer used to manage the overall IT network. Should this happen, they can control the entire network and do as they please.

To avoid these unfortunate situations, limit the administrator role only to users who need to install applications or change settings on their computers. Installing antivirus software and keeping them up to date, as well as conducting regular scans, will also help reduce the chances of being infected.

3. Someone physically accesses your computer

Your system can also get infected with malware or your data can get stolen because someone physically accessed your systems.

Let’s say you leave your computer unlocked when you go out for lunch. Someone can just walk up to it and plug in a malware-infected USB drive, which can infect your system. They can also manually reset the password, thereby locking you out.

An easy way to defend against this is to secure your computer with a password. You should also lock, turn off, or log off from your computer whenever you step away from it. You can also disable drives like CD/DVD and connections like USB if you don’t use them. Doing so will limit the chances of anyone using these removable media to infect your computer or steal data from it.

4. Someone from within the company infects the system

A disgruntled employee can compromise your IT systems. They can do so much damage such as deleting essential data or introducing highly destructive malware.

The most effective way to prevent this, aside from ensuring your employees are happy, is to limit access to systems. For example, you may find that people in marketing have access to finance files or even admin panels. Revoke unnecessary access rights and ensure that employees only have access to the files they need.

5. Your password is compromised

Passwords are typically the main verification method businesses use to access their accounts and systems. The issue with this is that many people have weak passwords that are easy to crack. To make matters worse, many people even use the same password for multiple accounts, which could lead to a massive breach.

It is therefore important to use strong and different passwords for your accounts. It’s best to also utilize multifactor authentication, which requires users to present more than one way to verify their identity such as a password plus a fingerprint or a one-time code.

If you want to learn more about securing your systems, contact us today.

This post was originally published on this site