secure your mac

Secure Your Mac from loss & hackers!

Security is one of those things we all know we should be doing something about, but not many people know what to do, and more importantly how. So please find below our top tips to help you secure and protect your Mac.

Viruses & Malware

Thankfully, as Mac users, we are not as at risk as our poor Windows-using friends. That doesn’t mean we can be complacent though, and we do from time to time come across Macs that have been infected with nefarious software. So we thought some free advice might help.

We recommend two bits of software to protect your Mac, both free. We all love free right? Avast antivirus for Mac and Malware Bytes. These two apps will keep your Mac free of anything nasty.

If a web page pops up and tells you your Mac is infected with something, please ignore it. Don’t click and download anything that these web pages tell you to – it won’t end well.

Protect your Mac from theft

Well, we can’t stop your Mac from being stolen, but we can do quite a lot to help you get it back, and if not, we can make it damn near useless to the thief.

1. Setup a lock screen message

I have one that says:

“If you have found this laptop, do the right thing and please email or call 441212969996”

You could even offer a reward. If an honest person finds your laptop, they know how to contact you. You will be surprised how often this works – most people in the world are honest!

2. Make sure you have set a secure password

I know this sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed how many people use ‘password’. I tend to pick a random word such as astronaut and then add a number to it. You can also replace ‘a’ with @. so an example password could be @stron@ut82$

3. Install an open firmware password

Most people haven’t heard of an open firmware password, but it is essential in protecting your Mac if it was made before 2016. For Macs using Apple silicon such as the M1, use File Vault. What it does, is prevents someone from using keyboard commands designed for someone to start your Mac in special modes such as recovery mode or single-user mode. In the wrong hands, these modes would allow a thief to bypass password protections, wipe your machine or get at your data 

4. Turn on FileVault

Even with the above protections, all a thief would need to do to access your data, would be to remove your hard drive and pop it in a USB caddy. Then they could browse your data to their heart’s content. FileVault will encrypt your hard drive so that even if you put the drive into a caddy, the user will be prompted to enter a password. Don’t forget the FileVault password though! If you do, you won’t be able to get at your own data. Encryption makes data recovery in event of hard drive failure near on impossible, so please make sure you have a backup of your data.

5. Install Prey

Prey is another piece of brilliant free software. You install it on your Mac, and if it is stolen, you can log into the Prey website and do various things such as see when your Mac was last online and where it was located. You can also lock your Mac, flash messages up on screen, use the webcam to take pictures of who is using your Mac, remotely retrieve files and even wipe the machine.

Prey is free for 1 device. Download here

6. Encrypt your backups

We have covered how important it is to back up your Mac in a previous article. If you use time machine to back up your Mac, there is a handy option to encrypt the backup. That means if you lose or have your backup drive stolen, nobody will be able to access your data without entering a password.

7. Set up a repair account

Sometimes you need to use people like us to repair your Mac. Now we are very trustworthy and don’t access your data, but you might be abroad or, for whatever reason, you can’t bring it to us. Repair companies might have to access your machine for various reasons, and they will ask you for your password. This way, you can give them a valid login, without giving them access to all your files.

So there you have it, 7 steps to help you protect your Mac.

Now we understand that might all sound like techno mumbo jumbo to some of you, but it sounds like sound advice, right? Well, if you bring your Mac to us, we can do all of this for you for £90. If you are local we can do all of this in-store, and if you’re not, we can install some software on your Mac that allows us to set this up remotely. We charge £20 extra for this service as it generally takes longer, as we also have to talk you through doing a couple of things over the phone.