Although many people mistakenly believe Apple computers to be impervious to viruses, this notion couldn’t be further from the truth. While Macs may not be targeted by virus developers as often as Windows PCs, they’re still at considerable risk for viruses. In fact, from 2018 to 2019, there was a 400 percent increase in cyber threats to Mac devices. As such, it behooves every Mac user to treat cybersecurity with the importance it warrants. Fortunately, bolstering your computer’s defenses needn’t be exorbitantly pricey, challenging or time-consuming. Apple enthusiasts who are ready to step up their cybersecurity game would do well to heed the following tips.
Install High-Quality Antivirus Software
Although macOS has built-in antivirus components, there’s no substitute for dedicated antivirus software. The right program will work in conjunction with your operating system to protect your Apple computer from a growing array of viruses, malware and other cyber threats.
When shopping around for antivirus for Mac, there are a number of factors you’ll need to consider. For starters, look for programs that receive regular software updates, as this indicates that the developers stay on top of new and emerging threats. (Additionally, to get the most out of any antivirus program, you’ll need to install software updates posthaste.) Secondly, the developers should provide users with 24/7 support. Since viruses and other threats don’t operate according to a set schedule, it helps to have readily-accessible support available at all hours. Lastly, make sure that any antivirus program you’re considering has favorable consumer reviews. Virtually any product you come across is liable to have a little bit of negative feedback, but if a program’s unfavorability far outweighs its favorability, you’d be wise to seek out other options.
Keep Software Up to Date
It’s no secret that software updates can be cumbersome to install, especially if they become available while you’re in the middle of using your computer. Depending on the type of update, you may even have to halt any other computing tasks until it’s been safely installed. While this can certainly be inconvenient, it’s better than the alternative – i.e., vulnerability to cyber threats. Many updates are created for the purpose of combating viruses and malicious software, and the longer you wait to install them, the more susceptible to harm your Apple computer will be. To nip this in the bud, make a point of installing all macOS and app updates posthaste. This may present a minor inconvenience, but it has the power to boost your cybersecurity exponentially.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
In recent years, virtual private networks, or “VPNs,” have risen to prominence – and it isn’t difficult to see why. In essence, a VPN allows you to create a private network from a public internet connection and masks your IP address to ensure that your online activity is virtually untraceable. Furthermore, VPNs serve to encrypt your browsing data, making it all but impossible for hackers, data thieves and other disreputable characters to come into possession of it. While it’s generally a good idea to use a VPN from home, it’s practically essential that you use one whenever accessing public Wi-Fi. Although public networks serve an important function and can be extremely convenient, many of them are veritable goldmines for cybercriminals.
Use a Secure Browser
Since many virus and malware infections stem from unsecured browsing practices, it’s imperative that you use a dependable browser when surfing the web. Fortunately, when it comes to secure browsers, your options are anything but limited. For example, Opera, with its sleek, user-friendly interface, is generally regarded as a dependable alternative to Safari. As an added bonus, Opera provides users with built-in VPN service. There’s also Chrome, which is fast becoming one of the world’s most prominent browsers. In addition to providing a built-in password manager and ad-blocker, Chrome readily alerts users to the presence of phishing scams, malicious software and other cyber threats.
If you made the switch to Apple computers to get away from viruses, malware and other cyber threats, you may find yourself disappointed. As Apple products continue to grow in popularity, they’ve become increasingly common targets for a wide assortment of cybercriminals. That being the case, simply transitioning from a Windows PC to a Mac doesn’t automatically preclude you from falling prey to cyber threats. Luckily, with a little bit of persistence and a willingness to adapt, you’ll be able to preserve the safety of your Apple computer for years to come.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!