When PC users dominated the computer market, their machines became the target of most hackers for viruses and malware. But now that the Mac has a larger share of the market–at last count, over 100 million users around the world–more Apple-specific viruses, such as the Mac OS X Trojan Flashback, are beginning to surface.
Although the Mac OS X system is still considered a secure operating system, here are some tips to help make your machine even safer.
1. Keep your Mac up-to-date.
Make sure that your machine is running the latest versions of OS X and Safari as well as everything else. As a good rule of thumb, you should run your computer’s Software Update once a week. Be especially careful about keeping your Adobe Reader application up to date. It’s long been a favorite of windows-based cyber criminals, so it’s more than likely that hackers will eventually use older versions of it against Macs.
2. Use strong passwords.
Create and use passwords that are at least eight characters in length, using both letters and numbers. Be sure to throw in at least one capital letter or symbol to make them even more secure. Also remember to use different passwords for different services. If hackers gain access to one of your accounts, chances are they’ll try the same password on other online sites as well.
3. Turn off automatic logins.
It’s no fun to have to re-enter all of your passwords every time you boot up your machine, log into an account, open messenger programs or access varies websites. But it’s the safest option available. You can also use a password manager like Keychain (which comes free with current versions of Mac OS X) to store your passwords.
4. Download from trusted sources only.
Pirated software and other illegal downloads are frequently used to distribute malware and viruses. Make sure that you download software, applications, media and other files directly from the source to minimize your risk of infection.
5. Get a good security system.
Consider installing Mac virus scanners such as ClamXav, Virus Barrier or Mac-specific versions of Sophos and Kaspersky Anti-Virus onto your machine.
At Austin Mobile Computer Repair, we make it our business to keep up with what’s happening in the world of computer security. And that’s because we care about our clients. If we can’t make sure that your Mac or PC isn’t safe, then we’re not doing our job. When you need computer security advice or service, contact us!