With just a 15% share of the desktop market, one wouldn’t consider Macs a prime target for hackers. But threats to Mac users abound, whether they’re specifically designed to exploit weaknesses in macOS or whether they are platform agnostic (i.e social engineering). In this simple guide, we look at five basic cybersecurity hygiene practices every Mac user should read, and use, in 2022.
Don’t postpone security updates
Let’s face it. Installing updates is a bit of a drag. But this short disruption goes a long way, security-wise, especially when a particularly dangerous threat is making the rounds.
When Apple patched the infamous FORCEDENTRY exploit, it did so not just to protect iPhones from Pegasus spyware, but also to protect Macs against similar threats. The reason? Both iOS and macOS shared the same weakness (CVE-2021-30860).
According to Citizen Lab – the discoverers of FORCEDENTRY – the vulnerability exists in iOS versions prior to 14.8 and macOS versions prior to macOS Big Sur 11.6 and Security Update 2021-005 Catalina. So be sure to have at least these versions installed to avoid this flaw.
But this is just one notable threat in a sea of threats targeting Macs. So it’s important to always stay up to date. Even if you don’t want to upgrade to a new macOS (i.e. Monterey), there’s always the option to stick with your favorite macOS iteration and still apply the latest security fixes. So never miss out on any security updates from the mother ship in Cupertino, California. Many threats are invisible – until they unfold.
Disable remote access
Few people actually use the Remote Access function to reach their Mac from afar. If you never – or rarely – use it, it’s probably a good idea to disable this potentially risky pathway to your Mac. If your configuration has a weakness that can grant unauthorized remote access – an unpatched flaw, for instance – a bad actor could try and discover your Mac remotely and access your files, steal credentials, deploy malware, and anything in between.
From the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen, select System Preferences and go to Sharing. Unlock access with your administrator password and uncheck the boxes next to…