If you are a first-time Mac user, then welcome to the brave new world of Apple! It might seem a bit daunting at first to switch to a different OS than Windows, but most users very soon realize that most things that Mac OS does differently are largely based on intuition and user-friendly optimization. While you will certainly pick up on how to navigate the user interface quickly, other areas will require a bit of preparation and reading up – including how to beef up your Mac’s cybersecurity defenses.

Keeping your software updated

Setting up your Mac to be more secure does not require memorization like the must know MacOS keyboard shortcuts – but it does call for preparation and doing your own research. The first order of business is to make sure that your OS is constantly up to speed with the latest updated version. Updates typically include fixes against bugs and systems vulnerabilities, which hackers could exploit to gain unauthorized access.

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This is a straightforward process on a Mac computer: navigate to the Apple logo that is located on the top left corner of your screen and click on it. Then click About this Mac > Software Update and let your Mac do the rest. You can also set up your Mac to do this automatically. Simply launch System Preferences and then select Software Update > Automatically keep my Mac up to date.

Know your apps

Apple runs its own app store, where you can find and download apps for your Mac. Just click on the rocket icon on the bottom left corner of your screen to open the Launchpad and select App Store. While Apple does its best to ensure that no malicious apps can be found on its App Store, some have been known to slip through the cracks. This means that you must also play your part by doing meticulous research on which apps to trust. The key lessons learned from choosing a service provider online apply here, especially when you consider the steps you take to ensure security when money changes hands. 

Those operating in certain industries will need to have a particularly keen eye for reliable providers. Holders of banking or forex trading online accounts will need to trust these companies with their payment details, so they need to know that they will not be vulnerable to hacker attacks. Therefore, when opening an online account with a bank or an online forex trading website, customers always check to see that they are licensed by the appropriate authorities. Good reviews and registration with regulatory bodies like the FCA are what makes the best providers stand apart, and reviews such as those carried out by Topratedfxbrokers.com help prove that they are trustworthy and have put sufficient cybersecurity measures in place. The same goes for alternative payment platforms like Venmo or PayPal, websites that sell tickets to sports events or gigs, such as Ticketmaster, and online retailers like Amazon, where their policy towards online transaction security plays a crucial role in attracting clients. And the same is true for apps: before you download an app from the Apple Store, always check reviews first. In particular, beware of apps that appear to be from trusted sources but are in fact piggybacking on a reputable brand’s recognition. 

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Encrypt and backup your files

Apple has built-in features that will enhance your Mac’s security – but first you have to find them and make sure they are turned on. First of all, make sure that your firewall is turned on by opening System Preferences and then selecting Security & Privacy > Firewall > Turn On Firewall. Then, click on the FireVault next to your Firewall and select Turn on FireVault. This will activate Apple’s very own encryption tool and make sure that your sensitive data is protected from hackers.

Note that after you have set up FireVault you will need your login password and the automatically generated recovery key to access it again. If you forget those, your data will be lost – which is why lets you use iCloud to reset the encryption key. Your Mac will also prompt you to opt for automatically generated extra strong passwords when on native browser Safari and automatically fill these in for you. Lastly, the built in backup tool Time Machine also makes backing up your data very easy. Simply open System Preferences > Time Machine and select Back Up Automatically for maximum security.

Remember, if you are a new Mac user, start by looking at the official Apple support website for the simplest security steps. But then always go the extra mile by heading to specialized Apple user forums and dedicated websites for useful tips and shortcuts.

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