How to secure your Mac from virus and improve security

Posted: June 12, 2012 in Mac
The arrival of the virus Flashback on the Mac has hinted the grim reality: the Apple system is not free from viruses, and security of OS X is improved. Fortunately the solutions to counter trojan arrived quickly but this is not necessarily the Mac User must rest on their laurels. We therefore propose a short guide to perfect the security of your Mac.

Investing in an anti-virus

Investing is a great word because there is a well known anti-virus for Windows users has the merit of being free: the famous result Avast for Mac . There are other solutions like Sophos , ClamXav or Kaspersky . They offer all the basic tools needed to protect your computer. 

Owning a virus is important because they can stop automatic downloads done without your knowledge. Indeed it would seem that 70 of the 100 most visited sites have distributed malware inadvertently.

Should one of them would have slipped on your hard drive it will also consider conducting a virus scan of your computer. This is usually automatically configurable. Do it once a week is a good starting point.

Also note that there is software to check the links before clicking. The best known is AVG LinkScanner . This is the bare minimum failing to have a full suite.

Do without administrator access

By default the account you use for your mac is “administrator”. This permission level allows the installation of programs on request for a password. Which facilitates the mathematical development of malicious code.

The radical solution is to use a “user” account that will not allow the installation program, but that will be enough for all everyday uses such as word processing, Internet browsing and multimedia use.

However, it will switch back to the administrator account if you want to install new software.

To activate the account “user” you must go into system preferences. Apple menu> Preferences and then “Users and Groups” and press the “+” button a form will appear, choose and register a “Standard”.

The importance of up-to-day

We can not emphasize this enough: do system updates is essential to ensure the safety of his computer. The OS itself is important, but do not forget that applications can often introduce security vulnerabilities.

For them, go to the Apple menu and then “Last Updated Software”

Putting aside Adobe Reader

Reading of PDF is natively integrated into OSX via the application “Preview”. You do not need to download Adobe Reader to read this format. The application from Adobe is more greedy than well Apple. For the bargain it is known to be a real Swiss cheese. If for any reason you are forced to keep, put the update as often as possible.

Drop Java and Flash

If you use Adobe’s Creative Suite, you can skip the next paragraph. However if you use your computer to the Web, media or office you can do without Java and Flash.

Unfortunately many sites still use Flash technology, so it will use the browser Google Chrome , this is indeed the only one to directly incorporate Flash into its code.Mountain View offers up-to-day more often than Adobe, ensuring greater safety.

To disable Java must go to the application folder then Utilities and finally “Java Preferences”. After launching the application, uncheck the boxes in the “General”

The power of passwords

Unlike Microsoft, Apple offers a powerful tool to manage passwords, the Keychain. The interest lies in that it proposes to generate passwords for you and is also able to assess your safety, while remembering those that you saved. Try to use a password considered “strong”.

Bonus Security

Some tips for the end. Know that you can use a little program called Little Snitch , which in addition to monitoring the network I / O, you can encrypt some of your data.

If you have heart and that you are speaking, you can follow the written guide not the NSA (yes, this one) to really push things. For advanced users, you are warned!

Ask your questions in the Mac forum or forums security to get help or information on safety and Mac systems.

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