Protecting the Data on your Mac

Whether your Mac is used solely by you or by multiple users, there are plenty of actions you should take to ensure your privacy is second to none.

Do your daily work on a standard user account
When you first set up a new Mac, fresh out of the box, the OS X setup wizard will ask you for a username and a password. Since every Mac has to have at least one account designated as administrator, the first account will automatically become the admin account. Administrators can install software and change settings – albeit with the password – but mistakes can still be made. Standard users, on the other hand, have limited access rights – they can change and create some files and install some software, as long as it doesn’t require editing the System or Library folders. Due to the limits placed on standard accounts, it might be wise to create one for day-today work. Whenever an administrator is required, you’ll be asked to input the username and password, meaning any red flags are raised before it’s too late. While standard accounts aren’t totally protected from malware, they can provide a warning. In addition, it can also prevent you accidentally deleting an important system file. Another key thing to do as soon as your Mac has been set up is to tell OS X to display a log-in screen, disabling automatic login, which is default on some older versions of the operating system.

Ensure you always have the latest updates installed
Despite Macs being less susceptible to viruses than PCs, the increasing number of Apple computers out there means cybercriminals are getting creative; Macs are no longer as safe as they once were from malware. For this reason, it’s a good idea to check for updates as often as you can. The aptly-named Software Update is the default program for handling updates on your Mac, and it can be accessed by clicking the Apple icon in the menu bar. When launched, it will check Apple’s servers to see if any software updates are available. Patching your Mac promptly will ensure it’s protected from the latest security threats.

Encrypt your volume using FileVault
Encryption is crucial if you want to ensure your data is kept out of unwanted hands, and with Macs, it’s incredibly easy to encrypt your data. Apple’s default encryption program, FileVault, encrypts your Mac’s hard drive or solid-state drive using XTS-AES 128, an incredibly secure encryption algorithm. The password protection on your user account simply isn’t enough; if your Mac is stolen, your data can be extracted from the storage medium with relative ease. When FireVault is enabled, as soon as your Mac shuts down, the data stored on its drive will become encrypted, and only those with the password to log in will be able to access the data. For this reason, a long password made up of letters, numbers and symbols is recommended. You can enable FileVault by logging into OS X as an administrator, opening System Preferences, then Security and Privacy, followed by FileVault.

Mac Data Recovery