cybersecurity

The Ultimate Cybersecurity Checklist for Mac Using Business Owners

Many small business owners choose Apple products because they have a reputation for being exceedingly difficult to hack.

Unfortunately, they aren’t impervious to cyber-attacks.

There are several ways that cybercriminals can work around the built-in protection systems in Apple products. This is especially true if you haven’t taken the time to set up essential cybersecurity features for your business.

If you accidentally click on the wrong link or download a suspicious file, you may unintentionally expose your Apple product to malicious software (malware). There are several different types of malware that Apple users have to be aware of, some of which include:

  • Adware
  • Spyware
  • Keyloggers
  • Ransomware

Although each malware variation behaves differently, they generally have the same goal: to gather a user’s personal or financial data. Cybercriminals can use this data to blackmail your business or to sell to third parties on the dark web.

Even though you should take the time to set up the proper security systems for all of your business’ Apple devices, the checklist below will focus solely on cybersecurity practices for MacBooks and iMacs.

Turn Your Firewall On

One of the first things that you’ll want to do is turn on your firewall. Mac products come with a built-in firewall that blocks incoming connections from exploiting your device’s vulnerable services. Simply put, turning your firewall on can help minimize the chances of your computer getting hacked.

However, business owners need to realize that they have to turn the firewall on manually. Thankfully, MacBooks and iMacs come with an OS that makes it easy to turn your firewall on and off.

To turn your firewall on, all you need to do is click on the Apple icon and scroll down to the System Preferences button.

Once there, click on System Preferences, then click on the Security & Privacy icon. Doing this will bring you to the firewall tab.

You now have the option to click on the lock tab and enter your computer password. This will allow you to turn on your firewall and customize your preferences.

Install High-Quality Antivirus Software

Now that you’ve turned on your firewall, it’s time to install premium antivirus software from a reliable source. Taking the time to do this will help protect your Apple device from a wide array of cyber threats, like malware.

You may be asking yourself, “how do antivirus programs work?”.

In layman’s terms, modern antivirus programs help you protect your Mac against malware by scanning your device and identifying suspicious files that can potentially compromise your data.

Although you may be tempted to opt for a free antivirus service, this isn’t recommended. This is because most free antivirus services only offer rudimentary protection features. This makes it relatively easy for malware to infect your device and compromise your business’ data.

If you’re looking for top-of-the-line protection from malware, you should look for an antivirus program that offers the following features:

  • Automatic software scans
  • Blocks unwanted ads
  • Blocks unwanted apps

It’s also worth mentioning that you should look for a program that doesn’t take up too much storage space on your MacBook or iMac. This will keep your device running smoothly, which allows you to stay productive throughout the workday.

Back Up Your Device with Time Machine

As you may know, MacBooks and iMacs come equipped with an aptly named program called Time Machine. This useful program allows users to back up their devices quickly and easily. What’s more, Time Machine allows users to back up their devices:

  • Hourly
  • Daily
  • Weekly

You may be thinking, “won’t all those back ups take up a lot of space on my computer?”.

In a sense, you’re correct. Time Machine uses all of the excess storage space on your iMac or MacBook. However, when you download a new app or program, Time Machine makes room for it by deleting an old back up copy. This provides small business owners with the perfect mix of digital freedom and security.

working on mac

Consider Using a VPN While Online

Few products offer small business owners the same level of digital anonymity as virtual private networks (VPNs).

VPNs act as your own personal private server, allowing you to mask your online activity. A secure VPN allows you to conceal your activity by encrypting your data. Doing this hides key pieces of information, like your geolocation and IP address.

VPNs are perfect for small business owners who work remotely or itinerantly due to the fact that they can turn a risky public WiFi network into a trustworthy private network.

Turn on Automatic Updates

Many small business owners don’t know that updating their devices is a standard cybersecurity practice.

Cybercriminals often target small businesses that use devices with old, out of date software, due to the fact that they have more vulnerabilities. Many types of malware can take advantage of vulnerabilities in your OS and use them to enter your computer.

By updating your computer regularly, you’re removing all of the vulnerabilities that have come to Apple’s attention since the previous update.

Updating your Mac product is relatively easy to do; however, it can be a bit of a hassle to go through the process manually each time. If you’d like to forgo the hassle, you can set your computer to update automatically. This setting allows your computer to revise itself every time Apple releases an update.

To turn on automatic updates, click on the Apple icon and scroll to the System Preferences button. Click on System Preferences and scroll to the Software Update icon.
Once you’ve found the Software Update icon, click on it and select the “automatically keep my Mac up to date”. This button gives you the ability to turn on automatic updates for your OS and apps.

This means that you can spend more time enjoying your Mac and less time worrying about the next OS update.

Even though protecting your small business from cybercriminals may sound like an uphill battle, it’s much easier than you’d expect, especially when you use the tips above.

As a reminder, you can keep your businesses safe by turning on your Mac’s firewall, installing an antivirus program, using Time Machine, downloading a VPN, and turning on automatic updates.