10 Simple Tips for Boosting The Security Of Your Mac
Submitted by sarah.bergeron on Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:15
By: Kaspersky Américas on 09/04/2012
According to data collected by Kaspersky Lab, almost 700,000
user computers have been infected by the Mac OS X trojan Flashback since the beginning
of April. During the next few months, we
are probably going to see more attacks of this kind which focus on exploiting
two main things: outdated software and the user’s lack of awareness. What can Mac users do to protect themselves? Kaspersky Lab has compiled a checklist
of steps you can take to ensure your online safety:
non-admin account for everyday activities—Your default account on Mac OS X
in an administrator user, and malware writers can take advantage of that to
infect your computer. For everyday tasks
like checking email and browsing, create a non-admin user to limit the damage
from threats and malware attacks.
Use a web
browser that contains a sandbox and has a solid track record of fixing security
issues in a prompt manner—Kaspersky Lab recommends Google Chrome since it’s
updated more often than Apple’s built-in Safari browser. It also comes equipped with a sandboxed
version of Flash Player that puts up a significant roadblock for malicious
the standalone Flash Player—Adobe’s Flash Player has been common target for
hackers looking to take control over your computer. Furthermore, an old version
of Flash Player will most certainly put you at risk when browsing the internet.
Java problem—Like Flash Player, Java is a preferred target for exploit
writers looking to plant malware on your machine. We recommend you completely
uninstall it from your machine.
“Software Update” and patch the machine promptly when updates are available—Many
of the recent attacks against Mac OS X take advantage of old or outdated
software. Commonly exploited suites include Microsoft Office, Adobe
Reader/Acrobat, and Oracle’s Java, but there are other applications that can be
abused as well. Whenever you see the Apple’s “Software Update” prompt, be sure
to apply the fixes and reboot the machine when necessary.
password manager to help cope with phishing attacks—Mac comes with a
built-in password manager, the “Keychain”. Whenever possible, try to generate
unique, strong passwords for your resources and keep them in the keychain
instead of remembering easier passwords.
IPv6, AirPort and Bluetooth when not needed—These connectivity services can
be used as entry points for hacker attacks.
If you aren’t using them, turn them off.
full disk encryption (MacOS X 10.7+) or FileVault—In Mac OS X Lion, Apple
updated their encryption solution (FileVault) and added full disk encryption.
It is now known as “FileVault 2”. This has the advantage of securing the entire
disk instead of just your home folder and can be very useful if your laptop
Adobe Reader to version “10” or later—Adobe Reader has been one of the
preferred targets of cybercriminals on the Windows platform and it still ranks
high among the most exploited software in the world. Make sure you get the latest version from the
download page at Adobe.
good security solution—With the recent Flashback Trojan outbreak, it’s
mandatory for any Mac user to have a security solution. You can download and install a trial of
Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Mac here.