Tips and Tools

 

Mac Tips and Tricks - Security and Privacy

Security and Privacy - Last week we wrote about the new Mac malware that is making the round. Who is doing this stuff? We hate those people! While we still encourage Mac users to download the free Anti-Malware for Mac software, there is another step to securing your Mac that we want to bring to your attention.

The last few major updates to the Mac OS (soon to be called macOS) have included a new Gatekeeper security feature that is a terrific solution to help prevent accidental “bad software” from infecting your system. Unless you have turned this off, it should already be on your Mac and working.

Downloads - Go to System Preferences, then Security & Privacy. Under the “General” tab, you will find what is arguably the best defense that the Mac has to prevent malware from infecting your system.

The Choices

It sounds simple and innocuous enough, but there is a lot of protection here. There are three options: 

  1. Mac App Store
  2. Mac App Store and identified developers
  3. Anywhere

Guess which one you probably should not select if you want to avoid malware?

Mac App Store

Mac App Store is the most secure. Anything downloaded via the Mac App Store has been vetted by Apple, and they are very diligent in that duty. You can trust downloading from the Mac App Store.

Mac App Store and identified developers

Developers who are known to be trusted by Apple have digital signatures in their products that tell the Mac OS just that. They are trusted and identified as such by Apple. Their software may not be in the Mac App Store but that does not make it more risky. It just means the developer didn’t want to sell their software through Apple’s digital store. These developers can be trusted.

Anywhere

The last option, Anywhere, is the most dangerous. This option is not turned on by default. In fact, to make any changes to any of these settings, you have to click the Unlock icon and enter your Admin password. Even then, your Mac will warn you that choosing the “Anywhere” option will make your Mac less secure.

It is only through this Anywhere option that Malware can infect your Mac. Software downloaded from the internet can be dangerous, but trusted developers identified by Apple should be safe.

Be Safe!

Play it smart, keep your Mac secure, and be sure to read our weekly email newsletter for any further malware news that may come up in the future!