Tips For Being a Safe Mac User [Part 2]

Last week I gave you 5 tips on how to be a Mac user and stay virus free. What did you think? Still feeling invincible? I’ve got 5 more tips for you. Enjoy!

6. Keep your OS up to date.

This applies to both Mac and Windows users. Security holes are patched all the time. There’s no reason to not be using an unpatched OS. Sure, not everyone can upgrade their OS all the time, but you can definitely patch it up. It’s free! If you don’t have an IT department, it’s up to you to make sure you have the latest patches installed.

7. Install anti-virus on Windows.

Windows malware won’t spread to a Mac, but if you run Windows on your Mac (whether via Boot Camp, VMWare Fusion, Parallels, or Virtual Box) then your Windows setup is at risk. There’s no excuse for not protecting Windows with anti-virus software (freeware or paid solutions) plus a whitelisting product. If you are in a corporate or institutional environment, your IT department has you covered. At least, they better!

8. Install anti-virus on Mac.

I’m serious. There are many great reasons Installing anti-virus software on your Mac OS is a great idea for many reasons. It will protect you from all zero-day threats for starters. Plus, if you ever send files to Windows users with email, FTP, Dropbox (etc), you could pass malware on to them. Any good Mac anti-virus product should detect a Windows virus and stop it before you can pass it along. I call this the “good citizen argument”. Your Windows using friends will thank you, trust me.

9. Use a current and secure web browser.

Web browsers in 2011 have come a long way since Mosaic first appeared in 1993. Today’s browsers are much more secure and come with features like sandboxing and anti-phishing tools. Do yourself a favor and make sure you have the latest version of Apple’s Safari (via Software Update), Google Chrome (automatically updates itself), or Firefox and you’ll be fine.

10. Investigate other security software.

Aside from anti-virus software, plenty of other products exist to keep you safe. Encryption programs  or system restore software won’t protect you from malware but can keep your data safe and your Mac running smoothly. Just be sure that whatever option you try comes from a reputable vendor.

So there you have it! Do you still feel invincible? You can be. Follow my advice and you’ll be a Mac superhero for sure.

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Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.