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Protecting Your MAC

  1. Keep your firewall turned on.
    • A firewall helps protect your Mac from hackers who might try to delete information, make your computer crash or even steal personal information such as passwords or credit card numbers. You should make sure your firewall is always turned on.
    • Mac OS X comes ready with a personal firewall turned on by default. Ensure your firewall is turned on.
  2. Keep your operating system updated (Software Update).
    • High priority updates are critical to the security and reliability of your Mac. They offer the latest protection against malicious online activities.  Apple provides new updates, as necessary, on a regular basis.
    • It is highly recommended to configure your Mac to download updates automatically.
  3. Keep your computer free of malware.
    • Malware is software and/or code designed to infiltrate or damage a Mac without the owner's informed consent. Viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits, bots, spyware, loggers and dialers are all various forms of malware.
    • Using antivirus software such as McAfee Virus Scan along with spyware removal software like MacScan can greatly reduce the chances of malware infecting or infiltrating your Mac.
    • Keeping your antivirus software updated (use automatic updates if available) as well as enabled is crucial for this protection to remain effective. Out-dated antivirus software is as effective as no antivirus software at all.
    • Practicing good internet and computing habits will further help ensure you're not a victim of malware. Malicious e-mail and IM's can be made to look like they are from a legitimate person and typically include a link to trick you into clicking on it and unknowingly download malware to your Mac.
    • Visit Longwood's software library to find antivirus software for your Mac.
  4. Use a strong administrator password/passphrase.
    • Setting a strong password or passphrase on all your user accounts is an important layer of protection.  It should be something easy to remember, easy to type and difficult for someone else to guess.
    • Do not use you administrator account for everyday computing. Using a non-privileged user account is not only a good computing habit, it is a great way to help further protect your computing from being infected by malware.
    • Refer to Longwood's Password Management Standards for help with selecting a strong password/passphrase.
  5. Only register computers that belong to you.
    • You are responsible for the maintenance and use of your Mac and any activity associated with any computer registered to you using your LancerNet ID.
    • Unregister Mac's that no longer belong to you (sell, trade, trash, etc.) by contacting the Help Desk.