Protecting yourself when online is essential from a security point of view as a failure to do so can lead to a number of serious problems. If your security is compromised it can ultimately lead to your personal information being stolen and used for criminal purposes and if you bank online, or purchase any goods with a credit card, then you may find that your Ebay purchase costs you more than you think.
When it comes to protecting yourself, the way in which you achieve this does depend upon the system you are using as well as the browser to access the internet. Knowing how to take care of yourself online involves more than just running a virus checker and a firewall and in the case of those people using a Mac browser there are five key ways in which you can make surfing the internet a whole lot easier. Forget the idea that Mac users are safe online as we are all vulnerable in some way.
1. Never only use the firewall that comes with the machine
Even though the Apple Mac does have its own in-built firewall, which is quite effective, you are also advised to consider adding a little extra in order to boost your security. Ideally you should think of using something that focuses on tracking all of the incoming and outgoing connections and one such program is called Little Snitch. By using this program you will be able to see if there are any unusual events that do not correspond with your own usage and when this is the case it can often indicate that you have been hacked. It is always better to have too much security rather than too little.
2. Pay attention to cookies
When we go to a website there will often be something called a cookie placed on your machine. This is pretty much like a digital fingerprint of where you have been and this cookie will often hold some information that is invaluable to a potential hacker. These cookies can be stored on your machine for a prolonged period of time, so ideally they should be removed after every session and this is possible thanks to a small program called Better Privacy. What this does is it removes them after you have finished browsing, but it goes one step further by also removing cookies from various add-ons you may have installed as they can often be exploited by hackers.
3. Use more than one browser
You are also advised to consider using more than just the Apple Mac browser when online. By doing this, you actually manage to limit the risk, but apart from also running the likes of Chrome along with Safari it is also how you use them that is important. Ideally, you should consider using one browser to check email, another browser for your social media websites, and yet another browser for other internet pages that may result in personal information being divulged. Why? If Safari was exploited and you used it for email, then your email could also be hacked at the same time, so use specific browsers for specific jobs to make things safer.
4. Sandbox it!
If you have even just some technical ability you may wish to consider sandboxing the browser in order to make it more secure. For a Mac user you are best to download an application for Firefox called Ironfox and what this does is it will limit the parts of the actual operating system it can connect to and when this happens it gives a potential hacker less opportunity to get into your browser and steal your information.
5. Update on a regular basis
Finally, you need to make sure that you update your system on a regular basis and this includes your software, system, and the latest security updates from Apple. You should set up your Mac so it searches for these updates on a daily basis as there are always various patches being created in order to tackle a known problem. Hackers look to exploit machines that have fallen behind with these updates as they are seen as an easy target. However, do make sure that you are downloading updates from official sources to avoid picking up viruses or malware created by the hackers themselves.