Heavy online shopping season is upon us and most of your computers are configured in such a way that are vulnerable to many maladies floating in the Internet. I hope this short and simple blog encourages you stop what you are doing and upon reading this blog, open the System Preferences and make the changes that will guard your privacy and enhance the security of your system and the nation at large. Remember that each one of your devices, regardless of the content, can be used as a stepping stone to commit a cybercrime. So securing your technology is not only about you and your safety. It is about the safety of the nation at large.
How to upgrade the Apple OS?
Although the latest operating system for Apple is Sierra, I recommend El Capitan as a most stable system. If you have any operating system lower than 10.11 (El Capitan), you need to backup your data and upgrade to El Capitan.
How do I backup and upgrade?
Using a WD Passport external hard drive that you can buy at any computer store or online, go to System Preferences and select Time Machine.
Connect the external hard drive to your computer, select On in the Time Machine window, and select the WD Passport as your destination. Once the backup is completed, you can take your laptop at any Apple store’s Genie bar and they will upgrade your computer to El Capitan for free.
Then, you can restore your data from the backup.
How do I configure my computer?
Go to System Preferences and follow the screen shots below.
Open the General tab and select Google Chrome as your default browser. Then, go back to the main menu and select Security & Privacy. You will see four tabs: General, FileVault, Firewall and Privacy. Under FileVault, Apple gives you the beautiful feature of encrypting your entire hard drive. Use it!
Still under Security and Privacy – Firewall Tab, select Firewall Options and put a check mark on Enable stealth mode. And under the Privacy tab, disabled Location Services, and Diagnostic & Usage.
I understand that many, many are Bluetooth dependent but it is one of the most vulnerable points of technology because of it spread spectrum and hopping frequency. A laptop can be compromised via Bluetooth within 100 meters, and there are plenty of Bluetooth scanners in the market. If you insist on having the Bluetooth on, at least remove the check mark on these options so your Bluetooth will not be so easily discovered.
That is all for now. Thank you for reading!
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About the Blog
This blog is updated on a bi-weekly basis and it will address a variety of topics concerning cybertechnology, privacy and ethics in the cyberspace domain.