I’m a big Apple fan - they have great hardware, but an even better stance on privacy. It’s ingrained in everything they do, from their devices to their services. Even so, there are some things that I do immediately out of the box to better improve the security of my devices.
Some essential settings and apps for Mac.
Little Snitch is an app that tracks every single connection on your Mac, and visualizes to where in the world it is going. Its extremely powerful, allowing you to accept or reject any connection to and from your Mac.
After installation, I add two rule group subscriptions:
These should prevent any ads or malware from coming onto your computer. These are automatically updated, and Little Snitch can refresh the rule group daily or weekly.
FileVault is an essential, non-obtrusive feature that all users should enable. When your computer is asleep it encrypts every file, making them unreadable. That way, if someone somehow gains access to your computer, they cannot read the data. It’s a simple change that doesn’t affect any other part of your workflow.
Using the firewall will help give you better control of the connections to your computer. By default, it blocks all incoming connections, which is important if you’re working on a public network.
To further enhance security when working on a public network, you can enable stealth mode. Your computer will ignore any unsigned connections, thus hiding your device’s presence on the network.
Limit Ad Tracking
Tucked in the little corner of
Security and Privacy->
Advertising there is an option to Limit the Ad Tracking that comes from your Apple devices. Definitely a feature that should be enabled by default.
Location Services (iPhone)
Apple uses your location for many things beyond basic phone operations, such as Ad data. They also make the setting to disable this difficult to find. To turn these off, go to
System Services. It’ll be all the way at the bottom of the page.
I also disable
Significant Locations to prevent Apple from identifying my frequently visited locations.
Jumbo audits your accounts and identifies privacy and security settings for you to change. It’s simple - you log in, and it shows you history to delete, data to clean, tracking settings to disable, and more. It also runs in the background to ensure that you are always leaving a minimal data footprint.