hacked

4 Ways to Protect Your Computer From Being Hacked

This article will tell you about the 4 smartest things you can do to prevent your Mac from being hacked! Read on and you’ll find out exactly what to do.

1. Create a Firmware Password

When you enable a firmware password, the user must enter it before performing tasks like booting from a disk, resetting PRAM, and most importantly, entering single-user mode. Single-user mode is vital for many of our tutorials, like our article on how to create a new administrator account. If a firmware password is enabled, the hacker simply cannot use that tutorial.

Of course, there are ways around a firmware password (as detailed in this article), but that can easily be prevented by not allowing physical access, which we’ll talk about later.

If you want to learn how to set up a firmware password, you can take a look at this article by Apple.

2. Turn off Remote Login

Whenever somebody tries to SSH into your computer, they need remote login to be enabled. If you disable it, they won’t be able to remotely access your computer. I only turn remote login on when I need it for a specific purpose for a short period of time.

To turn off remote login, go to the Sharing tab in System Preferences and uncheck Remote Login if there is a check mark next to it.

3. Choose a Secure Password

This is obvious, but we can’t overstate the importance of having a secure password. Everything you do should have a unique password containing numbers, letters, and symbols. By doing this, you effectively prevent brute force attacks from succeeding. If somebody tries to decrypt your password when it is that secure, it will take so long that you will have a good chance of catching them in the act!

I just have to say it one more time: choose a secure password. It’s amazing how many people ignore this advice!

Check out this tool to help you get an idea for how secure your password is.

4. Don’t Give Others Physical Access

If a hacker is literally sitting in front of your computer, there’s really nothing you can do to stop them from doing what they want. With physical access, there’s a way around everything. However, if you follow the 3 other tips in this article and don’t let them anywhere near your computer, they can’t hack it. Try to keep your computer as secure and isolated as possible, and you won’t have any hacking problems!

Conclusion

Hackers can be very devious (especially if they’ve read the articles on this site!). If you follow the four simple rules in this article, you’ll be safe from them, whether they’re going after your personal information or simply pranking you. Good luck!

11 Comments

  1. Alex

    09.24.2011

    Reply

    What about full disk encryption? A strong OS X password and firmware password do not help if your laptop gets stolen. Unfortunately Truecrypt does not support OS X yet but PGP does. And it works like a charm.

  2. James

    10.14.2011

    Reply

    qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm1234567890~!@#$%^&*()_+}{:”?>< as a password will take a computer "About 2 octovigintillion years" to hack acordding to the link in the secure password section of the post

  3. m. howse

    10.14.2011

    Reply

    more people need to heed this advice

  4. frank ng

    03.02.2012

    Reply

    according to the link in the post, FRANKKNIGHTSLASH360 would take 47 trillion years to hack my mac

  5. MacUSF

    04.03.2012

    Reply

    I find this advice totally useless. You explain all the hacking stuff in detail but when it comes to protection you barely scratch the surface. Thanks for nothing. I will never get those 3 minutes back that it took me to read this post.

    • dabidoe

      08.28.2012

      Wait it took you three minutes to read that? how long did it take to read this?

  6. tragicfame

    04.20.2012

    Reply

    This guide is very fundamentally basic. There’s a LOT of other things to consider. What about reducing your footprint on the network? (fewer exploitable services) removing/securing applications (um, Flash anyone?) or disabling guest privileges, active exploit detection (IDS, AV, etc), locking down 3rd party installs.

    And then there’s also the paranoia factor: disabling location services, disabling Apple ID, modification of firewalls to prevent the box from calling home to the mother-ship, installing tor, reducing/eliminating OS fingerprint, setting up content scanning capabilities to monitor ex-filtration of unintended data (credit cards, personal info, client info, anonymization, etc)

    And I’m just cracking the surface… There’s a lot of decent material out there on this subject, the US Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) produces a Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) for Mac OSX 10.6 and 10.5 that is pretty in depth and makes a good first start. I think the National Security Agency also has some technology guides that serve a similar purpose.

  7. Gus

    06.11.2012

    Reply

    I think my computer’s been hacked. What do I do?

  8. jake

    06.24.2012

    Reply

    how do i protect my computer from being viewed by someone on the same network.

  9. John Clemens

    07.05.2012

    Reply

    Yes it is very essential to protect your computer from snooping attack(unauthorized access of your personal data). We can use a VPN software to protect our system from identity theft as it hides our identity and we can surf internet anonymously. Try it >> http://www.macinternet-security.com

  10. SEO for Websites

    09.23.2012

    Reply

    thanks for your great source, what about firewall how it help me to protect my computer?

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