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10 Ways To Prevent Your Mac From Being Hacked

10 Ways To Prevent Your Mac From Being Hacked

Information protection is now scrutinized in all commercial and government industries. Theft of information has crippled many organizations and businesses. One of the main reasons information is lost, corrupt, or stolen is because many industries have not fully adopted it as a risk, and have yet to implement strong quality assurance policies and programs.

Some of the most common risks are because of unattended computers, weak passwords, and poor information management practices. Hackers look for the weakest target and tunnel into a business from easy sources, like tablets or cell phones.Using smart encryption software can remediate this threat and vulnerability, making it difficult for competitors or rookie hackers to penetrate your device. However, software alone is not enough to prevent Macs from being hacked. It is the Mac user who has the authority and resources to save it from potential penetration. The top 10 ways to prevent your Mac from being hacked is discussed below. Following all these tips will surely make your Mac hack-resistant. As a word of caution, before starting on the below processes, be sure to back-up your system first.

1. Don’t Surf or Read Mail Using the Administrator Account

Create a non-administrator user in the Accounts pane of System Preferences and use this account for everyday tasks. Only log in with an administrator account when you need to perform system administration tasks.

2. Use Software Update

Regularly applying system updates is extremely important.

For Internet-connected systems: Open the Software Update pane in System Preferences. Ensure that “Check for Updates” is enabled, and set it to “Daily” (or the most frequent setting). There is a command line version available as well, called Software Update. Read its main-page for more details.

Apple-Download-Page

    For systems not connected to the Internet: Retrieve updates regularly from www.apple.com/support/downloads. Be sure to verify that the SHA-1 digest of any download matches the digest published there, using the following command: /usr/bin/openssl sha1 download.dmg

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    3. Account Settings

    You want to disable Automatic Login. To do this, open the Accounts pane in System Preferences. Click on “Login Options.” Set “Automatic login” to “Off.” Set “Display login window as” to “Name and password.”

    To disable Guest Account and Sharing, select the Guest Account and then disable it by unchecking “Allow Guest to log in to this computer.” Also, uncheck “Allow guests to connect to shared folders.”

    4. Secure Users’ Home Folder Permissions

    To prevent users and guests from perusing other users’ home folders, run the following command for each home folder: sudo chmod go-rx /Users/username

    5. Firmware Password

    Set a firmware password that will prevent unauthorized users from changing the boot device or making other changes. Apple provides detailed instructions for Leopard (which apply to Snow Leopard) here:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1352

    6. Disable IPv6 and AirPort when Not Needed

    Open the Network pane in System Preferences. For every network interface listed:

    • If it is an AirPort interface but AirPort is not required, click “Turn AirPort off.”
    • Click “Advanced.” Click on the TCP/IP tab and set “Configure IPv6:” to “Off” if not needed. If it is an AirPort interface, click on the AirPort tab and enable “Disconnect when logging out.”

    7. Disable Unnecessary Services

    The following services can be found in /System/Library/LaunchDaemons. Unless needed for the purpose shown in the second column, disable each service using the command below, which needs the full path specified: sudo launchctl unload -w System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.blued.plist

    • com.apple.blued.plist – Bluetooth
    • com.apple.IIDCAssistant.plist – iSight
    • com.apple.nis.ypbind.plist – NIS
    • com.apple.racoon.plist – VPN
    • com.apple.RemoteDesktop.PrivilegeProxy.plist – ARD
    • com.apple.RFBEventHelper.plist – ARD
    • com.apple.UserNotificationCenter.plist – User notifications –
    • com.apple.webdavfs_load_kext.plist – WebDAV –
    • org.postfix.master – email server

    Other Services Can be found here: /System/Library/LaunchAgents and can be disabled the same exact way as the items listed above.

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    8. Disable Setuid and Setgid Binaries

    Setuid programs run with the privileges of the file’s owner (which is often root), no matter which user executes them. Bugs in these programs can allow privilege escalation attacks.

    To find setuid and setgid programs, use the commands:

    • find / -perm -04000 -ls
    • find / -perm -02000 -ls

    After identifying setuid and setgid binaries, disable setuid and setgid bits (using chmod ug-s programname) on those that are not needed for system or mission operations. The following files should have their setuid or setgid bits disabled unless required. The programs can always have their setuid or setgid bits re-enabled later, if necessary.

    • /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/MacOS/ARDAgent – Apple Remote Desktop
    • /System/Library/Printers/IOMs/LPRIOM.plugin/Contents/MacOS/LPRIOMHelper – Printing
    • /sbin/mount_nfs – NFS
    • /usr/bin/at – Job Scheduler
    • /usr/bin/atq- Job Scheduler
    • /usr/bin/atrm – Job Scheduler
    • /usr/bin/chpass – Change user info
    • /usr/bin/crontab – Job Scheduler
    • /usr/bin/ipcs – IPC statistics
    • /usr/bin/newgrp – Change Group
    • /usr/bin/postdrop – Postfix Mail
    • /usr/bin/postqueue – Postfix Mail
    • /usr/bin/procmail – Mail Processor
    • /usr/bin/wall – User Messaging
    • /usr/bin/write – User Messaging
    • /bin/rcp – Remote Access (Insecure)
    • /usr/bin/rlogin – /usr/bin/rsh
    • /usr/lib/sa/sadc – System Activity Reporting
    • /usr/sbin/scselect – User-selectable Network Location
    • /usr/sbin/traceroute – Trace Network
    • /usr/sbin/traceroute6 – Trace Network

    9. Configure and Use Both Firewalls

    The Mac system includes two firewalls: the IPFW Packet-Filtering Firewall, and the new Application Firewall. The Application Firewall limits which programs are allowed to receive incoming connections. It is quite easy to configure the Application Firewall. Below, I mention how to configure Mac’s Application firewall. Configuring the IPFW Firewall requires more technical expertise and cannot be fully described here. It involves creating a file with manually written rules (traditionally, /etc/ipfw.conf), and also adding a plist file to /Library/LaunchDaemons to make the system read those rules at boot. These rules depend heavily on the network environment and the system’s role in it.

    How to Configure Application Firewall in Mac

    In only Four steps you can easily configure the Application Firewall in Mac.

    1. Select System Preferences from the Apple Menu

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    how to prevent mac from being hacked

      2. From the System Preferences Pane select Security. Then click on the Firewall Tab. Ignore the other Tabs (General and Firevault ).
      3. On the Firewall tab, you may need to unlock the pane, if it is locked. To unlock, click on the small pad lock on lower left corner and enter your Administrator Username and Password.

      how to prevent mac from being hacked

        4. Click Start to enable Mac’s Application Firewall. The green light beside Firewall Status and the ON notification will ensure that the Firewall is running smoothly.

        You can further customize the Firewall configuration by clicking on the Advance button on the right side.

        There are three Advance option in the Firewall Tab

        1. Block All Incoming Connections: Blocking all incoming connections will disable most of the sharing services like File Sharing, Screen Sharing and others. It will only allow basic internet service. Keeping it checked or unchecked depends with on the user.

        how to prevent mac from being hacked

          2. Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connections:I prefer to keep this option unchecked. This will automatically add software signed by “any” valid authority to the allowed list of Software rather than prompting the users to authorize them.

          3. Enable stealth mode: I always keep this option checked. This prevent your Mac from responding to ping requests and port scans

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          10. Safari Preferences

          Safari will automatically open some files by default. This behavior could be leveraged to perform attacks. To disable, uncheck “Open safe files after downloading” in the General tab. Unless specifically required, Safari’s Java should be disabled to reduce the browser’s attack surface. On the Security tab, uncheck “Enable Java.”Also, private browsing in Safari is a great way to stop hackers from picking up bread crumbs and using them against you later.

          Bonus Tip: Disable Bluetooth and Airport

          The best way to disable Bluetooth hardware is to have an Apple-certified technician remove it.If this is not possible, disable it at the software level by removing the following files from /System/Library/Extensions:

          IOBluetoothFamily.kext

          IOBluetoothHIDDriver.kext

          The best way to disable AirPort is to have the AirPort card physically removed from the system.If this is not possible, disable it at the software level by removing the following file from /System/Library/Extensions:

          IO80211Family.kext

          If followed carefully, the above mentioned tips can outdo a hacker’s technology to compromise your Mac. However, as technology advances, hacker use ever-more innovative ways to penetrate your Mac. If you know other ways to hack into a Mac, please share with us in the comments below!

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          Last Updated on August 15, 2018

          25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

          25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

          Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

          Or even better:

          What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

          You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

          Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

          How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

          The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

          In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

          • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
          • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
          • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

          As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

          Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

          Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

          But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

          his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

          5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

          Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

          But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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          1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
          2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
          3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
          4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
          5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

          Who can use Excel shortcuts?

          There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

          • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
          • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
          • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
          • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

          Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

          With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

          25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

          Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

          1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

          If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

          2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

          If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

          If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

          3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

          Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

          =sum(

          …and then press F3.

          When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

          4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

          Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

          =match(

          …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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          When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

          But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

          5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

          If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

          • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
          • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
          • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
          • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
          • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

          6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

          By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

          The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

          For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

          A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

          7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

          When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

          8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

          When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

          9. Use filtering

          Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

          It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

          To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

          10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

          Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

          Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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          To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

          11. See formula results with F9

          If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

          Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

          12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

          If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

          13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

          Here’s how to use EDATE:

          =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

          =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

          14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

          Here’s how to use EMONTH:

          =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

          =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

          15. Remove spaces with TRIM

          TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

          16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

          In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

          17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

          When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

          And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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          18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

          If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

          19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

          Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

          You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

          20. Use data validation

          This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

          • Create dependent drop-down lists;
          • Create drop-down lists;
          • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

          21. Use conditional formatting

          It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

          22. Use formula auditing

          This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

          The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

          23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

          Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

          It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

          24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

          INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

          25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

          OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

          The bottom line

          As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

          That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

          If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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