Videos by Category: Security

If you have adware on your Mac, it is fairly easy to remove. In fact, Apple provides a handy page with clear steps at In this episode, follow along as I go through the steps to check my Mac for adware. (more...)

The best way to protect yourself against online scams is to learn about them. Here are three web sites that report scams. By browsing these sites a little each week, you will become knowledgable about these scams and learn to recognize when someone is trying to pull one on you. (more...)

If you find yourself stuck on a web page in Safari that is claiming that you are infected with a virus or that your computer needs to be scanned, it is a scam. But sometimes you can find that these pop-up warnings are hard to get rid of. Even if you quit and restart Safari, they reappear. It is easy to restart Safari without returning to the same page that starts the cycle all over again. You can also get help from Apple if you are infected with a more serious problem. (more...)
Chances are you regularly get fake email claiming to be from companies that you do business with. However, these scam emails are trying to trick you into giving up your passwords and other information. It is important to be skeptical of every email message you receive and to learn to recognize the signs of phishing scams. Even email messages that seem to come from friends and relatives can be scams. (more...)

You can use the Keychain Access app on your Mac to create secure random passwords for things that are not necessarily online. For instance, you can create random ATM pins or passwords for apps and other services. You can also store these passwords in your Keychain so you have a backup in a secure place in case you forget the password later on. Check out my book The Practical Guide to Mac Security at (more...)

Video Tutorial: Safari Passwords
Safari lets you create strong passwords and save them when you create new accounts or log into existing ones on the web. You can access these passwords in Safari preferences or using the Keychain Access app. Thanks to iCloud, these passwords can sync across your devices allowing you to use strong secure passwords on your iOS devices as well as your Macs. (more...)
Video Tutorial: Guest User Accounts
If you want to give someone else access to your Mac, like a house guest or someone visiting you at work, use the Guest Account instead of letting them handle your real user account. Guest Accounts are easy to switch to, and protect all of your documents, settings and other data from mistakes the guys might make. When the guys is done, the Guest Account is wiped out completely, leaving nothing behind. You should have your own account, and anyone else who 'owns' the Mac with you, like a spouse or other family member should have their own account as well. Anyone else should use a Guest Account. (more...)

Earlier this week an NBC New report showed that it was very easy for all of your computing devices to get hacked in Russia. It seemed to show a phone, a PC laptop and a MacBook that were hacked almost instantly upon being turned on.
Most people took this at face value and assumed that hacking and malware are endemic in Russia. But computer experts noticed that the report lacked any details about what happened. Now we have an updated report from NBC News that sheds some light on what went on. And the truth is very far from what most people assumed.

It is important to lock your Mac when you are away from it and in other situations. Learn how to set a hot corner and use a keyboard shortcut to quickly lock your Mac once you have set things up in System Preferences. (more...)
Many of the posts you may see in your Facebook news feed are scams or pieces of misinformation. Learn to be skeptical when you read information passed on from others. Verify information before passing it on yourself. Often, posts are simply ploys to gain popularity on Facebook. (more...)
Apple IDs can now be made more secure by using the two-step verification process. This involves changing your Apple ID account and added secure devices, like your phone, to the process. In order to make changes to your account, like a new password, you would then need to verify your identity by using your device in conjunction with your password. This makes it much harder for someone to gain access to your account. (more...)
It is easy to disable Java in your web browser. Doing so may help protect you from future malware threats. Java is no longer used on most web sites and you will most likely not notice the difference once you turn Java off. (more...)
There are many ways to password protect and encrypt small pieces of data on a Mac. You can use Keychain Access to encrypt a note in your keychain. You can use Disk Utility to create a small encrypted disk image. The app Evernote allows you to encrypt a piece of text inside a note. You can also use the Terminal to create a password protected zip file. (more...)
If your iPhone is stolen much of your personal data, including access to your email and online accounts, can be stolen as well. Protect yourself by setting up your iPhone correctly in advance. Turn on passcode protection and also the Find My iPhone feature. With Find My iPhone you can erase or track your iPhone. (more...)
A few simple techniques can help you secure your iCloud account and prevent someone else from gaining access to it. Use secure passwords, set up better security questions and answers, make sure your linked accounts are also secure, and be sure to back up your Mac! (more...)
Gatekeeper is a new security feature of OS X in Mountain Lion. It allows you to prevent apps from being installed depending upon the source of the app. You can decide to only allow Mac App Store apps, or also allow signed apps, or turn off Gatekeeper if you don't want to use it. Learn how to set Gatekeeper and why it will help you keep your Mac more secure. (more...)
If you carry around USB flash drives, you may want to consider password protecting them in case they are lost or stolen. It is easy to format a drive with encryption using the OS X Disk Utility app. (more...)
Learn about all of the different Safari browser preferences that affect security. You can find them in more places than just the Security tab. Learn what each one does to protect you while you surf online and decide what the best settings are for you. (more...)

You can protect your Mac from malware by following three simple rules. First, keep your Mac up-to-date. Second, only download from sites you trust. Third, stay informed. This videos shows you how to accomplish each of these steps. (more...)


Learn about the Mac Defender/Mac Protector trojan horse malware attack. See how it works. Find out how to protect yourself from it. Watch step-by-step how to remove it. This piece of malware tricks you into download and installing it with frightening, but completely fake, virus warnings. What it really wants is your credit card number. Fortunately it is easy to avoid and easy to remove. (more...)

If you use a Mac to browse the Internet, you should be using 1Password. This third-party utility lets you create, save and use secure passwords on every site you log in to. You can also store bank information, notes and files inside 1Password's encrypted database. In addition, it will protect you from dangerous phishing attacks. (more...)
If you must browse the web using your MacBook, iPad or iPhone on a public wifi network, you will want to use https whenever possible. Many major sites allow you to force https using an account setting. (more...)
Learn how to create documents that can only be opened with a password. Documents in Pages and Microsoft Word can have passwords that restrict opening and use. Preview can be used to make copies of PDF files that require a password to open. (more...)
You can block web sites and protect all of the devices in your house using DNS controls. A service like OpenDNS allows you to prevent any computer or device on your network from going to categories of sites or a specific site. You may also be able to block sites using your DSL or Cable Modem's controls. (more...)
Your web browser uses to store bits of information associated with the web sites you visit. There are misconceptions about what cookies do and how they are used. Learn how to examine your browser cookies and set your cookie storage preferences. (more...)
Web-based email accounts have been the target of malicious hackers and spammers recently. Find out how they get access to an account, and how to protect yourself. See how to check your Gmail account for unauthorized access. Protect your account with a strong, secure password. (more...)
Learn about the Snow Leopard firewall. You can turn it on in your system preferences and it will block unwanted access to your Mac from inside your network or while you are on a public network. (more...)
If you have a wireless network at home you should set up wireless security. It is as simple as setting a password through the Airport Utility application or the Web interface of your wireless router. This will not only prevent others from accessing your network and using your Internet connection, but it will also encrypt your data. (more...)
Learn how to walk away from your Mac without worrying about others easily getting access to your data or messing up your settings. By setting your Mac to log you out, or require a password when you have left it, you can walk away from a Mac in a semi-public area like your work space or home office. (more...)

Gary Rosenzweig tackles the controversial question of whether you need to buy anti-virus software for your Mac. There are currently no active Mac viruses and anti-virus software could cause unexpected problems. Staying informed and up-to-date is a better option. (more...)