Safe Computing Guidelines for Used and Refurbished Macs

May 31st 2018

Keep your Used Mac Safe and Secure

We use our computers for everything today, shopping, banking, socializing and much more. So it’s important to keep safety and security in mind when you purchase a used Mac laptop or desktop. And while you are using your refurbished Mac, you’ll want to be careful to avoid infecting your Mac with viruses and malware.

Macs are more secure

Of course, at GainSaver, we love Macs! And there are so many reasons for that. They are well designed and manufactured to remain dependable for many years of daily use. And Macs are famously more crash-proof than Windows PCs are. The solid Mac operating system also provides another benefit. Macs have fewer problems with viruses than PCs do.

Macs are safer

There are a number of reasons for there being fewer viruses and malware on the Mac. With fewer Mac users, as compared to Windows users, the Mac is simply less of a target for hackers who create viruses and malware. There simply is not as much potential to make money in writing viruses for the Mac.

But most of all, the Mac operating system is designed differently from Windows. The Mac OS is based on the UNIX operating system. At a fundamental level, application programs are walled off from each other, and it’s very difficult for an application to get access to other programs or to the operating system to infect it. This means that should a malware program get installed on your used Mac laptop or desktop, it’s still unlikely to gain access to other parts of the system and cause you problems.

Get a clean start with GainSaver Refurbished Macs

Macs are more secure from viruses and malware, but you need to get started right. Unlike computers that are sold online from individuals at bidding sites, your refurbished GainSaver Mac laptop or desktop has been fully cleaned and thoroughly tested. Most of all, the hard drive has been completely erased. There is no data on the hard drive from the previous owner. When you buy from GainSaver, you don’t need to be concerned with what the previous owner was doing with the Mac before you bought it.

The used cheap Apple Mac you purchase from GainSaver has the hard drive imaged with a new copy of the operating system of your choice. Depending on the refurbished Mac you decide on, you can have a number of different Mac OS versions installed, including El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks and more. Whichever Mac OS you choose, you are the first person to use it. So you know it’s safe and secure.

The same is true if you custom configure your used Mac with both the Mac and Windows operating systems. GainSaver technicians install a new copy of Windows for you. You can select from a range of Windows versions from Windows XP and Windows 7 to Windows 8. Your licensed version of Windows is brand new and guaranteed free from viruses and malware.

Viruses on the Mac

Thankfully, viruses are uncommon on the Mac, but they can still happen, so you need to be careful. A famous recent example was the KeRanger ransomware attack that affected some Mac users.

Once installed, the KeRanger virus quietly encrypted the files on the user’s Mac. And then, once encrypted and the owner unable to access them anymore, KeyRanger demanded a ransom before the files could be decrypted to their original condition.

You really don’t want this to happen to you. So here are some tips and guidelines for keeping your data secure and your used discount Mac from GainSaver virus free.

Should you use anti-virus software on your Mac?

One consideration when thinking about whether to install anti-virus software is what kind of information you have on your refurbished Mac. If you are using it mostly for entertainment, like playing games or browsing the web, you’re probably safe without anti-virus software. And that’s because there’s not much damage a virus could do if there’s nothing to protect.

But if your Mac is used for anything important, where losing data would be a serious problem, then you should install anti-virus software. Macs that are used in a work environment are generally protected with anti-virus software. And if you do banking or conduct any type of financial transactions online with your Mac – which everybody does! – then you should play it safe and install anti-virus software.

Should your Mac become infected, it can cause all kinds of problems for you with popups, your used Mac running slower, crashing programs and data loss. It’s even possible someone could spy on you and your information. Your Mac probably has a camera and microphone attached that could be used for spying, and you have passwords and other critical data to do your banking.

So really, install a virus detection program and put up with the occasional bother that it may cause you with security messages. It’s worth it in the long run not to get your Mac infected.

We suggest you check out the App Store or search the web for the most popular free anti-virus products. A couple of our favorites are Avast and Malwarebytes.

Avast is useful for scanning your Mac hard drive for malicious software.

Malwarebytes helps remove adware and malware from your Mac.

Additional steps to protect your refurbished Mac

There are a couple of ways that you can be vulnerable to hackers and criminals when you use your refurbished Mac. The first is by malicious software that gets installed on your Mac. The other is by being tricked into providing confidential information to the hackers.

Installing software programs

Even with anti-virus software, be careful about what you install on your used Mac. Any programs that you download and install from locations outside of the Apple App Store could possibly harbor viruses or malware. You should always download from a website that is “for real”. Try using Google to search for the program you want to download. Rather than click on a link in someone’s blog to download the program, use Google to direct you to the software publisher’s website. You are less likely to download software that has been tampered with.

If you are using Java or Flash, make sure to keep these applications up-to-date. They are well known targets of hackers. Newer versions have fixes to prevent hackers for taking advantage of recently discovered vulnerabilities. And, if you don’t really need Java and Flash, just delete them altogether from your Mac.

Don’t be the victim of phishing attacks

Be especially careful about phishing attacks. Although these are not technically viruses, it’s important that you keep your guard up when using the internet or checking your email. For most refurbished Mac owners, phishing is a bigger potential security problem than viruses.

Don’t be shocked or surprised when you get an email saying you won the lottery, or someone wants to send you $2 million dollars from Nigeria. You need to keep you guard up and not click on any strange emails that just don’t seem right. They are phishing for your confidential information.

Don’t click on links on a web page or email that take you to a secure location for you to log in. If you get an email from your bank – which may not really be your bank! – do not click the link to go to your login page. You should use a trusted browser bookmark or simply type the address in your browser window and go there directly. The reason is that spoofers have become very sophisticated in creating web pages that look like your bank’s login window. If you click a phishing email or web page link and then log in to a phony webpage, criminals will get your login and password.

Free Wi-Fi hot spots

Think twice before using free Wi-Fi at untrusted locations. It’s possible that your data could be intercepted if the hot spot is not secured. This is not a problem just for cheap discount Macs, but any computer using the internet over an insecure connection. The issue is not that your Mac could get a virus using the hot spot, but that your data, once it leaves your Mac, may not be secure during transmission over the Wi-Fi connection.

This is not a concern if you are just reading the news online or watching a YouTube video. But you should avoid logging into your bank account, Facebook page or other online locations where you wouldn’t want to have your password and data captured by hackers.

Happy computing!

The used discount Mac you purchase from GainSaver is ready for you to begin years of trouble-free use. Just be careful about the programs you install on your refurbished Mac and don’t be fooled by phishing attempts to steal your data. Take these steps and your cheap refurbished Mac from GainSaver will continue running in top condition. Happy computing!