Are you constantly paranoid that your MacBook could be hacked, are you thinking if it is possible someone can break into your MacBook and steal your personal information?
These are the questions I’m going to be helping you with today.
It is more rare than Windows but IT experts say that a MacBook can be hacked with the right tools and knowledge. Breaking into someone’s MacBook can be done by cracking the passwords through brute force or accessing their device remotely.
I have taken all the security measures that were needed to be done, and my MacBook was and is still safe from hackers and data breaches.
In this article, I’ll help you find out if it’s possible to break into a MacBook, tell if someone accessed your MacBook, whether someone can access your MacBook without the password, and how you can tell if someone is remotely accessing your MacBook. I have also shared many security measures that you should take to protect your Mac.
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Is It Possible to Break Into a MacBook?
MacBook and Apple computers can easily be broken into with a few simple clicks. Experts say that if a vulnerability in a user’s password is found, the MacBook can be bypassed by anyone on any computer given if they have the proper knowledge.
Like most computers, MacBooks can also be hacked and broken into. However, Apple has different ways of securing your Apple devices. They take security to the next level by bringing in more layers to your device’s security.
Having a common password like number 4 on this list ’password’ makes it much easier for hackers to bypass.You are required to put your password when logging in to your MacBook, so you need to use unique and rare passwords to block unwanted users from accessing your data.
According to NordPass, a trusted password-keeping service, many countries are affected by data leaks. The only way to avoid them is by using a unique password and constantly changing them now and then.
Here’s a small table to help you determine how long it takes for a common password to be cracked and if you use one of these passwords, change them immediately:
|Rank||Password||Time to Crack It||Frequency (How Many Times It’s Been Used)|
|1||123456||Less than 1 Second||103,170,552|
|2||123456789||Less than 1 Second||46,027,530|
|3||12345||Less than 1 Second||32,955,431|
|4||qwerty||Less than 1 Second||22,317,280|
|5||password||Less than 1 Second||20,958,297|
|6||12345678||Less than 1 Second||14,745,771|
|7||111111||Less than 1 Second||13,354,149|
|8||123123||Less than 1 Second||10,244,398|
|9||1234567890||Less than 1 Second||9,646,621|
|10||1234567||Less than 1 Second||9,396,813|
The table above is from NordPass and retrieved from their research and insights conducted in 2021 about the Top 200 most common passwords. You can click here to learn more about the other passwords on the list and change yours immediately if you find them in the list.
It only takes less than a second for these hackers to bypass and hack your account (in this case, your Apple ID). If you have common passwords, it’s easier for unauthorized people to access your MacBook.
I change my passwords once in a while, and I recommend you do the same so that you won’t be exposed to any security breaches, every step you take to protect your password will be another layer of security added to your MacBook.
The best thing you can do to stay secure is investing in a password manager, they secure all your passwords in a vault that has the highest security possible. I’ve used Lastpass for years, its my go to way to store passwords and create strong passwords that can NEVER be hacked, take a look here.
Can You Tell if Someone Opens Your MacBook?
To know if someone has opened your MacBook, navigate to Utilities > Console. Then, click on “kernel.log” and enter “Wake reason: EC.LidOpen.” This way, you’ll know if someone else tried opening your MacBook when you’re away.
Unwanted people can come to access your MacBook, especially if many people know the passcode to the MacBook you own. I’ll teach you how you can try to determine if someone else had access to your Mac.
Suspecting if some unwanted people have been accessing your MacBook lately? Do you want to know who they are, what changes they’ve made, and how they broke into your Mac in the first place? Then, follow my effective methods for checking recent access to your Mac below.
How to Check Recent Activity on Your MacBook
Check the recent activity on your MacBook when you suspect that someone has been accessing your laptop, do it as a part of your MacBook’s security routine if you are serious about securing your computer.
What you’re looking for are file changes and log changes. First, try to find the time when you are confident that you have not been using your MacBook during the period. It would help to investigate what changes they have made on your device.
- Use the Console App to Browse the Logs
Checking the logs is the best way to check if someone else has been using your MacBook unnoticed. For example, typing LidOpen in the search field will show the record and timestamp when your MacBook’s lid is open.
|1/24/22 3:22:26.000 PM kernel: Wake reason: EC.SleepTimer (SleepTimer)|
1/24/22 3:40:31.000 PM kernel: Wake reason: EC.LidOpen (User)
1/24/22 5:23:40.000 PM kernel: Wake reason: EC.SleepTimer (SleepTimer)
1/24/22 8:11:03.000 PM kernel: Wake reason: EC.LidOpen (User)
1/24/22 9:05:09.000 PM kernel: Wake reason: EC.LidOpen (User)
1/24/22 9:32:06.000 PM kernel: Wake reason: EC.LidOpen (User)
1/25/22 00:51:44.000 AM kernel: Wake reason: EHC2
The log would look like this if you typed the LidOpen command in the console. Check my other article on why your MacBook Pro turns on by itself and what you should do to ensure that it does not come flagged in the LidOpen logs.
- Check Recent Folders
Checking the recent folders will also let you know if someone is accessing your MacBook and snooping into your files. Recent folders can be found under the main Apple menu. Click on the Apple logo, and click on Recent Items from the dropdown list.
- Check Browser History
Checking your browser history in your MacBook is simple. It depends on what browser you’re using daily or what the default browser is currently set to. Click on the Safari app and choose History > Show All History.
- Check Recent Apps
To check the recent apps, go to File > Open Recent Menu. There’s a Clear Menu command at the bottom of the list. Make sure you hit that button if you still suspect anyone is trying to access your MacBook. Next, you’ll see the recent apps used.
Can Someone Hack Into Your Mac?
A hacker can hack your Mac in many ways by using social engineering. They can also use security vulnerabilities within the passwords, the Mac OS X operating system, or installed applications. Failure to perform security and safety measures will eventually lead to someone accessing your data.
Today, it is easier for hackers to infiltrate other people’s databases, leak, and hack their devices. However, there are a few simple and easy steps to avoid this.
According to Apple’s Platform Security, Apple devices have several layers of security. Here are the following security features that Apple has to offer for its consumers:
- Hardware Security – Apple devices are secure from the hardware itself since the software requires a foundation of security found in the hardware to be secured. Learn more about Apple’s hardware security.
- System Security – Their system security is designed to maximize the safety of their operating systems without sacrificing usability. It includes software updates. Read more about updating your Mac in my complete guide to updating a MacBook. It encompasses the startup process, software updates, and the processes currently being done by the operating system. Learn more about how Apple protects its users with system security.
- Encryption and Data Protection – Apple uses encryption features and offers remote data wiping to protect the user’s data in case of theft or loss. To know more about their encryption and data protection, click here.
- App Security – Apple provides layers of protection with their apps to ensure it’s free from any known malware and hasn’t been tampered with. Learn more about the layers of protection they provide in-app security.
- Services Security – Apple offers many services that include Apple ID, iCloud, Sign in with Apple, Apple Pay, iMessage, FaceTime, and Find My. Learn more about how Apple keeps its services secure.
If you want to learn about other ways you can physically protect your MacBook, check out my article to learn six ways to keep your MacBook protected.
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Can Someone Get Into Your Mac Without the Password?
You can still access a MacBook without the password through Recovery Mode, via rebooting it and holding Command+R as it boots up. It’s a unique environment anyone can access in case of troubleshooting or repair. Unfortunately, entering the MacBook through the recovery mode method is the most common way to break into it.
When logging into your MacBook, you’re typically asked for a password to ensure that you are the owner or one of the allowed users on a MacBook. However, unwanted people can also try using the Recovery Mode to access your Mac. Again, they aren’t required to put in a password to access the MacBook.
Here are some ways how people can get a hold of your MacBook without even knowing the password:
Resetting the Password Through Recovery Mode
- Turn off your MacBook.
- Press the Power Button while holding Command + R.
- Select Disk Utility and Continue.
- Navigate to Utilities > Terminal.
- Enter “resetpassword” and press the Return key.
- Select main hard drive.
- Select the user account, enter a new password, and create a password hint.
- Click Save, shut down your Mac, and try the new password.
Anyone could try this way to hack other people’s MacBooks.
How Can I Tell if Someone Is Remotely Accessing My Mac?
Navigate to System Preferences > Sharing > Screen Sharing tab. Check if it is on and set to allow access for all users. Do the same for the Remote Login tab, Remote Management tab, and Remote Apple Events tab and turn the setting off or only include specific users to access the remote sharing option.
If these features are turned off, no one else can access your MacBook remotely. These are the only ways that somebody can control your Apple Device.
According to Apple’s macOS User Guide on how to set up your Mac to be secure, you should be taking the following steps for your MacBook’s security:
- Use secure passwords.
- Require users to log in.
- Secure your Mac when it’s idle.
- Limit the number of administrative users.
- Encrypt the data on your Mac with FileVault.
If you take these measures, you will add more defense layers against malware and unauthorized access.
Is your MacBook not working like it did? It’s likely replacing the battery could make a huge difference in how your MacBooks runs, to learn more see my battery replacing guide.