What are the first things I should do after buying a MacBook Pro to protect my data?

Episode 1115 (2:04:51)

Jeff from Raleigh, NC

Leo says since most MacBook Pros come with SSDs now, it's important to turn on drive encryption right away. If he doesn't encrypt the drive from day one, some data could end up unencrypted on that drive. Turn on encryption before putting private data on it. The Mac comes with something called File Vault for encryption, which he can access right from the Mac's System Preferences. He just has to turn it on, and he won't even know it's running. The only reason to do this is in the event that his computer was stolen. The thief could take out the hard drive and get all of his data if it's not encrypted.

Leo also recommends turning on the Firewall, and it doesn't seem to negatively impact his use for anything. This is also a good time to get a password manager like LastPass. If he already was using a password manager, that would be one of the first things he'd install so he could easily retrieve his passwords for websites and new software.

Jeff also asks about the quality of Apple's products, and if there are any concerns he should know about. Leo says no computer manufacturer is perfect. He judges a computer in two ways: First of all, the use of quality components, which Apple has. The other thing is how the company responds if something does go wrong. Apple is easily the best manufacturer when it comes to after sales support. Leo actually believes that most of the cost of Apple computers goes to its support. The way that most PC manufacturers have gotten prices down is by cutting support.