Proxies are an essential component of digital security. While hardening your operating system is an excellent first step, when data traverses the internet, that is when a proxy comes into play.

There are plenty of websites explaining how to configure a proxy on Windows. If you're running macOS, help isn't as abundant. As a security-focused platform, macOS has an exceptional reputation among those concerned about privacy, stability, and performance.

Read on to learn how to set up a proxy on macOS and keep your internet communications private.

Global Proxy Settings on macOS

Unlike Windows and Linux, the Macintosh ecosystem and configuration are more closed. Safari is the default web browser on macOS and IOS. While other browsers on various platforms allow for browser-specific proxy settings, macOS utilizes a system-wide approach to proxy settings. Follow these straightforward steps to configure proxy settings on macOS 10.15 and later.

  1. Open System Preferences by clicking the Apple menu and selecting System Preferences.

  2. In System Preferences, click on Network.

  3. In the left column of the network configuration window, highlight either Wi-Fi or Ethernet, depending on which connection type you use.

  4. In the right-side pane of the network configuration window, click the Advanced... button on the lower-right hand corner.

  5. In the advanced settings window, click the Proxies tab.

  6. Check the boxes for the protocols you intend to use with your proxy. (Common protocols are HTTP, FTP, RTSP, and SOCKS)

  7. For each protocol, you will need to enter your proxy account information on the right-side pane.

  8. Click the OK button when you have entered the required information for each protocol.

Testing Your Proxy Settings

Now that you have configured your proxy, it's time to test your settings to ensure everything is working as expected. There are various ways to conduct such a test, but the easiest way is to use a free online tool such as IPleak.net to check whether your personal information is 'leaking' through your proxy.

After visiting the IP leak testing website, compare the results with and without your proxy active. If you see identifiable information such as your geographic location, IP address, or ISP while using the proxy, you'll know that the protection is ineffective.

One of the biggest mistakes that new proxy users make is assuming they are safe simply because they've set up a new proxy. The illusion of security can be just as perilous as no security. In today's digital age, users must be wise and take proactive steps regarding their safety. So take a few minutes to scrutinize the protection that your proxy offers.

How A Proxy Protects You

Even though your browsing activities may be benign, cyberattackers can still target you and hold your personal information for ransom. Since last year, ransomware attacks have risen sharply, up to sixty percent, a trend that is likely to increase exponentially. Once only the bane of large multi-million dollar corporations, even average users must be cautious about data security and privacy. Testing your proxy ensures that you get the protection you expect and keeps your data (and your wallet) safe!

Though ransomware and viruses are less of an issue on macOS than more prolific platforms, phishing attacks and social engineering are just as dangerous.

The first step in any attack is getting an 'in.' An in refers to an initial point-of-contact that grabs the user's attention and causes them to drop their guard. In cybersecurity, an in could be a fraudulent e-mail or a fake website designed to frighten someone into taking action or sharing information.

A properly configured proxy will have predefined blocklists that restrict access to most phishing sites. Additionally, proxies can disable scripts and objects on web pages that are common attack vectors.

Don't Compromise on Security

Whether you're a large corporation or an individual, your data is priceless. Even if you aren't banking online or sharing sensitive data, thieves will still target you, and every layer of protection helps. Residential proxies provided by IPRoyal are a great way to enhance your security. With affordable subscriptions, no contract obligations, and a stellar reputation, IPRoyal makes it simple to protect your privacy.

When money is tight, you might hesitate to add another monthly expense. Yet, the security provided by a high-performance proxy can save you millions of damages in the long term. The most valuable asset you own is your personal information and reputation, and that treasure is irreplaceable.