Our migration guide for those moving from PC to Mac continues. The next section is:

Security & privacy

What antivirus or antimalware software should I install on my Mac?

Macs feature built-in antivirus and antimalware background apps, making apps like Windows Defender unnecessary. Your Mac will automatically block browser plugins if a zero-day exploit is found, for example, or even remove known malware without the user being aware.

However, you might choose to augment this with your choice of antivirus app and several examples are free in the App Store. They typically scan on demand, rather than sit in the background monitoring for infections or scanning periodically. Be aware that they also report and remove Windows viruses that might be infecting your files or emails.

Adware is a sadly increasing problem, and the free Adware Medic app can search for and remove examples.

How to back up a Mac: Adware Medic

Although malware and adware aren't huge issues for Mac users it's still possible to get apps like Adware Medic to scan your system

Also read: Mac keyboard short cuts you need to know

How do I back up my Mac?

The Mac equivalent of the Windows Backup and Restore app is Time Machine. Just attach a USB disk drive and an option should appear offering to make use of it.

If you don't see this, open System Preferences, then click the Time Machine icon and move the OFF/ON switch to ON. You can also use a Time Capsule, which works over Wi-Fi avoiding the need for a direct connection. Time Machine and Time Capsule are fully automated and work in the background. Read more: How to back up a Mac

How to move from PC to Mac: Time Machine

Mac OS X backup is handled via Time Machine or Time Capsule, and can be controlled via the Time Machine component of System Preferences

How do I encrypt a disk on a Mac?

Mac contains built-in disk FileVault encryption that's similar to Windows' BitLocker in that it encrypts the entire disk, including user data. To activate FileVault, open System Preferences (it's in the Applications list of Finder), then click the Security & Privacy icon, and select the FileVault tab. Then click the Turn On FileVault button and follow the instructions.

Depending on the speed of your Mac's disk, encryption will take a few hours to complete in the background. Macs are fully usable while encryption is taking place, and you can view a progress bar within System Preferences. Note that if you've a MacBook then encryption will only happen when your Mac is connected to the power.

To encrypt a removable disk like a USB disk, open Disk Utility (see above), select the removable disk's partition in the list at the left of the app window, and select the Erase tab before selecting Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) from the Format dropdown list, then click Erase and follow the instructions. As will hopefully be obvious, this will erase whatever is on the disk so backup files temporarily first. The encrypted disk will only be compatible with Macs.

What's the Mac equivalent of Safe Mode?

Macs have a Safe Mode - just hold down Shift just before the Apple logo appears when booting - and it's similar to Windows' Safe Mode in that it'll not load potentially problematic system extensions or hardware drivers.

However, OS X Recovery should be used if you need to repair things, and can be accessed by holding down Cmd+R while booting. This offers the ability to access Disk Utility, restore a Time Machine backup (see below), or even install Mac OS from scratch by downloading the files direct from Apple - no DVD required!

Can I protect my Mac with a BIOS password?

FileVault is certainly the best form of protection for your data, as discussed above. However, it's still possible for somebody with physical access to your Mac to wipe it via a boot disk. The solution is to set a Firmware Password, which password-protects booting in a manner other than via the usual user login.

Boot into OS X Recovery, as described under the heading What's the Mac equivalent of Safe Mode?, then click Utilities > Firmware Password Utility. Follow the instructions. Be extremely careful! If you forget this password then only an Apple genius can unlock your computer. This is perhaps why this feature is optional and hidden.

Important note: At the time of writing there's a bug with OS X Recovery whereby it selects a US keyboard layout for British English Macs. This means some keyboard symbols are in the wrong places - you might think you're typing 1234£ as a password, for example, but you'll actually be typing 1234#. To avoid this, always check the language settings on the menu bar at the top right of the screen, or only use passwords involving letters and numbers.

How to move from PC to Mac: Firmware Password Utility

A boot-time password can be added to protect Macs from booting via USB memory stick, or similar