Mac Computers are Safe From Viruses - think again!
Apple fanboys are always proud to point out (and with confidence) that no virus can penetrate through the Mac. Yes, the Mac is indeed one of the best laptops in the market when it comes to design and technical specs. Despite these great characteristics, however, the Mac is not completely impenetrable.
The idea that the Mac is invisible against viruses came from a Mac TV advert that ran from 2006 to 2007. The advertisement was so successful that it crept into people’s consciousness. Soon enough, that became an accepted fact.
In this article, we will look at the common myths about the Mac and Apple OS, and the first one will be about the title of this article.
Myth #1: Mac is safe from viruses
Malware enters into your computer through malicious adverts, online links, and phishing scams. Once they enter your computer, they steal your data or your money. There are different kinds of malware which are very harmful to your computer.
As much as there are a lot of malware that has been attacking other computers, Mac has also its own share of malware attacks; however, they are not as many.
A big chunk of the market is still controlled by PCs, those that run on Windows. They account for 90% of the total annual market sale of computers, and that’s in the US alone. More so, a lot of inexpensive PCs hardware supports Windows OS, and a lot of network servers all over the world are optimized versions of Windows. Therefore, it makes sense why there is a lot of news about malware and viruses attacking non-macOS PCs. All the more reason these cyber attackers focus their attention on the bigger market.
Myth #2: Macs are more secured
Nothing is perfect including the macOS security. In fact, the Mac has experienced serious attacks from well-engineered malware and ransomware. Two of these viruses were called Mokes A and KeRanger. Mokes A was malware that can take screenshots of your machine and photos. It can also remember and store keystrokes allowing the attacker to have access to sensitive information like passwords and bank account numbers. KeRanger on the other hand, is a cryptolocker style ransomware which locks a certain device until the owner pays the attacker a certain amount of money. Usually in the form of some cryptocurrency.
There are other programs, such as Mac Defender and Mac Security, which mask themselves as performance optimizing software or malware protection applications. Fortunately, Apple has equipped the Mac with a built-in anti-malware system called the XProtect. This system is hidden deep in the Mac system making it difficult for end users to turn off.
The system can identify a number of known malicious apps and if the user tries to open a new app for the first time, XPtotect will not allow the app to open once its makeup matches the ones in the system’s database. However, just like any malware protection, the XProtect is far from perfect as well – it can only detect malware that Apple has encountered and not the new ones that just came out or being developed.
Another chink in its armor is its inability to detect PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) and adware, which often pose as major threats to the macOS. Although it is not advisable to rely on this system alone, it is a good starting point to help defend from malware attacks.
Myth #3: Macs don’t need security
Whether you are using a PC that is running on Windows or a macOS, your device is still open to attacks and other risks. It is wise, therefore, to have anti-virus installed to your PC before the problem arises.
Going back to Mac, a lot of Mac users have some inhibitions when it comes to installing security software on their devices. That’s because a lot of anti-virus programs have been causing havoc on the MacOS when they install them on their devices. More so, there are so-called Mac experts who tell Mac users they don’t need any security software because the system itself is already well-fortified.
Nowadays, cyber attacks come in different forms, one more sophisticated than the other. More so, cybercriminals have various tactics to get into your system. One of these sophisticated viruses is called a Trojan because it looks like legitimate software. Before the owner realizes it, his system is already infected. These types of malware can be extremely difficult to remove. Furthermore, if you have backups, those are also infected.
Macs are not impenetrable and they, too, need different security tools to keep them safe against malware attacks. Whether you are a PC or Mac user, you need to protect your device and your data. Criminals prey on the weak, learn how to protect yourself! How much is your data worth? Is it more than the cost of a security suite?