Can Apple Macs get viruses? We bust the myth about Macs being immune to viruses!
When Macs first came about they were allegedly portrayed as secure machines invincible from threats, with Apple claiming to have one of the safest operating system platforms.
The most common myth is “Macs don’t get viruses”
The idea that you don’t have to worry about viruses if you have a Mac is still astonishingly believed by many though this has never been factual.
Apple’s successful “Get a Mac” TV commercial which ran from 2006 to 2009 was a smart marketing strategy. It gave the representation that Macs are safer than PCs.
Apple no longer publicises Macs as virus free but due to the success of the commercial this untrue perception of security still remains.
Just last year researchers discovered a new piece of malicious software that can steal information from Apple Macs.
The malware, so-called ‘Mokes.A’ can take screenshots of your machine alongside accessing your photos, videos and files. It can also capture keystrokes, giving a hacker access to sensitive information such as bank IDs and passwords.
At the beginning of 2016 Apple customers fell victim to ‘KeRanger’ which was the first cryptolocker style ransomware attack against Macs, where malware is used to lock a device that cyber criminals will only release after receiving payment.
How does malware enter Macs?
Cyber criminals take different approaches to gain access to your money. When malware is initially installed on computers, it could be through online links, malicious adverts or phishing scams. This makes it challenging to protect against the software initially being installed on the computer as they are changing tactics daily.
In common cases malware enters your machine by disguising itself as legitimate software. This is called a Trojan.
It fools you into installing and once installed it begins to gather information about you. In most cases it wants to get hold of your credit card or bank details.
Something to be wary of is that criminals are making Mac malware that pretends to actually be malware protection or performance optimising software. Mac malware can disguise itself as antivirus software, and the name alone can be enough to persuade you to installing.
Here are names of some rogue programs to avoid:
- Mac Defender
- Mac Security
- Mac Protector
- Mac Guard
- Mac Shield
How to protect yourself
- Don’t install software from untrusted sources
- Ensure your operating system and applications are kept updated
- Install antivirus software – paid antivirus provides stronger and better protection in comparison to free
- Be mindful and observant – generally if something looks too good to be true, then it most likely is