One myth that has been around for a while is that Apple Macs just don’t get viruses or malware infections. Some people say it’s because there are so many more Windows PCs out there, making them bigger hacker targets, others tout excellent Mac operating system (OS) security as the reason.
But, while there may be a kernel of truth to Macs being infected less in the past, it’s not the case any longer.
Malware infections on Macs increased 270% from 2016 to 2017 (Malwarebytes)
There are a number of malware threats that iMac and MacBook users need to watch out for. If they have a false sense of security about not getting infected, it makes their computers even more vulnerable.
And once you get an infection on your Mac, it’s not always easy to find an IT pro that can fix it, many of the “other guys” do Windows only.
Pro Tech Guy is proud to be one of the few (and best!) IT repair shops that works on both Windows AND Mac computers in the Framingham area. Our technicians have a wide range of experience with both operating systems and that includes virus removal for Macs.
When we remove malware from a client’s system, our favorite anti-malware program to install for future protection is Malwarebytes. This excellent software has both home and business versions of their programs for Mac and Windows.
So, why does your Mac need virus and malware protection? We’ll talk about the latest threats facing Mac users next.
What Types of Malware Threats Should Mac Users Watch Out For?
Hackers and virus engineers have long ago figured out the Mac operating system and haven’t spared it from the many types of malware they unleash each day. Which means if your Mac doesn’t have proper malware protection, it can become infected with any one of a number of malware types.
Types of malware that can infect your computer include:
What are the more recent threats out there for Mac users? Here’s a rundown.
Meltdown & Spectre
This malware takes advantage of a security flaw in Intel chips that impacted Macs, iPhones, and iPads.
Both allow a hacker to read the kernel memory, which is a central component of a computer system responsible for running or executing programs. Both Meltdown and Spectre malware can infect a computer via a Java Script running in a malicious webpage.
Crossrider (or OSX/Shlayer)
This is a new adware variant infecting Macs by using a fake Adobe Flash Player installer. The installer adds a copy of Advanced Mac Cleaner and then tells you it’s found problems with your system.
The adware causes your Safari homepage to be locked to one of the Crossrider domains with tons of ads and it can’t be changed back in the normal settings.
This Trojan horse bypassed the Apple OS securities by using a valid developer certificate that was authenticated by Apple to fool the system into thinking it’s a legitimate program.
It has the ability to bypass Apple’s protections and can hijack all traffic entering and leaving a Mac computer, even SSL-TLS encrypted, without the user’s knowledge.
This malware takes screenshots and webcam images without your knowledge and also looks for computers and smart devices on the same Wi-Fi network, so it can connect and infect them as well.
How Can You Protect Your Mac from Viruses?
Multi-layered protection is always the best option, that way you’re covered for any type of intrusion or other computer disaster.
When we’re advising home and business clients in the Framingham, MA area, we share with them our most powerful tools for anti-malware and anti-virus defense. Including installing Malwarebytes or giving companies the option for Cloud Care Premium, which includes a full host of business continuity features.
How can you get that multi-layered protection we mentioned? By taking a combination of the following protective steps.
Back Up Everything Regularly
A secure backup is an excellent protection against ransomware and other malicious malware since you have another copy of your system files to recover if you need them.
Install an Anti-Malware Program
As we mentioned, Malwarebytes is our favorite program for Mac protection. Some of the features of this anti-malware program include:
- Anomaly detection
- AI to identify new malware
- Cleans infected systems
- Shuts down attacks before they get in
- Multiple layers of cybersecurity
Use Strong Passwords
One of the most common passwords is 12345, and there are tons of others that hackers know by heart. Using strong passwords that have at least 7-10 characters and include numbers, letters, and symbols is an important layer to any computer security plan.
Install a Firewall
A firewall installed on a network acts as another safeguard to help reduce threats coming through your wireless internet connection to all your devices that connect to it.
Install Updates and Patches
Many software, firmware, and operating system updates include vital security patches from recently detected security vulnerabilities. While it may be annoying to interrupt your work, it’s important to take the time to regularly install those updates.
Need Some Help with an Anti-Malware Program?
Pro Tech Guy can do a thorough scan of your Mac or Windows computer or mobile device and then install an excellent anti-malware program to keep it protected from the growing number of viruses and malware trying to get in.
Don’t wait until you’re infected, give us a call today at 508-364-8189 or contact us online for an immediate response.