Macs are well known for being less vulnerable to viruses and other malware; in fact, it’s a big selling point for Apple. Unfortunately, Mac malware is out there, and MacBook users aren’t always prepared for it. Assuming your MacBook is safe can have serious consequences, so it’s better to take active steps to protect your data.
Types of Mac Malware
The first Mac virus, Elk Cloner, appeared in 1982. Apple has developed more secure operating systems since then, but at the same time, Mac malware has also become more sophisticated. These days there are many different kinds of malware that can spread to your computer, including:
- Viruses. A virus is a piece of code attached to a file, document, or program. When you open the infected file or launch the program, the virus is activated. A virus can corrupt your files, send mass emails from your account, repeatedly crash your computer, and steal your passwords.
- Ransomware. Ransomware can be spread through email attachments or links to infected websites. If your MacBook has been infected by ransomware, you will not be able to log in or access any of your files. Instead, you’ll see a window demanding that you pay a certain ransom to regain access.
- Spyware. Spyware is a kind of software that tracks your computer usage. Your MacBook may become infected if you clink unknown links or download programs or files from unreliable sources. Spyware is sometimes used by businesses to collect marketing data, but it can also be used to steal passwords, Social Security numbers, credit card information, and more.
- Trojan horses. Trojan horses get their name from the fact that they appear to be harmless applications. When you download and open the application, your MacBook becomes infected. A Trojan horse can steal your data, corrupt your files, or allow someone else remote access to your laptop.
Mac malware can slow down your computer, damage your files, and may even be used to steal your identity. The good news is that there are steps you can take to keep your MacBook and your sensitive information safe.
Preventing Mac Malware
A few things you can do to keep your MacBook safe include:
- Install antivirus software. You may have heard that antivirus software is unnecessary for Mac users, but this isn’t the case. Installing the right software is one of the most effective ways to keep your MacBook secure. Which software is best for you will depend on your specific needs and how much you’re willing to spend. Just be careful about downloading any programs from a source that may not be trustworthy.
- Use caution online. Don’t open links or attachments from email addresses or social media accounts you don’t recognize. Make sure that anything you download is from a legitimate source, and remember that pirated games, movies, or other files are a common source of viruses and Trojan horses.
- Update macOS. These updates often include increased security against Mac malware. You can set your MacBook to check for updates automatically by going to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Software Update, then clicking “Automatically keep my Mac up to date.”
With just a few simple precautions, you can greatly reduce your chances of encountering Mac malware. If you have any questions about keeping your data secure, or if your MacBook has been infected by malware, an Apple repair expert can help.
Mac Malware Repairs
At Fix Apple Now, we can answer all your questions about data security in addition to offering malware repairs. Contact us to find out how to keep your precious information safe.