There are many plusses to owning a Mac. Not only are Macs stylish, but they’re optimized to run certain types of multimedia software. Owning a Mac also makes it easier to join the Apple ecosystem if you already own an iPhone, iPad, or Apple watch.
While Mac users certainly have plenty to be proud of, some mistakenly believe that Macs are invulnerable to security issues. This belief can be dangerous because it creates a false sense of security. So, if you’re wondering: do Macs get viruses and other types of malware, the answer is yes. But how did this misconception come about? Here are a few reasons why some people believe that Macs don’t get viruses:
Apple Helped Create the Myth
You may remember the Mac vs PC commercials from early 2000. They featured an older man in an ill-fitting business suit discussing the faults of PCs, with a younger man in casual clothing talking about the benefits of Macs.
The commercials reassured customers that Macs don’t get viruses. However, this wasn’t the only myth propelled by the campaign. The ads referred to the younger man as PCs and the older man as Macs when Macs are PCs too. Macs are just PCs made by Apple that run iOS instead of Windows, Linux, or any other operating system.
Macs Are More Secure
Although Macs aren’t foolproof, they’re more secure than Windows-powered PCs because Apple tightly controls the hardware manufacturing process and uses premium components in addition to its software. The close-ended nature of Macs makes them less prone to user error. Of course, this restrictive nature is a double-edged sword. While Macs are more stable, they’re also challenging to upgrade.
Threat actors have had little reason to target Macs until lately because Macs have had a lower market share than PCs that use Windows. However, as Macs become more commonplace, cybersecurity threats against them rise.
For example, the 2020 State of Malware Report states that threats against Macs now outpace Windows per endpoint. In fact, the volume of Mac malware threats rose year-over-year by over 400 percent. And the attacks against Macs are growing more sophisticated.
Just earlier this year, security experts were shocked to discover a new macOS malware family named Silver Sparrow on over 40,000 Macs. Alarmingly, the malware was even found on the new M1-based computers. Over the years, researchers also found dangerous Trojan apps on Apple’s App Store.
How Do I Know if My Mac Is Infected?
It’s an excellent idea to remediate malware before it can damage your machine. For example, ransomware can quickly encrypt your computer and lock it until you pay a ransom. Likewise, spyware can document you secretly and transmit your private data to a hacker.
Here are some signs that your Mac has a malware infection:
- You see aggressive advertising banners.
- Pop-ups bombard your screen.
- Your browser is redirected to another page.
- The homepage on your browser changes every time you start your computer.
- There are programs installed on your machine without your authorization.
- Your computer is running hotter than usual.
- Your Mac restarts randomly without reason.
- You notice that your webcam or your hard drive activates in the middle of the night.
Please download advanced antivirus software for Mac with anti-malware technology to remediate viruses, worms, spyware, ransomware, or any other threats on your machine if you notice any of the above symptoms.