Apple MAC Security Fact Check

There’s a been a rumor for quite some time that MAC’s can’t be infected by viruses and malware. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but this is completely false information. Read on to find out why!

Apple had a very successful campaign back in 2006 with the “I’m a Mac / I’m a PC” campaign which embedded the idea into customers mind that the apple computers were for some reason more secure then their windows counterparts. Do you remember these commercials? Here is a refresher.

Unfortunately this is completely false. However there is a bit of truth to it, let me explain.

A computer virus is a piece of software that is attached to a file and once the file is opened the virus is able to take over the computer and may damage files, change files or even grant access to a backdoor where a malicious user could control your computer remotely.

Malware is defined a piece of software that was designed for a malicious purpose. Therefore malware is just a new name for a virus.

MAC computers are very susceptible to malware just as any other PC or mobile device. However MAC computers have had a distinct advantage of being the underdog in most cases as a vast majority of the world population is using the Windows operating system most malicious users typically set their sights on a higher number of fish which in this case would be the Windows users.

Malware examples include

  • phishing
  • keyloggers
  • ransomware

Malware is typically developed for Windows operating systems as most corporations rely heavily on windows for their day to day computers because…

  1. Everyone is familiar with windows
  2. Apple devices are expensive

MAC malware has been steadily climbing as more users are finding out that with more expensive product they may also catch bigger fish with a deeper pocket than the average windows user. Over the years there’s been an increase in what’s called PUPs or potentially unwanted programs on mac computers. Some examples include

  • Adware
  • Keyloggers
  • Scamware

Adware is a program that hijacks your web browser and serves you advertisements or changes your default search engine. Keyloggers are sometimes marketed as products to monitor what your spouse, kids or other unwanted users do on your computer but they may also be sending the data to a remote site. Scamware are programs that advertise cleaning services but in reality they don’t do anything but try to get you to put your credit card info in and then take your money without actually doing anything to clean your computer.

PUPs are not malware but they can introduce what’s referred to as a vulnerability. A vulnerability is like a door without a lock. These vulnerabilities can then be used by malicious users to inject malware that can hijack your computer, perform remote tasks, and steal your information.

Fortunately Macs are a bit closer to UNIX which is that the Linux operating system runs on which is far more secure than Windows. Due to this security patches can be pushed out quickly and MACs are a bit safer than Windows. Additionally MACs have a built in anti-malware software called XProtect which can detect and prevent malicious applications from being installed and ran on your computer.

XProtect uses a technology similar to what we use here at PC Turnaround to check what’s called a “signature” on a program against a remote database and determine if the program has been reported as a malicious program and prevent it from being installed if it’s on the database. XProtect can only help you against malware and not PUPs though so you may still get infected by PUPs which can open vulnerabilities and later be used by Malware that has not been reported to the XProtect database. If you want to be fully protected we suggest you use our services as PC Turnaround uses a technology based on AI. It learns from some of the most prestigious companies in the world and uses their data to prevent your computer from being compromised by Adware, PUPs and Malware.



 

 


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