Malware - Can you trust a Mac?

It’s been an experience that many people have endured: a PC starts slowing down; an annoying ad consistently pops up every other click; the dreaded black screen of death. Does this sound familiar? If it doesn’t, you’re probably on a Mac. Congratulations!

With the attention given to computer viruses lately, many Mac users have had the same question: Can my Mac be infected by malware? What is Malware anyway?

Malware (AKA “malicious” software) is software created by scrupulous individuals or groups who want to either harm your computer or gain access to the information stored in your computer.  I’m happy to tell you that malware on a Mac is an extremely rare occurrence. There are a few reasons for this.

First, your Mac is built on the UNIX Operating System. UNIX is a trusted brand in the industry and it is known for its stability and longevity. Developed in the 1970s, UNIX has been around for over 40 years (www.unix.org). 

Next, many viruses and malware are designed for the Microsoft Windows OS. Since virus-makers are most familiar with Microsoft Windows, it very easy for them to create those nasty little bugs and worms that creep into many Windows-based machines. 

On the contrary, your Mac OS X is not only easy to use and beautiful to look at, it comes with top notch security features. Go here for more information: http://www.apple.com/osx/what-is/security/

Now, for all the fun, coolness, and unsurpassed stability our beloved Macs offer us, we can’t throw caution out the window (no pun intended). As a business, and as an individual Mac owner, you will want to take steps for protection. Here are a few:

  1. Make sure the latest Apple security updates are installed

Mac OS X will typically be set up for any automatic updates. You can also initiate an update from the App Store by selecting the “Updates” icon. To view or modify your Mac’s update preferences, just go to the Apple menu then select System Preferences. Next, click App Store.

  1. Don’t use your Administrator account for your general use.

The Administrator account allows many changes to take place in your system. Create a separate standard account that will be the “front line” of defense. To do this, go to System Preferences and select Users & Groups. If your Mac is subject to a Malware attack, using a standard account will isolate the attack to that account only. 

  1. Only open files from known sources

If you ever receive an unsolicited pop-up asking you for your Administrator password, your first instinct should be to decline unless it is from a known source (such as a legitimately installed program).

Mac IT Solutions can detect and remove viruses as well as provide security layers on your network that shield against malware attacks on your Mac. To safeguard your business or, if you have any questions, please contact us at (210) 767-3303 or email info@macitsolutions.com to schedule an appointment.