Macs Aren’t Immune to Viruses: We often hear people talk about computer viruses, and on some occasions, also have the displeasure of dealing with them on our computers. Sometimes they are like a minor annoyance, while on other instances, they end up causing significantly greater damage. In today’s world where computers of all types and sizes are vulnerable to a wide range of security threats, it becomes all the more important to keep all your data and personal information – and more importantly, your Mac – safe, secure and protected from harm.
Before we discuss what you can do to protect your Mac, let us take a minute to understand viruses a little better.
What is a Macs Aren’t Immune to Viruses?
Just like a flu virus can infect you and make you fall sick, a computer virus functions in essentially the same way. When you are infected with a flu virus, it replicates and multiplies inside you and spreads to different parts of your body. Computer viruses, likewise, are programs that are designed to spread across your computer and also replicate itself.
In other words, a computer virus is a program or a code that is malicious in nature. It is made with the purpose of altering the way your Mac functions and can spread to other computers as well. Computer viruses function by inserting or attaching themselves to a particular program or application to execute its code. In doing so, viruses can cause unprecedented damage to your Mac, including, but not limited to, corrupting system software, erasing or destroying data, or rendering programs useless.
Keeping your Mac safe and secure
It is for these reasons mentioned above that you need to be proactive in keeping your Mac safe from viruses. Perhaps you might be wondering, “but how do I run a security check on my Mac?” The good news is that Apple does a reasonably good job of staying updated regarding threats and vulnerabilities, and with every macOS system update, the operating system is equipped with the latest malware database. This is because every Mac comes with its own inbuilt antivirus and antimalware software. The Mac’s operating system has its own security apparatus which runs on a technology called XProtect. This maintains a database of virus signatures that Apple keeps updating on a regular basis.
What are the signs of a virus attack?
Viruses can attack your Mac at any time, so it is important to be well prepared. Here are some of the most commonly observed symptoms that indicate a possible virus attack:
- Frequent pop-up windows
If you keep noticing pop-up windows or ads showing up more often than normal, chances are your Mac is infected. Many of these pop-ups invite you to click on links or go to suspicious sites or even encourage you to download fake antivirus programs.
- Unusually slow performance
If your Mac had been working fine all along but suddenly became slow and sluggish, it might be likely that it has a virus.
- Unknown or unrecognized programs
If you notice programs or applications on your Mac that you had previously never seen or installed, it might be a malicious program or virus.
- Redirections on your browser
If your web browser is taking you to or attempting to take you to websites that you never intended to go to, or if it redirects your search traffic through different search engines, chances are your Mac is infected.
- Personal files showing as encrypted
If you start receiving messages that your files are encrypted, it is a sign that your Mac could quite likely have been infected by ransomware.
Stay informed and updated about the latest threats to your Mac
Here are some of the latest threats to your Mac that you need to know about:
A malicious software that has been known to infect PCs for a long time, GravityRAT has now evolved to a more dangerous form that allows it to bypass the inbuilt protection that Macs have by using stolen developer signatures.
It is a ransomware that attacks and steals your personal files, passwords and can even log your keystrokes on your Mac in order to steal personal information of all kinds. ThiefQuest is difficult to detect.
XCSSET is an app that is known to target Mac developers. However, other users may also come across it if it is hidden inside an open source application. This program has the capability to take over your browser and steal your personal as well as financial information.
It is known to appear in the search results on Google disguised as a Flash player, which then directs users to install it through prompts. It can bypass the inbuilt security of Macs and it installs a hidden app which allows its creators to send more malware or adware to your Mac.
Should you get an antivirus for your Mac?
Even though Apple has made it such that your Mac is remarkably safe and secure, it is always safer to have antivirus software installed for abundant precaution. Most antivirus programs today have a version of their product for Macs, and by having it installed, you can make sure your Mac is thoroughly protected.
Also Read – DDoS Attacks During Games: What To Do