Is it possible for Macs to become infected with viruses? Do Macs Need Antivirus Software?

In the electronics industry, there’s a long-held assumption that Macs are immune to malware. Well, we know that isn’t the case: security company Malwarebytes discovered numerous new Mac-specific vulnerabilities in 2020 alone, and there have been noteworthy cases of Mac malware previously as well. Is it true, however, that Macs are more secure than Windows Systems?

Although macOS is safer than Windows, you should review the security choices carefully. We’ll go through why you could need antivirus software for the Mac, as well as some easy measures you can do to improve its cybersecurity. Apple has also built in a variety of security features that make breaking into a Mac especially difficult. Gatekeeper is one of them. It prevents software that hasn’t been digitally certified by Apple from executing on the Mac without your permission.

Does my Mac Need Antivirus Software?

In a nutshell, you do. Malware may infect Mac systems, and Mac-targeted assaults are becoming more common. Implementing best practices for device security and utilizing built-in security features will assist, but antivirus software can go even farther in protecting the device. The MacOS layer of protection is based on Apple placing isolation labels on questionable or dangerous software, which ends in the warning box you see whenever you decide to open it.

Is it possible for Macs to become infected with viruses?

The term “virus” is used far more frequently than it would otherwise be; a better term would be “malware.” A computer virus gets its name from the fact that it may replicate and propagate. A virus is just one form of malware; there are many more, and there have been instances on Mac.

How to avoid Macs getting infected by a virus?

The single most effective way to safeguard your Mac against security breaches is to keep it up to date. Small security patches and bigger OS updates are how Apple reacts to security issues. To download the latest, go to System Preferences, then click on Software Update. It’s ideal if you set the Mac to automatically update software.

It’s also possible to get infected if you install software from untrusted sources. Only utilize software that is either in the Mac App Store or verified with an authentic developer certificate for the best results. Even if you execute that, the system will not be immune fully, but it will give significant protection. If you still install an unsigned program, make absolutely sure you get it from a trustworthy source. Like on Windows, certain Mac program installers include malicious software.

Types of Mac virus and Malware

In summary, we have a comprehensive list of Mac viruses and malware. Mac virus and Malware comprises the following-

  • Ransomware: On Macs, ransomware has been found, however the most recent example, EvilQuest, didn’t work out quite well; it was immediately spotted and prevented.
  • Adware: When this harmful software is installed on a Mac, it will display advertising and pop-ups for software, most likely for PUPs. “MacOS’ built-in security mechanisms have not cracked down on adware and PUPs to the same degree that malware has, leaving the door open for these borderline applications to penetrate,” as per Malwarebytes.
  • PUPs or potentially unwanted programs: Advanced Mac Cleaner, Mac Adware Remover, and Mac Space Reviver are all well-known examples of PUPs. These applications tend to hound users, which is part of their downfall since the number of Macs impacted has decreased owing to the terrible records of some of these apps.
  • Phishing: We’ve all gotten phishing emails and are aware of the risks, but how can we be certain we won’t fall for a phishing effort to steal our data or login credentials as thieves get more skilled and perhaps even learn to upgrade in it.
  • Trojan Horse: A Trojan horse is a type of malware that hides or disguises itself in software. Trojans come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For instance, a Trojan may provide hackers with access to the computers via a ‘security flaw,’ allowing them to view files and steal data. The term Trojan refers to the mechanism through which malware is installed on your device.

Also read: How to Copy and Paste on Mac

How does Apple protect Macs from malware and viruses?

Macs are less likely to get attack by malware and virus than Windows, but as the danger to the Mac grows as a result of the platform’s rising popularity, both among customers and among those who seek to target Mac users, Apple has had to build in security to macOS and the Mac hardware.

XProtect, Mac’s virus detection program, runs silently in the background and needs no user setup. When users open downloaded programs, Apple verifies them against a list of dangerous apps. Apple updates XProtect regularly, and it upgrades in the background. So you ought to be safe always in this regard.

On the other hand, GateKeeper will assist you to stay safe by only allowing you to install software from the Mac App Store, or you could just set it to enable you to download apps online if the developer is confirmed.

Applications that have been authorized by Apple are similarly Sandboxed, which implies they only do what they’re supposed to do. App sandboxing protects apps from your Mac’s critical systems, information, and other programs, ensuring that they can’t access anything that may lead them to cause harm.

Sudeepta is a Professional Content developer, Editor, Proofreader, Social Media Marketer, Creative and Technical Content Writer. She is a Blogger, Nature lover, and budding Photographer from Assam who is passionate about words, food, and travel.

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