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<a href="/news/4-common-mac-malware-misconceptions" title="4 Common Mac Malware Misconceptions">4 Common Mac Malware Misconceptions</a>
Posted on: 27 Feb 2014 

Posted By: IT Wiser

4 Common Mac Malware Misconceptions


The topic of Mac viruses is a hotly debated one. Some believe the Apple operating system to be the safest around – free of the problems that plague Windows PCs and thus in no need for expensive antivirus software. Other’s see it as a growing problem that needs to be dealt with more effectively. This on-going debate has led to a number of misconceptions that need clearing up. Here are four of the most common:

1. Macs can’t Get Viruses

The most commonly held misconception by Mac users is that the operating system is immune to viruses. While it is true that there are not many Mac viruses currently doing the rounds, the view that Apple systems cannot get a virus is a myth. Viruses in general are decreasing in number, being replaced by different types of malware – of which there are many. One of the most common on Macs is spyware, which is designed to steal your data.  Mac security is much stronger than that of Windows; however, the notion that it is totally protected is false.

2. Macs don’t have a Big Enough Market Share to Get Viruses

The lack of overall market share that Mac has in comparison to Windows has always been a contributing factor to why the Apple OS has traditionally been safer than Microsoft. Cybercriminals like to target the masses and, as there are more PCs in the world that are easier to target, Mac has remained off the radar. However, this view is quickly becoming an out-dated one, as Mac continually increases its user base. The more Macs that are bought, the greater the problem of malware becomes.

3. Installing Mac Malware Requires a Password

To install new software on a Mac you must first input your password – it is one of the OS’s best security features. Surely you would have to do the same with malware, right? Wrong.

Cybercriminals are clever folk; they know that you are unlikely to take the risk of installing a random piece of software, so they will instead rely on exploits to get malware onto your system without your knowledge. Malicious ads and drive-by downloads are two of the most common threats, and widely used software such as Adobe Flash and Java are notoriously susceptible.

4.  OS X Will Keep Me Safe

The security features built into OS X, such as Gatekeeper, Application Firewall, and XProtect, do a pretty great job of securing Mac computers, but they are not 100% safe. Gatekeeper is vulnerable to increasingly common exploit malware, while XProtect is often delayed in incorporating new malware, as proven when the Flashback Trojan affected more than 600,000 users in 2012.

Malware on Mac is very real and very dangerous. Regardless of how safe you believe your operating system to be, it is always better to be safe than sorry. ITWiser’s Cloud Web Security has been specially developed to protect Mac users from the growing problem of malware, ensuring the efforts of hackers are not allowed to prosper. If you are a Mac user, contact us today to find out how our software can protect your systems and your network. 

The Register