Technology / Working Online

I Am Immune to Computer Viruses. I Am the Mac Owner.

This is what they call an urban legend.  Mac owners have been telling me for years, that they have the silver bullet. The antidote to the computer virus.  What is their secret sauce?  They purchased a Mac computer.  I am sorry to report that this is simply not true.

Where did this myth come from?  It is true that there are a lower overall number of Mac computer virus infections that PC.  At one point, Apple even asserted their products were immune to viruses but did remove that claim back in 2012.  Hackers generally try to streamline their process, create a way to hit the largest number of targets with the least amount of effort.  Historically, there have been a far greater number of PC users vs Mac users.  As a result, few computer viruses were being written to attack them.  Hence, the idea that Mac’s were immune.  However, as a greater percentage of folks made the switch to Mac hackers began to make the switch right along with them.

Now that we know that Mac owners can and do get computer viruses what can we do about it?

5 Things Mac Users Can Do to Protect Themselves

  1. Anti-Virus. The greatest offense is a good defense.  Purchase an anti-virus specifically made for Macs.
  2. Set Up a Firewall. Adding a firewall is great added layer of protection to help control the data flowing to and from your computer or network.
  3. Don’t Click. Never ever click on links in suspicious emails.  If in doubt, pick up the phone and call to confirm authenticity.
  4. Multi Factor Authentication. Set up a strong password for your iCloud account and enable multi factor authentication to tighten security.
  5. Parental Controls. The sites that our kids tend to gravitate to can be prime material for predators.  Put parental controls in place to try to keep the bad guys at bay.

Mac users are being targeted.  We have seen an increase in tech support scam phone calls mentioning Apple products and Mac computers this year.  In general, they have no anti-virus on their computers and a flawed belief that it cannot happen to them.  It can, and it is.  Mac users are not invincible from the threats at hand.  However, a little planning and adjustments in how they manage their computer can reduce the risk to them, their computer, and their data.

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