Sunday, March 19, 2023

Can Mac Laptops Get Viruses

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Macs Can Get Viruses

In most cases, Mac virus developers try to lure you into downloading a fake app or a software update. However, when this happens, you wont get the software you were hoping for. Instead, your Mac will get malware. Installing it could lead to you seeing endless annoying ads and even let hackers spy on you, along with a bunch of other online threats that can jeopardize your digital security and harm your Mac.

What Are The Latest Mac Viruses

Macs face an increasing number of threats. These are a few you should know about:

  • ThiefQuest: This ransomware steals your files, searches for passwords, and even logs your keystrokes to steal personal information, including financial data. Unfortunately, its very hard to detect.
  • GravityRAT: This malicious software has come after PCs for years, but now its figured out how to get into Macs by using stolen developer signatures that bypass the built-in protections of Macs. It can take screenshots, record audio, and more.
  • XCSSET: This app targets Mac developers, but regular users can also download it when its hidden inside an open-source app. It takes charge of the users browser and accesses financial information.4
  • OSX/Shlayer: This malware comes up in Google results disguised as a Flash player and guides the user through prompts to install it, bypassing Macs built-in security. It installs a hidden app that allows its creators to send other malware or adware to the computer. It may be present in up to 1 in 10 Macs.5

How To Check For A Virus On A Mac:

Macs have built-in protections for viruses and malware, so it’s uncommon for them to become infected. So uncommon, in fact, that they don’t have an option to run a manual virus scan. If you want an extra layer of protection, you can download antivirus software that will allow you to perform a scan. Popular brands include Bitdefenderâ¢, Kasperskyâ¢, and Nortonâ¢.

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How We Test Mac Antivirus

When we review antivirus options for Macs, we test against five different types of viruses and malware to see if they identify dangerous downloads. We also use the programs scans to see how well they identify what is already on the computer. We combine that research with extensive data from AV-Labs, a leader in the antivirus industry that tests software against tens of thousands of known viruses, to give us a fuller picture of how well the program can identify malware.

Designed To Protect Your Privacy

Apple Macs Can

Online privacy isnt just something you should hope for its something you should expect. Thats why Safari comes with powerful privacy protection technology built in, including Intelligent Tracking Prevention that identifies trackers and helps prevent them from profiling or following you across the web. A new weekly Privacy Report on your start page shows how Safari protects you as you browse over time. Or click the Privacy Report button in your Safari toolbar for an instant snapshot of the cross-site trackers Safari is actively preventing on that web page.

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How To Do A Virus Scan On Mac Manually

In an ideal world, scanning for viruses should be automatic and happen nearly continuously. In reality, you can consider yourself reasonably safe if you scan your Mac once a week. However, not everyone has a good virus checker. So how do I run a security check on my Mac manually? you may ask. Here are the top five things to do:

Clear downloads

As weve mentioned before, .dmg files could be the source of Mac viruses. While everything you download, including .dmg, typically goes into the Downloads folder, its smart to clear it first. Go to Finder > Downloads and delete the files you no longer need from there.

Check for browser extensions

The second step you should take is to check for browser hijackers and adware extensions:

  • Go to Safari > Preferences. See what the Homepage URL is currently set to and correct it if needed
  • Then proceed to the Extensions tab and uninstall any you dont recognize, as they could spy on you, save your private data, and redirect you to their malicious websites.
  • Remove suspicious apps

    See whether you have applications installed that you dont recognize:

  • Go to the Applications folder via Go > Applications in Finder or using the shortcut Shift + Command + A
  • Scroll through the list and delete any unknown applications
  • Then empty the Bin.
  • Delete suspicious login items

    Create a new profile in macOS

  • Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Users & Groups
  • Unlock the page to make changes
  • Add a new user name, password, and click Create User.
  • Safer Macs Start Here

    While Macs can get viruses, its still a relatively rare occurrence. If you own a Mac computer, understanding which viruses affect your system and knowing how to avoid them is integral to keeping your Mac running well for years to come. If you have questions about

    If you have questions about your Macs system or suspect it might be infected by a virus, dont hesitate to contact the team at Computer CPR today!

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    Can Macs Get Viruses

    Yes, Macs can and do get viruses and other forms of malware. And while Mac computers are less vulnerable to malware than PCs, the built-in security features of macOS are not enough to protect Mac users against all online threats. Keep reading for the full lowdown on Mac malware.

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    Do I Need An Antivirus For My Mac

    Can Macs get viruses?

    Malware isnt something you should think about only after your device has been infected. For optimal protection of your data and your investment, you should make sure that you have robust Mac antivirus software to begin with. Prevention really is the most effective strategy.

    As Macs become more and more popular, the incentives for hackers to target Mac computers will continue to increase. While cybercriminals have historically focused their attention on PCs, the tide is changing, and macOSs built-in security features are likely to become increasingly under threat. Thats why its more important than ever that you protect your Mac by giving it an extra layer of security right out of the box.

    Moreover, did you know that Mac users can unwittingly pass on Windows threats to their friends and family who use PCs? A smart Mac antivirus tool like Avast Security for Mac will block all forms of malware, so no one gets infected.

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    Do Macs Really Need Antivirus

    Apple itself wont admit to any flaws in its system. To be fair, it does its part by regularly updating the OS with the latest security features. But for the reasons previously outlined, having an extra layer of security protection for your Mac goes a long way. So yes, you need antivirus software for your Mac.

    With over one billion Apple users, Macs market share is growing and becoming more attractive for hackers. Unfortunately, this means more infected devices and more potential victims. According to the State of Malware Report 2021, the average number of Mac malware detections for businesses in 2020 increased by 31% compared to the 2019 stats.

    Mac owners are also perceived to be more affluent than users of other platforms. And criminals would prefer to go after the bigger fish, of course!

    Signs Your Mac May Be Infected

    Various things may go awry when your Mac is infected with a virus or other malware. While it can be tricky to detect the precise form of malware on your own, some of the more common symptoms include:

    Slower performance: Your Mac or specific apps start to run unusually slow.

    Ad attack: An influx of ads and pop-ups, especially on sites that dont usually have them, spells trouble. Adware inserts ads all over the place, even when youre not online.

    Apps or other tools downloaded without permission: If you notice new apps, files, or browser toolbars that you didnt install, thats a red flag, as are unexpectedly changed settings such as a new homepage.

    Disappearing storage space: Lots of malware will download and install files on your device without your permission. Youll not only find these unwanted programs on your device, but the space available for trusted programs or apps will shrink. If youve noticed a sudden decrease in storage space, it could be a sign that your device has been compromised.

    Strange behavior: If youre getting redirected to spammy websites, or if your Mac is frequently crashing or freezing, a virus or other malware may be the cause.

    Any one of these signs is not necessarily definitive, as there could be other issues going on. Slow performance, in particular, can be due to an overloaded Mac, so its a good idea to clean out junk and speed up your Mac to see if that fixes your problems.

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    Apple M1 Chip A Shared Architecture For Security

    The Apple M1 chip with built-in Secure Enclave brings the same powerful security capabilities of iPhone to Mac protecting your login password, automatically encrypting your data, and powering file-level encryption so you stay safe. And the Apple M1 chip keeps macOS secure while its running, just as iOS has protected iPhone for years.

    What To Look For In A Mac Cybersecurity Program

    4 Computer Viruses You Need to Get Rid of Right Now

    What should the enlightened Mac user look for in a cybersecurity program?

    • Comprehensive, layered protection. It should be able to scan and detect viruses, as well as maintain proactive real-time defense against malware. The goal is to catch dangerous threats automatically, before they infect your Mac. This way, you dont have to stress about it or rely on manual scans.
    • Detection of adware and potentially unwanted programs . These annoyances can lurk on your machine, slowing down your Mac. You want security software that finds and quarantines them.
    • Remediation. After removing the threats, remediation corrects system changes, regardless of severity. This allows you to return to the machines desired state.

    Of course, its best to have comprehensive protection before somethingmalware or otherwiseinfects your Mac. If you do take a hit, hit back by downloading Malwarebytes for Mac, run a scan, and rest easier. It zaps and continues to block malware. It detects and quarantines adware and PUPs too, and it does it all with a low impact on system resources, so you dont get bogged down. It can even recognize when new threats appear to be similar to the signatures of previously identified threats, providing protection against new, unidentified threats .

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    Tips For Safeguarding Macs Against Malware

    While Apple does an amazing job of guarding against common security threats, determined cybercriminals can still bust their way through into Apple devices.

    Here are some top tips for shoring up security for your Mac:

    • Avoid opening spam emails and attachments.
    • Dont download questionable files.
    • Install ad-blocking applications.
    • Create frequent system backups .
    • Install the latest operating system and application updates.
    • Manage data.
    • Install a security suite that includes antivirus software, firewall, and browser destination monitoring.
    • Use VPN software when connected to public or untrustworthy

    Protection Starts At The Core

    The technically sophisticated runtime protections in macOS work at the very core of your Mac to keep your system safe from malware. This starts with state-of-the-art antivirus software built in to block and remove malware. Technologies like XD , ASLR , and SIP make it difficult for malware to do harm, and they ensure that processes with root permission cannot change critical system files.

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    Macs Are Under Threat From All Kinds Of Malware

    Still, viruses and malware are not mutually exclusive. An umbrella term for malicious software, malware encompasses all types of software designed to attack your system without your knowledge.

    Viruses are just one type of malware, and there are many others. So, while all viruses for Macs are malware, not all Mac malware can be classified as a virus. Which of these dangers is most damaging for Apple computers? Were glad you asked.

    Know What A Mac Virus Is

    Can Macs Get Viruses

    Most of us are familiar with recognizing what a virus looks like thanks to its atrocious design and alarming vocabulary. However, not all viruses take the shock-and-scare approach to getting on your Mac. The latest adware could be a Trojan hiding in one of your Xcode projects, which is hard to recognize and equally hard to delete.

    While Apples new M1 Macs are considered more secure than Intel-based models, they get viruses too. The infamous Silver Sparrow virus disguised as the macOS Installer Javascript API specifically targets Macs with M1 chips and is believed to have infected over 30k Macs at the time of writing.

    Mac viruses often take a form of a .dmg file, because it was created by Apple itself to help install good software on your computer. If youre ever trying to download something you know is supposed to be an image, music, movie, or document, but you get a .dmg file instead that is as red as a red flag gets in terms of viruses. Do yourself a favor and delete that file immediately.

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    Privacy Concerns With Mac Antivirus

    We need to be cautious about the privacy implications of the software we choose, and that includes antivirus programs. We recommend considering a few key questions regarding your antivirus software.

    Is the Company Located in a Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or 14 Eyes Country?

    Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes are surveillance alliances in which countries have agreed to turn over data to each other for security or law enforcement reasons. If an antivirus company is based in a country that belongs to one or more of these alliances, that means any country in the alliance can compel the company to turn over your data.

    What Type of Encryption Does the Program Use?

    There are a few different ways in which companies encrypt your data, and its essential to know that your sensitive information is safe. We recommend looking for antivirus software that uses AES 256-bit encryption, the standard the U.S. government uses for top-secret data.

    Whats in the Privacy Policy?

    As with any digital product, its a good idea to examine the privacy policy for an antivirus. Some antivirus software options sell user data or share it with third parties, which is both invasive and a potential threat to your security, since the more places your sensitive data is stored, the more likely it is to be stolen.

    Recommended Mac Antivirus Apps

    You should now recognize whether your Mac has been infected with malware. However, prevention is nine-tenths of the cure, as they say. If you want to make sure you never have to worry about malware on Mac, you should install a high-quality Mac antivirus suite.

    Once you are running a solid antivirus app , it remains highly unlikely that you will ever encounter Mac malware on your own machine.

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    Protect Your Mac From Malware

    macOS has many features that help protect your Mac and your personal information from malicious software, or malware. One common way malware is distributed is by embedding it in a harmless-looking app.

    You can reduce this risk by using software only from reliable sources. The settings in Security & Privacy preferences allow you to specify the sources of software installed on your Mac.

  • On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy , then click General.

    , click it to unlock the preference pane.

  • Select the sources from which youll allow software to be installed:

  • App Store: Allows apps only from the Mac App Store. This is the most secure setting. All the developers of apps in the Mac App Store are identified by Apple, and each app is reviewed before its accepted. macOS checks the app before it opens the first time to be certain it hasnt been modified since the developer shipped it. If theres ever a problem with an app, Apple removes it from the Mac App Store.

  • App Store and identified developers: Allows apps from the Mac App Store and apps from identified developers. Identified developers are registered with Apple and can optionally upload their apps to Apple for a security check. If problems occur with an app, Apple can revoke its authorization. macOS checks the app before it opens the first time to be certain it hasnt been modified since the developer shipped it.

  • Can Mac Computers Get Viruses Unfortunately Yes

    How to Remove Virus from MacBook Pro (3 Ways)

    For years, weve heard people touting Macs as impenetrable to viruses. Some have even claimed that Macs are great computers for individuals who arent computer-savvy at all because theres no way their Mac will get a virus.

    Can Mac computers get viruses, after all? The answer is yes. The good news is that with a little know-how and some extra protection, you can keep your Mac safe and sound for years to come.

    Are you looking for more information about the latest in tech? Take a look around our website and see what other content we have to offer.

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    Should I Be Using An Antivirus App

    Even if you are staying up to date, there is the chance that you could come into contact with malware before it’s added to XProtect’s blacklist and gets infected. If you are concerned about that possibility, then perhaps you’d take comfort in a second set of eyes monitoring your Mac. There is no shortage of antivirus apps for MacOS, many of which are free.

    Doesnt Apple Protect Against Viruses

    While in the past Macs may have been more secure than PCs, this was mostly because hackers were focusing on Windows. When Macs became commercially available, an overwhelming majority of people continued to use PCs which meant that targeting Macs didnt make much financial sense for the creators of malicious code.

    So why dont Macs get viruses? For most of computing history, the answer is simply that no one was trying to infect them.

    Thats not to say Macs are easy targets. Macs operating system, macOS, has effective security features that make infiltration tricky. And while you shouldnt rely completely on these built-in safeguards, they do offer a good first line of defense.

    • Sandboxed apps: Macs also up the security ante with their sandboxed application structure. By keeping apps in the figurative sandbox, Apple grants them access only to the information they need to run. This means that applications on a Mac cant talk to one another or see other critical system resources, reducing the ability of a malicious app to infect your computer with malware.

    • Removing Flash and Java: Back in 2010, Apple made the decision to stop pre-installing Flash and Java on new Apple products. Both applications are known for their frequent updates, which leaves users who might have missed them more open to infection. Using one of the leading browsers for security will also help protect you against online threats.

    The features of the Mac ecosystem help boost Mac security.

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