How To Stop Viruses From Stealing Your Data
Its a common misconception that viruses only happen to people who are gullible, ignorant, or technologically illiterate. The stigma is that hackers prey on people, when in reality, they prey on behavior. Our basic assumption with Macs is that we expect Apple and our applications to have done all the security work for us. In truth, every user has to adjust their own behavior when using their Mac.
Do you use public WiFi? Consider getting a Virtual Private Network to encrypt the connection between your laptop and the external network. Shimo is a great VPN manager app that will help you here. While using it, raw information cant be fed to any malicious programs lurking on your Mac, and hackers on the same network wont be able to decode anything youre working on.
ClearVPN will help you block access to malware sites, which is a great security precaution. You can also use this stellar VPN app to remain anonymous online at all times and encrypt your connection.
Speaking of encryption, Macs using OS X Lion and later come with the option to encrypt their hard drives using FileVault 2. Although encryption wont prevent viruses from entering your computer , it would still be very helpful in stopping viruses from stealing your information. To turn on FileVault:
Does Windows 10 Come With Antivirus Software
It does indeed: Windows Defender. Windows has had virus protection for a number of years, and the latest iteration found in Windows 10 is the strongest its ever been.
If your laptop or PC didn’t come with any other antivirus software pre-installed then Windows Defender will already be protecting your system.
Given that Defender’s protection is just as good as the best antivirus software, you can relax in the knowledge it’s keeping your laptops and PCs safe. In AV-Test’s most recent report covering July and August 2020, Defender stopped 100% of ‘known’ viruses and also 100% of zero-day attacks.
Microsofts offering should also have the advantage of being baked into the OS, but in fact it has a higher drag factor when it comes to system resources, causing apps to load more slowly than if you ran a paid-for security product such as Norton 360 Deluxe. It doesn’t offer those extra features you get with the fully fledged security suites either, so you’re not as well protected from dangerous websites, scams lurking in social media feeds and in phishing emails.
Of course, it still has advantages: it doesn’t cost anything and you don’t have to install it or configure it in the first place, which is also a bonus.
To check if Windows Defender is working correctly, launch the Windows Security app which will show you the status of antivirus and firewall.
Response Speed For Security Fixes
When assessing levels of security, a platforms technical support is just as important as the volume of cyber threats it faces. Your manufacturers response speed to security problems can either mitigate or amplify the damage of malware exploits.
For example, Apple’s patch for 2012s Flashback exploit took almost 50 days to be ready for distribution to macOS users. Worse, it was only available for users that were running macOS Snow Leopard and macOS Lion. Delays in security patches for OS-level exploits can have a very negative effect on the perceived effectiveness of security.
Windows may have more history with confronting these problems, which can give them the illusion of better security. That said, both platforms have their own share of security flaws and have had time to get familiar with protecting users. Nowadays, macOS and Windows PC have handled security updates with no notable delay issues.
Of course, computer security is more than just cyberthreat volume and response turnarounds. To get the full picture, youll have to know more about how these platforms handle other security duties.
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Onscious Approach To Security
No matter how innovative and reliable your devices are, it would be best if you still acted sensibly.
- Update macOS when asked as it comes with the latest security updates
- Dont download or click links from unknown sources or on sketchy websites as they can lead to the installation of viruses
- Educate yourself on the latest Mac threats read updates on new Apple features and security
- Avoid suspicious-looking emails or messages as they can be phishing traps full of malware
Do Laptops Need Antivirus
Various viruses and threats can infect your system at any time and compromise the information it contains, which is why users are very concerned about this issue more and more, there are many profiteers who try their best to gain access to the important information in your systems by infecting them, all users are trying to raise their awareness in the field of all kinds of threats and prevent the theft of important information in their systems.
Technology is presenting new aspects of itself every day and new technologies are presented on a regular basis, after presenting each one, users first think about how they can provide the best possible security, in the past, computer devices did not have much variety and users could learn and practice general tips in order to increase the security of these devices, but these days, different devices are being released with different operating systems that in order to maintain the security of each one of them, lots of points should be taken into consideration by users, these days, threats are spreading as fast as technologies, and some of these threats may not be detected at all by programs such as antivirus.
Laptops are more secure than older computers, and some of them that we are going to mention below may not need antivirus software program at all, but in general, as we mentioned above, there are many threats that it is necessary to get help from different programs to deal with them.
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Who Needs Antivirus Software
If youre using a computer, youll need it. Without antivirus software in place, you could find yourself the victim of cybercrime. Bots and trojans can infect your computer with malware and use this to steal valuable information. The hackers could even demand you pay a ransom in return for the data. The other big danger is spyware, which criminals can use to copy every word you type.
Do Macs And Apple Products Need Antivirus
Theres a misconception that Apple products dont need antivirus protection. Not so. Cybercriminals can target software and hardware vulnerabilities that affect all devices, whether its a Mac, PC, Apple, or Android device.
Macs and Apple products may not be targeted as frequently as Microsoft Windows computers, but cybercriminals can target software and hardware vulnerabilities in various connected products, whether its a Mac, PC, Apple, or Android device.
Just like any computer, Macs can be vulnerable to certain viruses, including adware, Trojan horses, macro viruses, and ransomware. For example, Macs have been known to have benign yet annoying pop-up ads. But some adware can be malicious, like the MacDownloader malware, a form of spyware that attempted to steal personal data.
Macs also can be vulnerable to macro viruses another form of malware capable of creating new files, corrupting data, moving text, and formatting hard drives.
In short, Apple products like the iPhone and Macbook need a comprehensive security software package that provides multiple layers of protection.
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How To Know That Your Mac Is Infected
Before you learn how to find virus on Mac, get acquainted with the main signs of your Mac being infected. The common red flag is your Mac going slow but dont panic, your Mac could have performance issues for many reasons, including low RAM, resource-hungry apps, etc. Typically, apart from slow Mac, viruses will give you one of the following problems:
- New extensions just appeared in your browser from nowhere
- Your browser homepage has changed
- Youre being stalked by annoying ads and pop-ups
- You get security alerts as a result of Mac virus checking
- You cant access your private files.
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.
Best Antivirus Software For Macs
If you decide youd like to install antivirus software, there are plenty of options out there, both free and paid. Weve rounded up some of the best in separate posts, but here are our top seven free and paid options. We recommend opting for a paid antivirus if you can they are relatively inexpensive and offer significantly better protection than free alternatives. Plus they tend to be faster.
Heres our list of the best antivirus software for Mac:
How Does Antivirus Protection Work
Antivirus is one of multiple layers of protection that work together to help detect and prevent computer viruses and malware from infecting your devices.
A computer virus can infect a computer and spread malicious codes to other devices. Antivirus software provides protection against these threats by scanning for viruses, detecting them, and eradicating them.
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Bonus Intego Mac Internet Security X9 Best For Macbook Users
Integois my favorite antivirus for MacBooks in 2021. During my tests, Intego detected and removed all of the malware samples from my device, including Mac-specific spyware and ransomware.
Intego also comes with data backup options that are a lot better than Apples built-in backup features. Intego can sync data backup between multiple devices, back up custom folders, and also make a bootable backup that includes your devices latest Mac OS X version so you can easily reboot your files and operating system onto any Mac device.
Intego also includes:
- System cleanup.
- Parental controls.
Integos firewall blocked all network-based attacks in my testing, while also giving me the option to stop third-party apps from potentially sending my sensitive data across the internet. It also analyzed my Wi-Fi network for all possible security issues, and I liked that I could customize both the firewalls controls and how they changed automatically depending on my location something I havent seen any other Mac-based antiviruses provide.
Intego has great parental controls as well, which let users create lists of allowed websites and block access to entire categories, like gambling or adult sites. Integos parental controls also include chat monitoring, which sends you an alert if your kids engage in risky chats.
Do You Need Antivirus For Iphone
Yes. Since they are connected to the internet, iPhones need antivirus, just like computers. We handle valuable personal information like passwords, banking credentials, and credit card numbers with our mobile devices. You arent safe just because your device is running on a certain operating system.
Internet-based threats like phishing, altered advertising, and various browser and operating system vulnerabilities are possible on any device. Antivirus that can help you stay safe from these threats is a very important security app for iPhones.
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What Types Of Mac Malware Are There
First, lets see what you are dealing with when you get a virus on a Mac. The word virus is often used for all malware, though its just one type of malware. A MacBook virus may mean an adware program, a Trojan horse, a ransomware threat, or some other malicious software. How exactly can malware affect Mac? Lets find out!
These are the most popular types of Mac malware:
Myth #: Antivirus Software Will Make My Mac Less Secure Or Less Stable
Some pundits allege that running antivirus software makes computers less secure or less stable, citing examples of antivirus software that was found to have vulnerabilities, false-positive detections, or other flaws .
This is a perilously flawed argument. Its akin to refusing to use seatbelts or airbags just because of extremely rare cases where they caused injury, while completely ignoring the fact that both seatbelts and airbags have saved thousands of lives and continue to save lives every day. Similarly, using antivirus software is far safer than not using any.
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How To Choose The Best Mac Antivirus Software For You
Before you buy or install Mac antivirus software, you have to figure out what you really need. Do you have both Macs and Windows PCs at home? Then consider a multiplatform, multi-device bundle such as Norton 360 Deluxe, Sophos Home Premium or McAfee Antivirus Plus. Bitdefender and Kaspersky also offer multiplatform bundles that come with the same software we’ve reviewed here.
Or do you have only Macs? If so, no need to go overboard: The one- or three-device versions of Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac or Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac should do you just fine.
Do you have young children or teenagers living at home? Consider Mac antivirus software that comes with parental controls or web-content filters, like Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac or Sophos Home Premium.
Then figure out how much you can afford. If the answer is “nothing,” then try Avast Security for Mac or the free tier of Sophos Home. The trade-off is that those aren’t as good as many of the paid programs.
But if you can afford to spend $50 a year, then you’ve got a lot of options. Most of the antivirus companies frequently offer discounts of up to 60%, both straight from their websites or through online retailers, at least for the first purchase.
How Can Mac Users Get Started With Antivirus Protection
A free antivirus for Mac software trial can be a good starting point. The trial allows you to get familiar with the level of security that can be attained with the product. If anything, it helps you get into the practice of home security.
In case youre an owner of both macOS and Windows and are trying to find a balanced Mac vs PC virus protection, dont worry. Many products are multiplatform and highly-effective on each even covering your mobile devices.
Although there are several free antivirus options to choose from, it is important to select a product that is well-supported and maintained, and that offers sufficient scope of protection. Sometimes, can be wise to seek out the best paid antivirus for Mac. Premium features like enhanced real-time protections may only be available in paid software.
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The Scope Of Mac And Pc Computer Threats
In the past, there was a general belief that Macs were much more secure than Windows PCs. Many Mac users believed they were much less likely to encounter the negative effects of malware and cyberattacks. In fact, it was often assumed that Macs were less likely to get infected or attacked at all.
However, the growth of Mac-focused cyber threats in recent years has led many users to question just how secure Macs are. The rising popularity of Mac operating systems in recent years has made them a prime target for cybercriminals and Macs have subsequently fallen prey to several viruses, malware, and other web threats.
In just the past few years, Mac users have endured a ceaseless stream of new threats. A few of these threats include the Flashfake botnet, the Koobface worm, and Mac Defender malware. In addition to these newfound threats, Mac users also face perennial risks from phishing scams, spam, and other types of web threats of virtually every kind.
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.
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Other Ways To Secure Macs
Besides purchasing antivirus software, you can do a few other things to protect your Mac:
- Update your system. Always download security and system updates, since they frequently contain security patches or information about new viruses.
- Restart your computer. Regularly restart your computer to ensure that Apples Malware Removal Tool, which runs when the computer starts, has a chance to scan your machine.
- Avoid phishing. Be very careful about what files you download, and watch out for phishing attempts.
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.
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