Is My Mac Safe?

Are Apple Macs Safe?

For years the consensus has been that if you have an Apple Mac computer, or an iPhone, you’re safe from viruses. Whether this was true or not before, it’s now no longer the case.

You may recall we have mentioned the evil that is ransomware – the program that that encrypts data and demands payment before files are released – on a couple of occasions here in this column. Whilst this has largely been an issue solely with Windows PCs, Mac users are now being warned about new variants of malware that have been created specifically to target Apple computers.

Although security experts estimate that there are 23 million malicious programs targeting Windows users and “only” about 450,000 malicious programs aimed at Macs, the time has come for Mac users to up their security game.

And it’s not just computers – there is a growing “market” in malicious Apps. Last month there was a report about a very dubious iPhone antivirus app that was charging over £80 every week and freely available within the iPhone App Store*. This wasn't an isolated case; and because the App Store displays ads in paid-for adverts in a similar way to organic search results, malicious apps can appear that look almost indistinguishable from real results. Until there is a more stringent filtering or approval process for ads, people will get caught out.

As OS X continues to grow in the market share so will malware authors invest greater amounts of time in producing malware for this platform. While Macs are still less likely to be hit, that doesn’t mean they won’t, so if this is your favoured computing option make sure that you are up to date with the security on all your devices.

*This particular App has since been removed from the App store.

 

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