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Cyber Threats to Mac Users and How to Solve Them

by on Nov 20, 2020
Cyber Threats to Mac Users and How to Solve Them

There is a prevailing myth amongst Mac users that their beloved computer is immune to malware. The myth was seemingly started by a badly worded ad campaign and left many Mac users feeling invulnerable to the attempts of hackers to ruin their day. The truth is Mac users are vulnerable to a variety of cyber threats that make today's threat landscape.

In the past hackers would exclusively target Windows machines due to the massive market share they carved out for themselves.

Given the rise in popularity of Mac and iOS devices, there are more users now than ever before and thus more targets for hackers and opportunities to ruin someone’s day.

Cyber Threats

Now that hackers have begun looking at Mac users with predatory eyes, the cybersecurity industry has developed several antivirus solutions specifically catered to MacOS and their user base. First, before diving into what is the best antivirus for mac, it is wise to look at some of the threats faced by those who prefer Apple to Windows.

Mac users should be aware that the predominant threat faced comes in the form of potentially unwanted programs (PUP) with utility tools and junk cleaners forming the majority of those. While not the most dangerous threats, they can be a massive annoyance. They can also be used to drop more dangerous malware strains onto machines later. Another major threat is that of adware, namely malware used to generate illicit ad revenue. While it can be argued that many of the threats faced by Mac users are not as serious as say some of the ransomware strains plaguing Windows, several trojans and backdoors granted unrestricted access to machines have been discovered.

These are dangerous and steal vital information needed for hackers to commit fraud. With a false sense of security, hackers have come up with novel ways to trick users into downloading malicious programs.

Sophos

Many well-respected security firms have not been blind to the threats posed to Mac users. They have responded by creating some excellent options to defend your single Mac or an entire organizations’ devices. One such solution is offered by Sophos Labs, whose offering can allow an enterprise to protect up to 100 devices. They have recently revamped their antivirus solution for home users as well.

The revamped offering includes a real-time scanner, remote management tools, parental controls, a variety of web protection options, and for those choosing the paid subscription an impressive anti-ransomware feature that assists in providing comprehensive protection to modern-day threats.

Avast

Another well-respected security firm has also looked to give Mac users peace of mind and for free. Avast’s offering is regarded by many as the best free antivirus solution for Mac users and given the company’s expertise in machine learning and AI it is hard not to be tempted.

The software comes with an anti-malware scanner, a Wi-Fi security scanner for those who need to connect to a variety of different networks, and a web and email shield. The web shield is one of the standout features as it protects users from malicious downloads while the email shield prevents malicious attachments from deploying malware.

Kaspersky

The once Russian security firm who now calls Switzerland home has been embroiled in political disputes with the Trump administration. These should not impact how one views their security products. Their Internet Security package for Mac is a standout for how feature-rich it is. It comes with everything you expect like an anti-malware scanner, web and email, protection, and parental controls.

It employs technology to further protect important payment details like credit card information when shopping online. The parental controls also deserve special mention for protecting children from the potentially dangerous sides of the Internet. This feature also allows parents to set time limits on how long their child can be online.

Bitdefender

If you are looking for a solution that provides a comprehensive security package but the minimal impact on system resources, Bitdefender is probably the best choice.

The antivirus solution has best in class performance without drawing much from the system's resources. Boosting many of the features of its competitors including a VPN service, the product has a great user interface making effective use of all that is offered a simple task.

Conclusion

A shocking stat from 2020 will be the rate at which new Mac malware is being developed when compared to Windows, a rate of two to one.

No longer can Mac users have a false sense of security. The time is now to defend the computer you invested so heavily in.

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