Apple takes security more seriously than most other device and software providers, which means that devices such as Mac aren’t affected as much as others. However, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t. The digital landscape has evolved greatly, and new threats continue to come up every day. Macs haven’t been spared, and this has rightly led to users desperately searching “how to scan my Mac for viruses,” something that can be effortlessly done with the right software.
If you are a Mac user or you’d like to become one, we’ll help you debunk some of the most common misconceptions regarding Macs and viruses.
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Macs Are Immune to Viruses
This is the biggest misconception about Mac security and has proven quite costly over the years. The myth that Macs aren’t susceptible to viruses started more than a decade ago, and it most likely originated from Apple’s marketing line that “a Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers.” Apple was called out on the statement, and it removed it in 2012 as it led many users to think that Macs were immune to viruses.
The truth is that they aren’t. Sure, they are more secure from viruses than Windows devices, but they are still susceptible to viruses. The reason that Mac viruses aren’t as common as PC viruses is that Windows devices are more popular and are therefore a more attractive target for hackers. Since viruses are usually meant to exploit a particular flaw, it would make more sense for a hacker to create a virus that can infect millions of devices instead of thousands. But as Apple’s computers have become more popular in recent years, so have the threats that target them.
Macs Don’t Need Antivirus Software
One of the best things about Mac devices is that they come with lots of security measures that protect users from cyber threats such as viruses. These include features such as XProtect, a malware removal tool, Apple’s Gatekeeper, and Sandboxed apps. All these play a very important role in protecting users, but they also lead to a misconception that Mac devices don’t need an Antivirus program.
The truth is Apple’s native security measures are not enough to deal with the ever-evolving cyber threats. You need to install a dedicated virus and threat protection program to complement Apple’s security measures. Such antivirus programs are usually more robust and updated based on the threat landscape. They can therefore detect malicious programs that bypass native Mac solutions.
Mac Users Aren’t Targeted by Hackers
Mac devices have long been considered safe from hackers. This is because Windows devices have always been commonly targeted by hackers and subjected to data theft and ransomware attacks. Due to Apple’s stringent operating system and a small user base, only a small number of people were making the mistakes that allowed hackers to infiltrate a system.
However, as Macs have become quite popular, the threats from hacking have increased significantly. Today, there are lots of apps you can install outside the App Store, and hackers take advantage and create sneaky apps that usually come alongside harmless software. This gives hackers a foothold that they can use to steal sensitive data such as passwords, credit card numbers, and cryptocurrency wallet details.
No Symptoms Means No Virus
We are always keen to suspect a virus infection when our devices show signs of dramatic slowdown, intrusive pop-ups, and suspicious files. However, that is no longer the standard modus operandi of malware. Today, you can have malware running stealthily on your device, disgusting itself as a legitimate program. The fact that you don’t see any symptoms doesn’t mean that the device is clean. As such, it’s good to have an antivirus running throughout and do a regular deep scan. This will let you detect any malware early before it can cause significant damage to your device or data.