Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where we wouldn’t need to worry about viruses, malware and spyware? But alas this isn’t the case, not even for Mac users. For years, it seemed like users of the OSX software were immune to viruses. In fact, consumers were switching from PC’s to Mac’s at an alarming rate because it was believed these machines were virus-proof. Well, as recent viruses unleashed on the Mac have proven, the belief that the mac is virus-proof is no longer the case – and even Apple admits it.
Up until just a few weeks ago on a page describing why people should switch to a mac, Apple was touting the Mac as not “susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers”. In big bold letters it said “It doesn’t get PC viruses”. Now the new wording says “It’s built to be safe.”
This about face is due largely in part to a a virus that spread through a Java exploit that Apple has finally corrected, albeit far too late. Now news is coming that another piece of malware has infected over 600,000 Apple computers. This latest virus is called Flashback S. This particular malware will not damage your computer, per say. But it can damage your personal life. This virus can allow criminals to steal your personal info such as your bank passwords, credit card info and more as it spies on your online activities.
Before you go and return your Mac and use a Windows machine again, it should be stated that Macs do have far less viruses than PC’s do. In the same way that anti-virus programs can help protect your Windows computer, there are also free anti virus programs that help protect your Mac as well.
Another way that Mac users can protect themselves is by updating their Mac with the latest software updates. To do that, restart your Mac, and if any updates are available, there will be a software update prompt at startup. Next, ensure that your Mac firewall is turned on. To verify this, go to System Preferences, click on Security and Privacy and then go to Firewall. By taking these steps, your odds of getting a virus on a Mac will now be slim to none.