Common Cyber Threats for Mac Users and How to Protect Your Device
Posted on 5th October 2020
For decades, macOS devices have been touted as being more secure compared to Windows operating systems. But that’s simply not true. When it comes to security, neither operating system has a significant advantage today. To a certain extent, we can all agree that there are far fewer threats targeting macOS compared to Windows PCs. However, the number of potential victims is the main reason for this. The number of computers running Windows is significantly higher than those running macOS.
In the past, Apple computers have had cybersecurity vulnerabilities that might’ve been downplayed only because they were not exploited, experts say. The low market share for MacOS devices made MacBooks and iMacs not worth the trouble for cybercriminals. But the market for MacOS devices is growing, and so is the interest in targeting them among cybercriminals. Below, we look at some of the most common cybersecurity risks that Mac users face.
Phishing refers to any fraudulent attempts to steal personal information. Phishing attacks on macOS users have increased dramatically in the last few years. Cybercriminals use phishing emails and text messages as well as fake websites that mimic official Apple pages to trick Mac users to share information such as credit card numbers and Apple ID.
The number of Mac users who have experienced attacks from malicious and potentially unwanted software has increased significantly over the past few years. The most common malware in the MacOS ecosystem is the Shlayer family, a group of threats masquerading as Adobe Flash Player or its updates commonly found on sites that distribute pirated content.
Measures to Secure Mac Devices
Like Windows users, Mac owners need to be aware that they are vulnerable to threats such as phishing and malware and take the necessary measures. As a macOS user, you need to train yourself and have the proper tools in place to detect and fix basic security issues. Here are five security tips to help Mac users protect their devices.
Install a VPN
A Virtual Private Network is one of the most important security tools for internet users, including Mac users. A VPN conceals your IP address and scrambles your online traffic, making it difficult for malevolent actors to intercept your traffic. A VPN for Macs protects your connection and reduces the risk of a data breach.
Having antivirus software on your Mac can improve device security. A good antivirus provides around-the-clock monitoring which detects threats such as trojans, viruses, adware, and ransomware before they cause significant damage.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Your Apple ID keeps the data on your Mac safe from phishers and scammers. Keep your Apple ID safe by enabling two-factor authentication. 2-FA adds an extra layer of security for your Apple ID and ensures that you are the only one who can access your account, even if someone else knows your password.
Apple’s built-in encryption tool FileVault is intended to help you protect the information on your start-up disk from unauthorized access. Open the Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Security & Privacy to turn on FileVault. You will always be required to log in with your account password when FileVault is turned on.
Find My Mac
Data thieves can pick up a computer in a café, airport, train, and any other public place when the owner is not looking. The Find My Mac utility helps you locate your Mac when it's lost or stolen before the thieves can access the sensitive data on the computer.
The Apple ecosystem has been touted as more secure — compared to Windows operating systems — for years. However, the relative security Mac users enjoyed for decades is attributable to Apple’s lower market share. With the number of Mac users growing steadily, things are changing and cybercriminals are turning their attention to MacOS devices. As of 2020, the volume of threats targeting MacOS is growing faster than Windows threats and Mac users need to take additional security measures to protect their data.
Thanks to David Cadelina @ techwarn.com for this guest blog.
Posted in Cyber security, Guest blog
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