Apple Mac Security: How to Protect Yourself Effectively

There have never been more threats to your Apple Mac security. Taking some basic steps will help deliver effective protection for your home and business.

Apple Mac security is generally seen as being superior to PC security. However, Apple Macs do still get viruses, and you should still run antivirus software on your Apple Mac devices.

In this blog post we explain why Apple Mac security is seen as being inherently less vulnerable than PC security. We also provide some best practice security tips, and offer guidance around which antivirus solutions to consider.

Apple Mac Security vs PC Security

There are a number of reasons why Apple Macs are considered more secure than PCs. One is that malware developers are less likely to target Apple Macs, based purely on the fact that the Apple Mac market share is far smaller than that of Microsoft Windows.

However, a more significant factor is that the Apple Mac operating system is Unix-based. Unix offers a whole host of built in security features, and by its very nature is sandboxed. It’s like having a series of fire doors: even if malicious software gains access to your Apple Mac, it is unable to spread to the heart of the machine.

Apple Macs are hackable, but they are without question more difficult to exploit than Windows systems. A burglar could break into a house with an alarm system, but given the choice they would probably choose the unprotected house without an alarm.

In addition to the security features within Unix, there are additional in-built Apple Mac security features. These include the Gatekeeper function, which by default prevents Apple Mac users from installing anything other than Apple-approved software. The existence of the App Store means that Apple Mac device users can install software with total peace of mind.

Apple Mac Security Updates

Keeping your Mac OS up to date is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your Apple Mac security. At EssentiallyMac we always recommend keeping on top of software updates. Security patches protect your Apple Mac from known vulnerabilities, and so you should always look to install the latest Apple Mac security updates.

The Importance of Antivirus

If you’ve got an iMac, MacBook, Mac Pro, or Mac Mini, you may find yourself considering whether or not to install antivirus. Although you’re aware of evolving cybersecurity threats, you know that Apple Macs are generally more secure than PCs.

The answer is that yes, you should. It is now considered best practice to run antivirus on your Apple Mac, especially within a business environment. Every week, hundreds of thousands of new samples of PC malware are analysed by security labs, compared to a small handful for Mac. However, that’s going to be of little comfort if you are unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of an Apple Mac malware attack.

Most malware these days is not technically a virus but is more likely a Trojan horse. If you allow a Trojan horse to be installed, your DNS records can be modified. This can redirect Internet traffic through the attacker’s servers, where it can be hijacked and injected with malicious websites.

Adobe Security Guidance

Apple Mac users should always obtain their copy of Adobe Flash Player directly from Adobe’s official website. You should disable the ‘open ‘safe’ files after downloading’ option in Safari Preferences/General to avoid automatically running files downloaded from the Internet. Also, do not turn on Java in Safari Preferences/Security. Very few websites use Java. Javascript is something entirely different, and should be left active.

Effective Antivirus Solutions

There are a number of effective, free Apple Mac antivirus offerings available: –

The number one choice at the moment would appear to be Bitdefender. Recent tests of the Apple Mac version blocked 100% of threats, and it has a low impact on the operating speed of your Apple Mac, meaning that you won’t even notice that it is protecting you.

In Summary

When it comes to Apple Mac security, you can be your own best weapon against attacks by keeping your wits about you and learning about threats. However, we would also recommend running antivirus to provide additional protection against cyber-attacks.

If you would like support in selecting and deploying an antivirus solution, please contact us.