While some people swear by standard PCs, a growing number of computer users are shifting their interest to Apple products. In addition to being considered hip and cutting-edge, Apple’s computers and the company’s trademark operating system provide users with a number of unique amenities they won’t find elsewhere.
However, as innovative as Mac computers are, they’re still susceptible to many of the same security threats that affect traditional PCs.
This is particularly true when it comes to malware, which can prove just as consequential for Mac owners as it does for everyone else. Apple aficionados looking to keep their computers malware-free would be wise to heed the following pointers.
Install Dedicated Security Software
If you’re serious about keeping your Mac free of malware, start shopping around for dedicated security software. Fortunately, antivirus software for Mac computers has become increasingly common in recent years.
When perusing your options, keep an eye out for programs that receive consistent updates, provide comprehensive protection and are user-friendly. Additionally, once you’ve decided on the right software, make a point of installing updates ASAP.
The longer you allow updates to sit by the wayside, the more vulnerable your Mac will be to a broad range of threats. You’ll also need to run at least one threat scan per day. This will help ensure that malware is detected and dealt with before it has a chance to become a more pressing issue.
Keep macOS Up to Date
Your security software isn’t the only thing you’ll need to keep up to date. Since macOS contains a multitude of security elements, make a point of installing system updates in a timely manner.
As is the case with antivirus updates, operating system updates are often created as a direct response to new threats, so if maximum protection is what you seek, don’t hesitate to install updates as soon as they become available.
Take Precautions with Java and Flash
Java and Flash are two of the oldest operational browser plugins. Although both played a large role in shaping the modern web, they’re well on their way to obsolescence. To make matters worse, both plugins are prominent vectors for malware on Macs.
In addition to keeping Java and Flash updated, you should also leave them disabled. While these plugins were a fixture on the internet of old, both of them are relatively easy to avoid these days. For example, Safari has them both disabled by default, and unless you opt to re-enable them, they’re bound to remain inoperational.
Consistently Update Your Apps
In much the safe fashion as your security software and operating system, you’ll need to keep your apps up to date, too. App updates are often created to address security concerns, and the sooner you install them, the sooner you can start enjoying the protections they offer.
Be Mindful of What You Install
Malware often finds its way onto computers through software installation files. In order to prevent your Mac from falling prey to such a scheme, be very mindful of the things you download and install. Make a point of only downloading software from trusted sources, and for maximum safety, use your dedicated security software to scan any installation files you download.
Don’t Visit Unsecured Websites
Unsecured websites are breeding grounds for malware, so be extra-vigilant when visiting unfamiliar sites for the first time, particularly if they raise any security-related red flags.
For example, if your browser presents you with a warning when you attempt to visit a certain site, you’re probably better off heeding it than continuing on to the site. In addition, be wary of sites that lack SSL certificates. Since these certificates effectively protect your data as it passes between your browser and a website’s server, a site without SSL certification should arouse your suspicion.
Given how popular Apple products have become over the last 15 years, it’s hard to imagine there was a time when Mac computers took a major backseat to traditional PCs.
Not only have Macs become the leading alternative to PCs, they’ve fostered a generation of computer users who swear by Apple’s creations. However, despite being distinct from PCs in a variety of ways, Macs share a number of things in common with them – most notably, vulnerability to malware.