If you are running the Apple Macintosh operating system – MacOS – you’ve probably felt secure in the common belief that “Mac’s don’t get viruses“. Recent events show that to just not be the case (see links below) and that hackers are steadily turning their attention toward the Mac OS user community.
A Growing Target of Opportunity – Since PC’s running Windows OS make up the vast majority of personal computer sales, Apple Macs running Mac OS were not as frequently targeted by hackers. Now, a combination of events including growing popularity/afforadbility of the Mac as well as improved security/awareness of PC users – are drawing the hackers attention towards a growing Mac user community. The Mac community is typically not accustomed to many of the threats previously found in the PC community.
Apple Mac OS users can significantly improve the security of their computers by following the same prescriptive advice given to PC users for years:
- Apply OS and Application Updates on a regular basis. Locate the ‘Software Update…’ link (hint: it’s under your Apple menu) and make it your new best-friend.
- Install Anti-virus/anti-malware software and keep it current. MU students, faculty and staff are licensed to install Symantec Endpoint Protection for Macintosh for personally-owned computers.
- Be very suspicious of any software downloads, e-mail attachments or webpages which attempt to collect/submit your personal information (usernames, passwords, social security and account numbers, etc.). No reputable organization or company will ask you to provide this information in such an insecure manner.
- When in doubt – DON’T do it. (Alternatively, when in doubt, DO reach out to your departmental IT Service Provider, the MU IT Service Desk , or the MU Information Security team for advice ).
Widespread Virus Proves Macs Are No Longer Safe from Hackers
Think Apple’s Got Your Back?
Apple: Mac Users Should Get Antivirus Software
Apple Patches Java Flaw Exploited by Flashback Trojan
Apple Mac Malware: A short History (1982-2010)
Last Modified: April 17, 2013