Fake Antivirus Infections and Macs

The most common infection currently is what is known as a fake antivirus infection. It is far more prevalent than any other infection out there for either Windows or Mac OS X. In the previous posts, we explained how to avoid getting a fake antivirus. In this post, have a special message for all of our Mac friends.

A Note About Safari

Safari is Apple’s pre-loaded web browser that can be found on all Apple computers and smartphones. However, there is a particular setting that you can adjust in Safari that could help you from catching a fake antivirus. If you turn off the option to open “safe” files after downloading, you can potentially stop a fake antivirus installer from running automatically if you accidentally click on a link to download it.

Don’t Rely on Mac Alone

Apple computers have a built in malware detector called XProtect. While this is better than no detector at all, it is extremely basic and not sufficiently powerful to keep your computer safe. As an example, XProtect will not detect malware found on a USB device or anything already installed on your computer. It also relies on a once a day push from Apple to update, leaving you without an option to manually update it yourself.

Yes, Virginia, Macs DO Get Viruses

Contrary to what many people will tell you, Apple computers can get infected with malicious software. As they become more and more popular, you are going to see more and more attacks on Apple computers. Without a genuine antivirus or anti-malware product, you are just leaving yourself open for attack.

We do have a word of warning, however. We do not recommend purchasing your antivirus or anti-malware software from Apple’s App Store. As a condition of being listed in the App Store, all apps must exclude what is called a kernel-based filtering component, which is used to allow active scanning of your computer while you use it. Without that, your antivirus is nothing more than an on-demand program that is not actively protecting you at all.

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