Mac computers have historically been more secure than their PC Microsoft counterparts. This is partially due to their Unix-based operating system with its superior built-in security features. Apple has also included Gatekeeper and other security measures that are more effective at blocking malicious software. PCs were also more heavily targeted by hackers and malware developers simply because they were far more prevalent.
In recent years these differences between Macs and PCs have been narrowing. Windows has become more secure and Macs have become more popular. Consequently, Macs have become a more frequent target than they were in the past. Malwarebytes, a leader in antivirus and malware protection, report that Mac malware grew by 270 percent in 2017.
The question for Mac owners is now whether the built-in protections of the Unix operating system is enough to thwart the increased interest of malware distributors for Mac computers. The threat risk for PCs may still be greater, but that doesn’t mean there is no risk at all to Mac owners.
One last thing to consider is that the computer owner or operator is often a weak link in malware protection. All of us are human and can be fooled by an email, an unscrupulous vendor or even a well-meaning friend. The following are some convincing reasons to consider improving your security and installing antivirus and/or antimalware software:
- Macs are more popular now. The increased prevalence means more targets for malware distributor’s efforts.
- Macs are more expensive, and their owners are typically wealthier. That makes Mac owners a more attractive target to criminals trying to steal personal data and financial information.
- Windows operating system on PCs has become more secure. That is making them a harder target for hackers and giving cyber criminals a good reason to turn their efforts towards Macs.
Maximize Your Protection - Install Antivirus Software!
The built-in malware detection of Mac OS and the addition of antivirus software is a great way to help maximize your protection against computer viruses and malware. There are plenty of options for paid and free antivirus protection. Keep in mind that paying for antivirus software is relatively inexpensive and the software is typically faster and offers significantly better protection. Three good choices for paid antivirus software are Intego Mac Internet Security X9, Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac and Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac. If you’re looking for a free alternative and don’t mind the reduced speed or effectiveness, three of the top free antivirus software options are AVG Antivirus for MAC, Avast Free Antivirus for Mac and Comodo Free Antivirus for Mac.