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Can Macs get viruses?


Do Macs get viruses?

Yes, unfortunately, Macs can and often get viruses and infected with malware and other pieces of malicious software that can cause problems for users and businesses. Cybercriminals are smarter than ever, and Macs — whose users are known to, on average, earn more than those who use Android or Microsoft Windows — are an attractive target.

For over a decade, malware and viruses have been created to target Mac operating systems, which means, sadly, the answer to “Can Mac get a virus?”; is yes. Now is the time to protect your Mac from a wide world of cyber threats, increased threat profiles, phishing scams and other dangers lurking around the deep dark web.


How to remove Mac viruses?

If you haven't been able to prevent a computer virus (not everyone uses anti-virus software and macOS can’t prevent every attack), you can at least implement a quick cure. You can do this a few ways. Anti-virus and anti-malware software is one way, with scans identifying threats and removing them.

Another way is to use a powerful Mac scanning system, such as CleanMyMac 3. Not all anti-malware and anti-virus programs will identify and remove malicious software, especially if you’ve downloaded something seemingly legitimate which involved clicking "yes" to the T&Cs or terms of service. With CleanMyMac 3, even if you’ve downloaded something that looked legitimate, yet later turned out to be malware, you can remove and shred it, making sure it has gone for good.

Clean up your Mac with CleanMyMac

One noticeable incident that infected 600,000 Mac computers (around 1% of all computers running macOS and OS X) was a case of Flashback malware that exploited a security flaw in Java. Apple recommended, after users had the malware removed, updating Java or removing it altogether. That was perhaps the most noticeable and widespread incident, although there are many others that occur every day impacting thousands of us who use an iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and other versions of Apple Mac computers.


How do Apple computers get viruses?

Not enough Mac users make use of anti-virus and anti-malware software. Unlike Windows, an ecosystem that traditionally faces more threats, there is greater visibility and faster response times from Microsoft. Apple has been criticized for not dealing with threats sooner.

Although they do build a lot of protections into macOS and OS X that people don't see and interact with. Unfortunately, in many cases, this is proving insufficient. Cybercriminals are getting smarter. Malware, in particular, is getting good at sneaking into computers silently and causing problems. Some signs of this include:

  • More popups and ads than you would normally expect when browsing the web;

  • Suddenly getting redirected away from a page you were visiting;

  • ‘Recommended updates’ and other indicators that you need a certain piece of seemingly legitimate software.

Mac users download these pieces of adware without realising. Some of the most common include VSearch, Conduit, Genieo, GoPhoto, Jollywallet, Savekeep, MacShop, Yontoo, Shopper Helper Pro, Slick Savings, PallMall, and Awesome Screenshot. These malicious pieces of tech are bundled into other seemingly legitimate downloads or email attachments, even social media images and videos, and once you've clicked accept, most anti-virus programs believe they're approved by the Mac user.


How to protect your Mac from viruses

Despite the rising tide of threats, there are steps you can take: 

  • Keep your macOS, browsers and apps up-to-date, and do the same with any plugins and anti-virus and anti-malware software;

  • Identify and remove unwanted apps, programs, files and downloads, using a powerful Mac scanning software, such as CleanMyMac 3. It is the simplest way to declutter your Mac and remove unwanted files. 

  • Run at least one antivirus product and test your Mac on a regular basis. Independent Anti-virus research institute, AV-Test, recommends Avast, Avira, Bitdefender, Kaspersky and Symantec, all scoring a 100 percent detection rate.

  • Use common sense when clicking emails, downloads or popups. If something looks like a scam, it usually is.

Stay safe!

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