One of the absolute greatest benefits of owning Apple products, specifically Mac computers, is the much lower rate of malware compared to PCs operating with Windows. But, as you may already know, Macs are far from impenetrable. So how do viruses get through, and what can you do about it?
First, let’s address this question: Are Macs really more secure? Well, not necessarily. The fact of the matter is that the lower occurrence of malware on Macs is a product of their smaller market share compared to Windows operating systems.
According the web analytics firm Net Applications, as of April of 2013 only 6.94 percent of desktop operating systems are Mac OSX. Windows, on the other hand, accounts for about 90 percent of all desktop operating systems. Therefore, it is much more profitable and efficient for hackers to target computers running Windows than it Mac OSX.
So, in other words when you get a virus on a Mac, it’s not because one “slipped through” a more secure operating system – it’s just because you came in to contact with a more rare but increasingly common OSX virus.
What can you do to avoid Apple malware, and what can you do to get rid of it?
First, prevention is always the best medicine. Here are some tips:
- Don’t ever download anything from a pop up advertisement, especially not anti-virus software! Ironically, this is a common rouse for malware.
- Install your updates. Updating your browser and your operating system will help keep you more secure, since updates often fix security flaws.
- Avoid dubious or suspicious websites. If you are downloading things illegally, you are increasing your risk for getting malware.
So – you already have a virus. Sorry to hear that! You have a couple of options:
- Download an anti-virus program. ClamXav is a favorite freeware program that can help prevent, detect, and remove malware from Mac OSX.
- Contact a professional. Sometimes your DIY skills just aren’t advanced enough to tackle your malware problem. Luckily, these days you don’t have to bring your computer anywhere to get it fixed. iTOK offers remote tech support services and can banish your malware quickly and with no hassle.
More information can be found on this helpful thread on the official Apple discussion boards.
Best of luck to you!