“I’ve got a Mac so I don’t have to worry about viruses“. Have you ever heard someone say that before? Being in the tech industry, I know I have heard it many times. It either makes you roll your eyes or maybe consider replacing the ol’ PC with a sleek to new Apple. But what makes an Apple computer so “invulnerable” to a virus and are they really? To answer this, we need to go back to the basics and understand what a computer virus really is and how they are made.
What a computer virus is:
A virus is nothing other than a computer program, made by one or more developers. Just like your internet browser or Word and Excel albeit with malicious intent. The difference is that it is usually installed on your computer without your consent. These malware (malicious software) developers create these specific for your computer or phone, down to the type of operating system. This means that a virus that infects your phone might have no affect on your PC and one that infects your PC might not have an effect on your MacBook Pro.
What a computer virus is not:
A virus is not some small electronic germ that floats down your computer’s wires and infects the hardware or software, rendering your computer useless and in desperate need of Benadryl. Sure, the end result may be that it kills the computer but generally, the hardware is left unscathed.
Are Macs more secure?
Nothing electronic is totally secure. Everything can be hacked and all of the major companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft are constantly working to patch vulnerabilities on their respective products. The secret is in the term “market share” This is what it really boils down to. Microsoft has been for years and continues to be the leader on quantities of computers sold with their operating system. Check out this chart on Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-mac-lost-most-pc-market-share-in-2016-chart-2017-1 to get an idea on the last couple of years’ computer sales.
So think about it; If the majority of computers currently being used are Windows computers and if time and effort have to be spent to create these viruses specific to your computer and operating system, then hackers want it to be as effective as possible. It’s only logical that most of them choose to create malware for Windows instead of Macs. Hence the reason malware is so prevalent in the Windows world. I must add, however, that there has been a rise in Mac adoptions recently and along with that, infections that followed. I’ve seen this personally and expect this to continue to grow as they gain popularity. Another indicator is a lot of the anti-virus vendors have started offering protection for Macs in the recent years.
So what is secure?
No device is totally invulnerable and there is no substitution for common sense. If the site looks shady, if the program looks too good to be true, if it’s something for nothing, then you should probably steer clear. Research something before you use it. And make sure you get those updates. They are there for a reason.
Have questions that weren’t answered in this post? Feel free to contact SandStorm IT at (901) 475-0275.