Antiviruses are one of the best tools for securing data and preventing misuse of information. But do users of Mac OS-based devices also need to use such software?
To answer the question, we must first consider whether Mac devices can also be infected with the virus. Similar questions have been debated among Mac users for a long time, and the answers to them do not seem easy; But in the following, we will examine various related aspects.
Table of Contents
- Is Mac infected with the virus?
- Mac OS’s internal security capabilities
- Is it possible for malware to cross Mac security barriers?
- Do you need an antivirus for your Mac?
- Which antivirus is suitable for Mac?
- How to stay away from malware?
- Constant updates to Mac OS
- No connection to public networks
- Beware of spam and phishing pages
- Do not install Adobe Flash Player
Do you need virus protection on a mac
Is Mac infected with the virus?
Macs have long been recognized as highly secure products with high system security, and Macs are generally believed to be resistant to viruses and malware. Unfortunately, this claim is not entirely true, and various malware could infect Macs similarly to other systems. In recent years, cybersecurity research institutes have proposed several different vulnerabilities to infect macOS-based products that could be exploited by malware developers.
It should be noted, however, that Mac OS uses several built-in features and tools to prevent malware from being infected. Gatekeeper and Xprotect are some of them. However, using such tools does not mean complete protection of the system, and users should take more measures to increase the security of their devices.
Mac OS’s internal security capabilities
As mentioned in the previous section, Macs use internal security software by default to increase system security. Even the XProtect program runs continuously in the background of the operating system and monitors the security situation.
Whenever a user opens a file, XProtect monitors it to make sure there is no known malware. If the file contains suspicious or potentially malicious code, the user will receive a warning that the device might be damaged by executing it.
Another security technology built into Mac OS is called Gatekeeper, which prevents unknown programs from running on your device. This program works by blocking applications that do not have a special certificate from Apple developers. Of course, such programs can be used if the user permits access.
It should be noted, however, that software without Apple Developer Certificate (Unsigned) is not always malicious. Many free app developers see no reason to pay $ 99 to join Apple; As a result, their products will not have the said certificate. However, the presence of malware in such programs is more common because the titles in the Mac App Store are made available to users after strict scrutiny.
macOS also uses the sandbox feature of running software. In this case, only the necessary facilities to run the program will be provided and access to other parts of the operating system will be prevented. When the user runs software in sandbox mode, he can adjust the permissions according to the needs and applications of the program to prevent possible future damage.
Is it possible for malware to cross Mac security barriers?
Typically, Mac OS is able to stop viruses and other malware right from the start. But if the malware is newly developed and has no previously recorded history of infecting systems, the operating system will not be able to detect it as malicious. In such a case, the malware will be able to bypass all the said security barriers. These are known as Zero-Day threats or attacks and will not be identified until the Apple Database is updated.
It is worth noting that so far several cases of malware have been found among the software that have received the certification of Apple developers. In 2019, for example, OSX CrescenCore was discovered by security researchers that appeared to be an Adobe Flash Player installer. The malware could install another application on the victim system, including Advanced Mac Cleaner or Launch Agent and a Safari browser-related add-on. The operating system is then scanned for antivirus. If no antivirus software was installed on the device, the malware would exploit it. The software is said to use Apple’s developer certification, so it has been running for a long time without being recognized by Apple.
Of course, Apple is very serious about dealing with security threats. In the event of a serious security issue, two related updates will be released for the latest version of Mac OS and the other two most recent versions of the operating system. Such actions can typically protect Mac devices from known threats and found security vulnerabilities.
Do you need an antivirus for your Mac?
Although Apple’s security system has performed well in recent years, it can still be bypassed. As mentioned in the previous sections, the system is heavily dependent on the rapid detection of new threats and malware by Apple experts to be registered in the database and fixed in future updates. Because Apple is not a cybersecurity company, it will not be able to review a wide range of new third-party software in the short term, and the process may take a relatively long time. Such a situation causes the system of some users to get malware and you may be that unlucky user!
In this case, antivirus software will be available. Installing such programs will add an extra layer of security to the Mac-based device, which will not adversely affect other aspects of the operating system. Although using an antivirus on a Mac may not seem like a big deal, using it will not be without its benefits.
It should be noted that even with the installation of antivirus, you can not completely protect your Mac from security threats. Extremely new and unregistered malware in security companies’ databases can infiltrate systems and interfere with their operation. Also, some malware will remain inactive for a long time, making the detection process more difficult than before. For this reason, users are advised to follow some basic security principles in their daily use of the Mac to avoid the problems mentioned above.
Which antivirus is suitable for Mac?
There are many free and paid antivirus programs available for Mac. Of course, it should be noted that only the software of reputable companies was used. Avast Premium Security is one of the popular programs that is offered in both free and paid versions, and its free version provides the necessary and sufficient basic features for a wide range of ordinary users.
How to stay away from malware?
Antivirus, Mac OS X internal security features, and the default software installed on it are only part of the user data protection process. On the other hand, the daily behavior of the user in using the Mac can play a significant role in reducing the risk of malware infection. For this reason, we have mentioned the following points, the observance of which can increase the level of safety of the device.
Constant updates to Mac OS
Updating Mac OS to the latest release is a simple, easy but very effective solution that can keep your device safe. With the release of new updates, Apple will address security issues and reduce the risk of products being infected. So it is better to always make sure that your operating system is up to date.
No connection to public networks
Public networks such as Wi-Fi can be encouraging options for easy and, in most cases, free Internet access. However, hackers can use such networks to access other users’ user information and passwords. As a result, it is recommended that you use your personal hotspot instead of public Wi-Fi to avoid such risks. If you have to use a public network anyway, it is best to avoid sensitive data such as account information and bank cards.
Beware of spam and phishing pages
Malware is very common among phishing pages and spam emails. In such cases, there is usually a link that seems justified and most users are deceived by clicking on it. After clicking on the link, one or more malware will be installed on the system and can steal people’s personal information. It should also be noted that most antivirus and security software does not provide capabilities to combat such attacks, and this is more common in free software. So sharpness and observance of principles by users will be the only way to be safe from them.
Do not install Adobe Flash Player
By the end of 2020, Adobe had completely stopped supporting Flash Player. Many security companies advise users to prevent Adobe Flash Player from being installed on their system; Because many malware appears in the form of a fake Flash Player update. For example, when you try to watch a video online, a message is displayed stating that the installed flash player is out of date. Next, the user is advised to update their program to a new version, but the update file only contains malware and there will be no flash player. Most sites and web pages now use HTML5 instead of Flash, so there is generally no need to install Flash Player for regular users.
According to statistics released by Malwarebytes, the number of serious malware discovered on the Mac from 2019 to 2020 increased by 61%. For this reason, the outdated claim that Mac OS-based devices are no longer infected is no longer valid, and users are advised to take further steps to increase their security. Also, backing up essential data and files is a good way to deal with attacks and prevent them from being deleted.