There’s no question that Apple’s star has risen since the turn of the century. While once considered a niche brand, Apple now has a customer base that rivals its chief competitors, as well as clout and style to spare. However, while the company’s computers hold a number of advantages over traditional PCs, invulnerability to viruses and other cyberthreats isn’t among them. As Mac computers have become more commonplace, many virus developers have increasingly set their sights on Apple’s products. Dedicated Mac users looking for effective ways to protect their computers from assorted cyberthreats should take the following measures.
Install Dedicated Antivirus Software
There was a time when finding dedicated antivirus software for Mac computers was a bit of a hassle. However, in light of how popular Apple products have become over the last two decades, virtually every security-focused software developer under the sun has begun treating Macs with the same level of importance as Windows PCs. Needless to say, this is great news for Mac users who value online safety. If you’re currently in the market for dedicated antivirus for Mac, you should have no problem finding a bevy of dependable options.
In your search for the right antivirus software, look for programs that offer sweeping protection against a wide variety of cyberthreats. With the number of Mac-focused cyberthreats steadily on the rise, you’ll also want a program that provides users with updates on a regular basis. Furthermore, in order to get the most out of your dedicated antivirus software, you’ll need to run system-wide threat scans on a regular basis. In most cases, these scans can be carried out without interfering with any other tasks being carried out on your computer or eating up much system memory. As such, you should run at least one full scan per day. If you don’t trust yourself to manually start each scan, you’ll be pleased to learn that most antivirus programs allow users to schedule scans in advance.
Keep Your Antivirus Software and Operating System Up to Date
Like other operating systems, macOS contains a number of virus-fighting elements. However, in order to take full advantage of them, you’ll need to keep your operating system up to date. This means not allowing updates to pile up and installing them as they become available. These updates are often created for the purpose of combating new and emerging threats, so the longer they remain uninstalled, the more vulnerable your Mac is to the threats they’re meant to protect against.
Similarly, you’ll need to install updates for your dedicated security software posthaste. If you can’t be bothered to manually sign off on every update, set both your antivirus software and macOS to automatically install new updates.
Be Mindful of Unsafe Websites
Viruses, malware and other cyberthreats are commonly spread through unsafe websites. As such, it’s important to heed the warnings of both your browser and dedicated security software when determining which sites are safe to visit and which ones you should stay away from. For one thing, if you receive one of the aforementioned warnings in response to your attempt at opening a site, you’d do well to heed it.
Of course, browsers and security software aren’t flawless, and even if they fail to identify a site as unsafe, you may still be at risk. As a general rule of thumb, you should always check for an SSL certificate when visiting a new website. This confirms that the site protects sensitive information as it travels between servers. To determine whether a site possesses SSL certification, simply look for an “S” after the “HTTP” in the web address. SSL certification is particularly important for websites where visitors regularly share personal information.
As a growing number of longtime PC devotees are realizing, Macs have quite a few features that standard Windows machines simply don’t offer. However, while Apple computers are resilient, they are by no means invincible. As such, keeping a Mac safe from assorted cyberthreats will require you to take many of the same steps you would when protecting a regular PC. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be a challenging or expensive process. When working to shield your Mac computer from a wide assortment of cyberthreats, the pointers discussed above are sure to serve you well.