Users of Apple products often say “Macs can’t get viruses.”
We hear this a lot when talking to businesses who use Macs. Some push back on our recommendation to install anti-virus and implement other cyber security defences because they falsely believe that Macs cannot get viruses and malware. So why doesn’t every business exclusively use macs?
It’s not true that Macs can’t get viruses, and it never has been. If it was, every Windows-using business that had ever been hit by cyber crime could have saved a lot of time and money (and possibly their business) if they had been using Macs. Unfortunately, Apple does little to dispel this myth.
New Apple Malware Discovered
Just last week, it came to light that a new form of malware had been discovered, targeting the Apple version of Microsoft Word.
This particular malware comes packaged in a word document, arriving attached to a phishing email. When you open the document, it will warn you that it contains macros. If you run the macros, they will install malware. This is why you should never have macros enabled by default. Only enable them when you need to run a macro in a trusted document.
Don’t Click on that Intriguing Headline!
As is often the case with phishing emails, they are designed to hone in on your curiosity and get you to click. The word document containing macros targeting the mac operating system was titled: “U.S. Allies and Rivals Digest Trump’s Victory – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.docm.”
Regardless of what operating system you use, or even if you’re on a phone, be careful of clicking any links or attachments in email unless you’re 100% sure it has come from a genuine source. It’s easy for hackers to spoof email addresses, or use a “from name” to make it look like it’s come from a sender you trust. Don’t go based on that alone.
The Truth About Apple and Viruses/Malware
What is true is that Apple computers can’t get viruses or malware that have been written for Windows PCs.
It is 100% possible for Apple computers to get viruses written for the Mac Operating System.
Because of the frustratingly widespread belief that somehow it’s not possible to design malware or viruses for Macs, there’s a good chance some users won’t have any defences in place. Therefore cyber criminals are increasingly targeting macs due to the high success rate! Many Mac users are actually more at risk than PC users, simply because they wrongly believe they don’t have to take preventative measures or even be careful online.
How Cyber Savvy is Your Business?
- Would your employees assume their mac couldn’t get viruses?
- Would they know not to plug in random USB sticks found lying around?
- Would they know not to accept a friend request from someone they’re already friends with on Facebook without investigating first?