It is commonly believed that Mac systems are virus-proof. In reality, MacOS is also subject to the same risks affecting Windows. Indeed, the conviction of being safe makes users less attentive and, therefore, more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. One of the main problems affecting MacOS is malware: Small malicious programs that, once installed, can steal information or completely block the system. Here are the five most common types of malware on MacOS.
This particular type of malware is often unknowingly downloaded together with other programs and, once installed, displays unsolicited advertisements. These ads are displayed within the browser or specific windows and can create a lot of inconveniences. At best, these are mere nuisances, but they could hide viruses or other more dangerous malware in the most difficult cases.
Spyware is small malicious programs designed to steal data from users’ computers. Once installed, often without even realizing it, they are able to collect information relating to the online activities carried out by the victim and then send it to third parties. Sometimes this information is simply used to show targeted advertisements, but other times it can be used to carry out malicious cyber attacks.
Ransomware is a particular type of malware that has become very popular in recent years. These are small programs that, once installed, completely block the entire system so that the user can no longer access them or copy data. The responsible hackers thus send a ransom note with the promise of unlocking the system, but often this open never happens, even after the requested sum is paid.
Trojans get their name from the famous Trojan Horse. This special type of malware hides inside another seemingly harmless program. When the user installs this program, he unintentionally installs the trojan as well. Trojans are usually programs that allow remote access to the computer on which they are installed and are therefore used by hackers to take control of the victim’s computer in order to steal data and information.
Any malware that can replicate itself and infect other systems is called a worm. Usually, these worms remain active in the background. Every time you connect to the internet, they try to replicate themselves and reach other systems, for example, by sending a copy of themselves via email to all contacts in the address book. Worms come in many forms but are most often used to carry out phishing attacks
How to protect yourself from malware
To prevent your MacOS system from being infected by malware, you need to take some important precautions.
Use secure passwords
Malware is often used to carry out phishing attacks, i.e., to steal login credentials for personal accounts. To protect your accounts, it is essential always to use secure passwords, i.e., longer than 12 characters, that contain letters, numbers, and special characters. Also, never use the same password for multiple accounts. Whenever possible, it is a good idea to rely on two-factor authentication, allowing you to activate the second level of security.
Use a VPN
For all-around protection, it’s a good idea to use a secure VPN to encrypt your traffic. By activating a free trial VPN, you can protect your home network as long as you install the VPN directly on your router.
Use a firewall
Some types of malware are able to create remote connections without the user’s knowledge. This is why it is very important always to use a firewall, preferably activated directly on the router, in order to protect all home devices. The firewall allows you to block all unknown connections, thus preventing the creation of new unauthorized connections.
Classic antivirus programs are not always able to detect even malware, so it is important to have a special program capable of doing so. You also need always to remember to update your anti-malware so that it can recognize even the most recent threats.