Security Myths

1. Macs don’t get malware: The general perception seems to be that the Mac has a more secure operating system and therefore you’re much less likely to get infected.

Reality: You are less likely to get infected on a Mac, but not because the system is more secure.  Security researchers have long held that it’s market share that motivates most attackers and MacOS has enjoyed security through obscurity to this day.  But the tides are turning and Mac infections are becoming more common.  Naysayers will contend that the Mac viruses aren’t “real” because they usually require the user to install an untrusted application.  This is naive thinking as this is in fact one of the most common ways that Windows users have been getting infected for decades.

2. I know I have a virus because …: This is usually followed by [my system is running slow] or [I can’t open some files] or [programs are crashing].

Reality: Most threats run in the background and try not to tip off the user that something is amiss.  However, malware doesn’t usually undergo lots of compatibility testing, or any extensive testing for that matter, and coding bugs are not uncommon.  Still, more often than not, system crashes,  alerts, and inaccessible files are caused by non-malware problems.  That said FakeAlert and Ransomware are two types of threats that do present themselves as alerts. crashes, and denying access to the system and/or files.  Such symptoms are definitely cause for concern, but don’t jump to conclusions without considering other hardware or software issues.

3. Malware is created by antivirus companies: After all, they stand to benefit from the proliferation of viruses, right?

Reality: With 450,000+ new threats discovered each day, AV companies have their hands full as it is and the cost to produce the required updates is quite high.

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