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Malware on Mac – an antivirus refresher

For many years Apple Mac computers have managed to survive virtually virus free. This good fortune has helped to create a myth – that OS X and Apple Macs are impervious to malware. So popular is this belief that many Mac owners don’t install antivirus software at all.

The recent discovery of the KeRanger ransomware infecting Mac computers is set to force many Apple users to reconsider their complacency. Like PC-based cryptoware, KeRanger infects a computer and begins encrypting all of the user’s files. The user is then prompted to buy a decryption key for several hundred pounds – if they don’t the files remain inaccessible forever.

Everyone needs antivirus

Because KeRanger is known, antivirus providers have already produced the necessary scanning tools to detect and block its installer. But if you don’t have antivirus installed, there is no real protection against infection.

In the age of rapidly spreading malware, everyone needs an antivirus program installed on their computer, be it PC or Apple. As a business owner, you should seriously consider implementing a hosted security filter that captures malware before it enters the company network.

Everyone needs to be careful

Email remains the number one source of malware infections as people are tricked into installing viruses when opening compromised attachments. However almost all infected emails are easy to spot – if you take the time to consider messages before blindly opening attachments. In future, just ask yourself:

• Do I know this email sender?

• Does this message (language/tone/subject/spelling) match up with what I know about this person?

• Does everything look right? Outdated, re-sized or ‘odd’ looking images are a giveaway that something is wrong.

If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, there’s a very good chance that the message in question is fake.

Most people can learn to spot a dodgy email with just a few minutes training – so it’s worth spending the time now to save yourself many hours of headaches later.

Everyone has a part to play

Maintaining data security is a job for everyone – including preventing malware infections of company computers. Rather than assuming that everything will be ok because you use Apple Mac computers, your team needs to take a proactive approach to protect against malware that can steal company resources or prevent you from doing your job.

To learn more about protecting your Macs (and your PCs) against viruses and other malware, please get in touch with the Complete I.T. team and let us talk you through your options.

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