How to protect your Mac against ransomware and other cyberthreats
There’s a common myth that “Macs don’t get viruses,” but that’s never been entirely true — and today’s Mac users are exposed to more cyberthreats than ever before. If you have a friend or family member who thinks they don’t need to worry about cybersecurity at all, pass this article on.
You’ve probably heard that Mac computers are somehow more resistant to viruses than their Windows counterparts. That’s been the conventional wisdom for years – but would you bet the safety of your personal files on it?
Do you think “Macs don’t get viruses”? Think again!
If only the old adage were true. Reality is a little harder – Macs are indeed vulnerable to viruses, ransomware, and other cyber threats.
How did this myth come about? That’s partly because years ago there simply weren’t many Macs in the world. Cyber criminals tended to turn their attention to Windows systems as it was a more effective use of their time. All the viruses they developed for Windows could be used on many more computers.
Windows is still the reigning champion in terms of market share, but Macs have enjoyed steady growth in popularity over the years. About 15% of all desktop/laptop computers are now running some version of macOS – that’s twice as many as 10 years ago.
In response, cybercriminals have ramped up their attacks on Macs. New threats emerge every day, which is why some modern backup and security solutions – like Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office – now have native support for macOS.
Mac ransomware is a growing threat
You’ve probably seen ransomware in the news quite a bit lately. It is currently the most popular type of malware and Mac users are increasingly at risk.
A prime example of the growing threat is the UpdateAgent malware. While this threat first appeared in 2020, a new variant appeared earlier this year and introduced some new tricks.
By posing as legitimate software and fetching malicious instructions from a remote source, it managed to bypass native protection provided by macOS’s Gatekeeper technology, which is designed to ensure only trusted software is allowed to run.
It’s easy to assume that you’re “too small to aim,” but unfortunately that’s just not the case. Cyber criminals use advances in automation and other technologies to attack hundreds, even thousands, of computers simultaneously. Think of it like casting a big net: anyone could get caught.
From personal photos/videos to financial documents to freelance projects, most of us have significant amounts of valuable data on our home computers and mobile devices. Losing this would be devastating. And while backups are a great idea, they alone aren’t enough to protect you from harm.
Most newer strains of ransomware don’t just encrypt your data — they actually steal copies of it first and upload them to a remote server. This gives cyber criminals additional leverage. Even if you refuse to pay the ransom (because you can easily restore the data from backup), they may threaten to release your personal files online or use them to plan future attacks.
There are also many cyber threats that are “OS agnostic”, meaning they don’t care what operating system you’re using. For example:
- Attacks on web-based apps and services (like Microsoft 365) can lead to data loss
- Phishing emails can hit anyone at any time and cause you to download a malicious attachment or accidentally disclose sensitive information – whether you’re on a Windows computer, a Mac, or even your smartphone.
- Even offline events such as hardware damage or your laptop being stolen can result in losing valuable files, photos and other data if not backed up securely.
One thing should be clear: Cybersecurity has become a basic need for both Macs and Windows PCs.
Protect your Mac with these tips
The quickest way to increase the protection for your Mac is to make sure you’re following basic cybersecurity best practices. you remember her They’re the ones you spend hours reminding everyone else to follow:
- Avoid clicking on email attachments or links from unknown senders
- Install the latest software updates as they become available
- Never bypass security settings to install apps unless you are 100% sure of their security
Still, even the most tech-savvy among us can make mistakes or otherwise fall prey to ransomware and other cyber threats. That’s why it’s so important to invest in cybersecurity and data backup tools, to block malware before it can damage your data – and to safely restore that data if necessary.
Whether you need to backup your Mac, Windows PC or even iOS and Android devices, Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office offers complete protection for your data and digital life.
It is the only personal solution with a unique integration of cybersecurity and backup technologies. Protect your sensitive data from all modern threats – like cutting-edge cyber attacks, accidental deletion, hard drive failures and device loss. Enjoy peace of mind with Acronis.
Sponsored and written by Acronis