Are Macs Really Safer Against Cyber threats?

March 17th, 2021
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“I want to get a Mac because its more secure.” How often have you heard this said? This is because, traditionally, Macs have been considered safer and more secure against cyber threats compared to Windows PCs.

But are they really? The truth lies somewhere in between. A recent Verge Tech Survey offered some surprising insights into consumer mindset regarding trust - 75% of Americans trust Microsoft with their personal information as opposed to 69% who trust Apple.

Mac’s reputation for impenetrability

Apple’s closed platform approach towards Mac development has meant that its developers can interact with its OS in a limited manner compared to Windows systems. The immense control that the company exercises over the hardware that runs MacOS goes a long in improving data security.

Also, traditionally, Apple has always been seen as a company that is more aware of the need for data privacy and has baked in security controls that demonstrate the company’s attitude towards securing its hardware, software, and users.

The M1 chip Apple uses in Macs is considered to be very secure, and its built-in antivirus, XProtect, is top shelf. It also has protocols in place for privacy protection that gives it an edge.

Macs – The security perspective

Even the most solid security reputations unravel in the face of evolved security threats. Mac security isn’t etched in stone and there is no doubt that Macs are under threats more now as the market share of Macs is heading northwards

The volume of cyber threats levelled at platforms is directly proportional to the number of people who use it.

The thinking is pretty simple. Criminals will focus on exploiting platforms that help them earn more money. This is the reason why they went after PCs, and the rise of MacOS market share means Macs have a target on their backs.

There are already Mac variants out there that are making life difficult for users.

Don’t take Mac security for granted

Yes, Apple makes sure that Macs are well protected. But in a world where the threat landscape is growing rapidly, you must take independent security measures beyond Mac’s built-in security features.

Think of a layered approach to security that checks all the right boxes and plugs all security gaps.

The first step: follow cybersecurity best practices. First and foremost, make sure your software, including applications and OS, is patched regularly. These updates include security patches that plug security flaws which otherwise might be exploited by cybercriminals. Secondly, don’t underestimate the benefits of strong password hygiene for your Apple accounts. Make sure you used a unique Apple ID and make it a point to change it regularly.

Thirdly, an often-ignored security best practice is app access. Grant access to an application’s feature on a need-based basis and revoke access if the feature is not being used regularly. Apart from this, read a message before you click ‘ok.’ More often than not, a malware cannot infect your Mac computer unless you permit it to do so!

Imagine a scenario where, as you’re busy browsing the internet, a window pops open asking for your permission. Rather than reading the message, you hurriedly click on accept and move on. Result – malware infection.

Get a Mac antivirus

If you really want to make sure your Mac is safe from both known and unknown threats, strengthen its security with Mac-specific antivirus. Sophos Home is the future of cybersecurity for Macs and is configured to protect your Mac from a huge and growing range of targeted attacks. It stops ransomware with anti-ransomware technology that focuses on observing all processes interacting with sensitive data on your computer. If an unknown process is tampering with your data, Sophos Home will terminate this action and roll back any changes made.

It also protects your privacy, helps you steer clear of compromised websites, and helps you manage security policies from an easy-to-use dashboard.

User beware – that’s the maxim you must follow irrespective of the whether Mac works to protect your data or not. The question isn’t whether Mac is really a safe bet against cyber threats, but rather: are you doing your part to protect your Mac? It is easy to fall into the trap of taking security for granted, thinking your Mac has got it covered. You need to take charge of securing your Mac, and it begins with more awareness about the cyber threats that can give your grief. After this, follow a cyber hygiene routine that covers your security bases.

This will definitely make your Mac a safe bet against cyber threats.

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