Posted by: Heather Shy on July 12, 2016 at 4:22 pm
While TAZ Networks is a Microsoft partner and primarily supports Windows servers and workstations, we have a lot of iPhones around the office, and some of us even use Mac* computers at home. So, while we don’t seek out all-Apple clients or bill ourselves as Apple experts, we know some of our clients use Apple Macintosh (macOS) and iOS products, and we’re happy to help out where we can.
One common misconception we run into is that Apple Macintosh computers and iOS devices can’t be hacked. However, recent events prove this is not the case:
- New Mac Malware Could Take Over Your Webcam – PCMag, July 7, 2016
- Ransomware Strikes Apple’s OS X For the First Time – Wired, March 7, 2016
- How to avoid or remove Mac Defender malware in Mac OS X v10.6 or earlier – Apple web site, June 10, 2016
Clearly, Macs and iOS devices can fall prey to viruses, malware, and hacking. So where did this confusion come from?
One reason there are far fewer Apple-based viruses is market share. Before the iPhone, when Apple was struggling just to stay in the computer game, there were simply more Windows machines available to be exploited. Hackers looking to commit wide-scale cybercrimes had to go to where the computers were – which was Windows. As iPhones, iPads and Macbooks grow in popularity, they also grow as a target for cybercriminals.
Another reason is that Apple operating system just isn’t as open as Windows. For one thing, it’s based on Unix, which has many built-in security features. Apple also requires a digital signature before approving any software that can run on Mac OS or iOS. That said, one recent Mac exploit is thought to be the result of a stolen security certificate.
The upshot for Apple Mac and iOS users, however, is the same as for other operating systems:
- Keep your system updated
- Install a good anti-virus
- Be aware of phishing methods and wireless security issues
If you run a business with 10 or more computers in southeast Michigan, and need IT support, please contact us today for more information.
*Note that it’s “Mac” and not “MAC.” The all-caps designation grew out of the bad old days of Apple vs. IBM. Since an IBM-brand personal computer would be called a “PC” or “IBM-PC”, many people figured that an Apple Macintosh should be “MAC”. But MAC doesn’t stand for anything in this case. (This footnote has been brought to you by “Today in Pedantry.”)