Protecting Macs from Viruses

April 11, 2012 1 Comment »

If you’re a Mac owner and have always believed that your computer wasn’t susceptible to malware like PCs, last week’s Flashback virus served as a wakeup call that all computers are susceptible.  Hackers, spammers, and scammers are smart. They’re always trying to stay ahead of us by developing ways to compromise the information stored on our devices whether they’re Macs, PCs, tablets, or mobile phones.
CNET reports that Flashback was the largest Mac threat to date with 600,000+ users duped by a Trojan Horse.  If you haven’t checked your Mac and maybe just are hearing about this, don’t be ashamed! Get thee to Mashable and find out if your Mac has the Flashback Trojan- the fast and easy way with scripts that you can install to check your computer to determine if it’s affected.
Now that you’ve checked your machine, you’re probably wondering how you might have been vulnerable to such an attack.  It’s not you. It’s them.  The hackers created a Trojan Horse.  
Image courtesy of GoGap via Creative Commons
Named for the wooden horse that allowed Trojan War soliders to enter and conquer Troy, Trojan Horses are the names for malware that aren’t what they appear to be. Trojan Horses install themselves on your computer by clicking on something that appears to be legitimate- a regular piece of software, an online game, or even antivirus software.  Ironic, right?  Clicking on a Trojan Horse will cause it to run, often erasing parts of your hard drive.  In this case, Flashback worked to record keystrokes to gather login credentials for your online accounts.
How can you protect yourself from future attacks? 2 words. Virus protection.
AVG’s LinkScanner for Macworks to detect suspicious sites like those that were responsible for Flashback.  Just because it’s free doesn’t mean it doesn’t work well.  AVG is responsible for some of the best free antivirus tools in the industry for both Macs and PCs.
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive program, ones like BitDefender Antivirus for MAC, Norton Internet Security, McAfee VirusScan are comprehensive programs that scan links but also constantly run to keep your identity secure and threats at bay thanks to always updating against the latest malware attacks.  McAfeeand BitDefenderallow you to download a free trial prior to purchase. 
Make sure your software is current.
Just like with PC virus protection, antivirus protection for Macs require that licenses be current so when possible, purchase multi-year licenses (BitDefender has a 3 year license) so you don’t have to worry about letting time lapse between the software expiring and renewing since that leaves your computer susceptible to viruses.
I used to work for BitDefender but have not personally tried their Mac product and believe that antivirus protection is an individual choice depending on needs and budget which is why I’ve listed multiple solutions in this post.  No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are my own. Mac photo courtesy of Idea go /

Thanks for reading Tech Savvy Mama through your feed!

Original post by Tech Savvy Mama

Related Posts

One Comment

  1. Corey Feldman April 11, 2012 at 10:26 am -

    I don’t know. A little common sense goes a long way with the mac. Pay attention to your links and what you download and you likely won’t have an issue. There are also some effective freeware tools out there. for example.