How To Prevent Viruses And Other Malware On Your Mac

A computer virus may interfere with your Mac’s performance and health by corrupting or destroying data on your Mac. A virus can have profound and damaging effects. They are annoying, time consuming, and very frustrating. This short article explains how you can protect your Mac from viruses and other malware.

Even thought the terms “virus” and “malware” are often used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing. Malware is any type of malicious software. A virus is a type of malware. Common types of malware include:

Can my Mac get viruses or malware?

The short answer is yes. No computer system is completely immune. However, Mac is less susceptible to viruses than Windows PC. It is Certain that macOS is more secure than Windows. But it is also very simple to prevent viruses from getting on your Mac.

See also: Your System Is Infected With (3) Viruses

How do I know if my Mac has a virus?

You may be able to tell if your Mac has a virus if you experience any of the conditions below:

  • ads and popups are appearing often
  • your Mac is very slow
  • your Mac is behaving oddly
  • you are having Safari homepage problems

Do Macs need antivirus software?

This is up to you. I personally do not have any antivirus software installed on my Mac. I think if you follow the tips described in this article, you will not need an antivirus program.

It is important to note here that many-antivirus software is not compatible with macOS. There are also many fake anti-virus programs that contain malware. Be very careful if you want to get a antivirus program.

Simple Tips to Secure your Mac

If you think that you might have malware or adware on your Mac, follow the tips below:

Before we start, it is important to mention that restarting your Mac from time to time is a good idea. This is important because macOS includes built-in features that remove known malware when you restart your Mac. To restart your Mac, you can choose Restart from the Apple menu.

1. Keep your software up to date

Periodically, Apple releases macOS updates that can help protect your Mac. You can update your Mac easily. To do this, simply choose System Preferences from the Apple menu and then click Software Update. If there is an update available, click Update Now.

Mac update

Note: you may also want to check the “Automatically keep my Mac up to date” box.

2. Do not install software on your Mac that you do not know

The safest place to download programs and apps is the Mac App Store. However, not all credible apps might be available in the Mac App Store. If you need to download and install a third party app and you are sure that that app cannot have any viruses, then download it from developer’s web site. By doing so, you can reduce the risks of getting malicious software, or malware.

Your Mac has a setting also that lets you to choose the software sources you allow to run on your Mac. On your Mac, go to Apple menu > System Preferences, click Security & Privacy, and then click the General tab. And here you can select your source.

3. Do not click links in emails

If you do not know the sender, do not click any links. Further, do not open attachments. Some viruses may spread as soon as you open the attachment.

4. Use the Mac Firewall app

Mac Firewall can help notify you about suspicious activity. Here is how you can configure this:

  • Open System Preferences on your Mac
  • Click Security or Security & Privacy
  • Click the Firewall tab
  • Click “Turn On Firewall” (make sure that you unlock this section, simply by click the lock in the lower-left corner that says “click the lock make changes”  and enter your password)

To configure the Firewall preferences, click Advanced. You can also configure the options by clicking the Firewall Options button.

Mac Firewall

5. Turn on popup blocker in Safari

You can do that by going to the Websites tab of Safari preferences. From the column on the left, select “Pop-up Windows”.  Then select “Block and Notify” or “Block”. Please note that some websites may use pop-ups for information content. You can read this article to learn more.

6. Use Safari’s security features

Open Safari and click Safari and Preferences. Then click the “Security” tab and check the “Warn when visiting a fraudulent website” box. This will help you to recognize harmfull web sites.

Safari security

See also: Critical Security Warning! Your Mac is Infected

Further notes, never download any Flash Player update because you got a pop-up window saying t it was out of date. We recommend deleting Flash Player. But if you want to use Flash Player, update it by going to System Preferences > Flash Player and then click the Updates tab and click Check Now.

We see that there are many Mac cleaner apps that are heavily advertised online. Do not download them if you are unsure that they are credible.

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

Thank you for choosing to leave a comment.

Please note the following:

  • All comments are moderated.
  • Your email will NOT be published nor shared.
  • All SPAM comments will be deleted.
  • Please see our comment policy page for more info.

Leave a Comment