There is a common myth among many computer users that the Mac operating system is more secure and not prone to viruses. However, this is a dangerous misconception. One of the main reasons why people think this way is not because macOS is more secure than Windows, but because many hackers find it more lucrative to target Windows systems which have a larger market share compared to macOS. Windows accounts for almost 91.76% of the market while macOS only has 6.19%.
Malware in macOS
While malware is rare on the Mac, 2012 saw a spike of Malware attacking the system, with 11 new malware pieces detected. Since then, there has been an increase in the number of Adware and Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) targeting macOS. Although Adware and PUPs are not malware, they are a serious nuisance and even have the capability of creating vulnerabilities to your system, which may make it prone to malware attacks. While Apple has been making huge security improvements in the macOS, nothing is ever-perfect and hackers often find ways to circumvent the security system set in place. For example, the recent Spectre and Meltdown scare also affect Mac users.
How you can make your Mac more secure
While Mac has an inbuilt anti-malware software known as XProtect, it is not advisable to rely solely on it. This is because it only identifies known malware and it can be helpless against those it does not recognise. Therefore, it is advisable to back XProtect with an antivirus software. You should also adhere to the basic security tips such as having a strong password, installing software from trusted sources, updating your software when updates are available and avoid clicking suspicious links and websites among others.