Is Macbook Virus Free?
Before we understand if Macbooks have viruses, we need to know what the virus exactly is. Given the current pandemic situation, I think it is easier to understand what a virus is and how it mutates. A virus is meant to spread from one person to another and adapts as per the environmental changes. That’s how a common flu virus works.
The host virus spreads from one person to another in various ways. Once settled, it reproduces quickly and brings down the immune system of a reasonably healthy self. A computer virus is nothing but a replication of this. It comes in various decent forms like a file or an email link to a cute cat video. Once you click on it, the virus acts up immediately and takes on your computer.
Now, what could be the effects of it?
It can range from as simple as slowing your system down to corrupting all your important files. However, it can’t be activated unless you run the program. But how would you possibly know if the file you just downloaded has a virus or not? The answer to this is simple; always download from the authorized websites.
Another burning question we always ask, “Is a Macbook Virus free?”.
My answer to it is both, yes and no! iOS, unlike other operating systems, have heavy protection built in the software and hardware. Executing it to be an extremely complicated process for any virus to even enter, let alone causing any damage. Nevertheless, note when I said *extremely complicated*. It might be difficult but not impossible for ruthless hackers to get into your system. A virus is just one type of malware that hackers use to exploit systems. There is countless malware currently running in thousands of computers right now.
Recently in May 2021, Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi accepted this reality saying, “Today, we have a level of malware on the Mac that we don’t find acceptable and is much worse than iOS. Put that same situation in place for iOS and it would be a very bad situation for our customers.” Though there is a surge in viruses affecting Mac systems, it is because of the increase in the iOS users in recent times. According to the security firm, Malwarebytes, the amount of malware macOS curbed decreased by 38%, and that is great news!
How does Apple protect itself from malware?
By designing complicated yet simple to use software. These protections are developed into the hardware. And thus, making the computer strong enough not to get the flu easily. There are various inbuilt protections like File Encryptions, Sandboxing, XProtect, Gatekeeping.
To put them in simple terms, imagine the level of security one has to go through while getting into highly classified vaults. Sounds right out of the heist movies, isn’t it?! That’s the kind of security Apple provides to its Mac users.
Explain these inbuilt protections.
File encryptions, as the name implies are encrypted folders & files and can only be accessed by anyone with your permission.
Sandboxing allows the apps only to work what they’re supposed to. It doesn’t let the apps snoop around your computer. There is no assurance that it will protect you from the virus, but sandboxing unquestionably limits the extent of it.
XProtect is an intriguing concept. It doesn’t require any configuration and runs in the background quietly reviewing the applications that you’ve downloaded. If you’ve downloaded any suspicious files, then it throws a warning message stating the files will damage your computer.
GateKeeper blocks every application that is not digitally signed. It implies that every application you download should be approved by Apple. Failing this leads to an error message popup stating the mentioned app cannot be opened because it is from an unidentified developer.
Apart from these, there is also the protection you get on your safari browser from phishing attacks. It also limits the websites from tracking your every move on the web. You can find it on your privacy reports of all the websites it has stopped from attacking you with advertisements. Apple also helps you with a strong password suggestion and provides you with keychains so you won’t have to remember all the passwords you’ve entered.
All in all, Apple is a safe investment compared to other operating systems. You don’t have to spend an extra penny installing anti-virus software. The built-in applications are enough to keep you away from malware. However, you can still choose to download the anti-virus software for an extra layer of protection.
Instead of hitting the ‘later > remind me tomorrow’ button, update your system regularly to have the latest versions of iOS. Try not to download from dodgy websites. Flash isn’t with Adobe anymore, so, do not install the flash player. If you want to have an expert’s help, it is easier than ever to find one.
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How do you find the information? Are there any questions that need an answer? Let us know in the comments below.