In 2015, the Senior E-Threat Analyst at Bitdefender, Bogdan Botezatu, was quoted as saying “Mac OS X software has more high-risk vulnerabilities than all versions of Windows put together.” Despite that statement and apparent fact, Mac computers are still infected by viruses much less often than Windows computers. Below are some of the reasons why Apple Macintosh computers do not have as many viruses as Windows computers:

  1. Newer Macintosh operating systems, such as the macOS X, are built on the Unixkernel, which is one of the most secure operating systems available.
  2. Most of the computer virus writers are more familiar with the IBM platform and Microsoft Windows, which means it’s easier for them create a virus for that platform.
  3. Many of the tools, scripts, and code used to create viruses or other malware are designed for Microsoft Windows.
  4. Many of the targets of viruses are governments and businesses, with an aim to either steal information, money, or just create havoc. The majority of computers used by government agencies and businesses have the Windows operating system, resulting in most viruses being targetted towards Windows computers, instead of Macs.

Note: If you are running a virtual PC on your Apple Macintosh or Windows in Bootcamp, because it is emulating Microsoft Windows, it can become infected with Windows viruses.

Software and plug-in threats

Although the Apple OS is more secure than many versions of Windows, additional software, plug-ins, and add-ons that connect to the Internet can introduce their own security vulnerabilities. The most common ways to attack a Mac computer is through a third-party browser and browser plugins like Adobe Reader, Flash, and Java. Today, most Mac users have these plugins installed and enabled on the computer, and, in doing so, compromise the overall security of the system.

Additional security threats

Although a Mac is less susceptible to viruses, Mac users can still be the victims of trojan horses, phishing scams, and other online fraud. If you are an Apple computer user, we still recommend keeping informed about how to keep safe while online. There is no such thing as a 100% safe computer, a Mac, Windows, and even Linux are all capable of being infected with a virus or other malware.

What protection can you put in place?

Installing Malwarebytes certainly helps a lot in keeping your Mac infection free. There is a free version as well a couple of paid versions that will give you added real time protection. Avast also has an option for Mac’s that is free. The next best thing is common sense – be wary of emails that don’t make sense and do not click on links or attachments.

Article published in computerhope