Times have changed. At one time, Apple touted the Mac as such as secure environment that security wasn’t required or more specifically anti-viral software. This is no longer the case and if you run your Mac without good security software you are taking a big risk but not for what you’d immediately think. Virus’ have become more of an issue in which I’ll explain but the big issue is people getting your private, financial information.
The Days in which the Virus Ruled
For such a long time, preventing your computer from getting infected with a virus was paramount. Virus’ could be anything from malign, naughty software to very detrimental software that brought not only your computer down but wiped out a few files a long the way. Backups were the best form of protection but anti-viral software was considered paramount in this fight.
The Mac’s History and Virus’
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Back in the early days of the Mac through the 90’s the Mac ran on what was referred to as the classic OS. Further, the Macs in their zenith accounted for 15 to 16% of all computers in the field. Since the OS was insecure and there were plenty of Macs to create mayhem, viral creators targeted the Mac much like the PC.
With time and OS 10 much changed. Apple lost a large amount of its market share and OS 10, which is built on Unix, is a very secure OS. The desire to build viral software for the Mac dwindled at a time we also saw a more promising and powerful OS come on stream .
There are two things that are significantly different in the very wild west of the internet. The first is, what I’ll call the bad people, aren’t so interested in doing havoc to your computer as opposed hacking your computer to get at vital personal and financial information. With this, they can do something like Fraudulently withdraw money from an account, like a credit card account, to actually stealing your identity. The latter is a very serious problem while the former is just a great nuisance as you see the incredible things they’ve done with your credit card! Thus, although installing viruses is still a problem it has taken back seat to something as important as someone stealing your money or identity.
What can be Done
The similarity or comparison to this being a wild, wild west of modern times cannot be understated. It is. You could easily find yourself the victim of a simple theft to an elaborate scheme. Both really are, in fact, more of a nuisance than one would have originally expected.
However, with the development of a technique there is often a counter-veiling technique to thwart the technique in process. In essence you can take measures which are protective. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but what you will want is the best anti-viral, anti this and anti that that you can get get. What you’ll need is a system that will protect your computer from the bad guys in the outside world who are trying to break into your computer. Things such as firewalls in the OS are critically important.
In essence, you’re building a mote around your castle to prevent unwanted entry. However, there is always a way in. There has to be. The challenge is to make sure that only you know how to get in.
In our mote story, the person would have to find the access across the mote. In our world, the prevention of entry is via a good, strong password. It is a password that someone would likely be unable to guess or find written down on a scrap piece of paper on the desk that you sit at to do your work.
Antiviral Programs and Password Managers
It is important to use both a good Antiviral/Malware Program and solid practices around its use. Passwords are becoming the Bain of our existence. Good password management strategy dictates that no two logins use the same password and further they are to be strong in nature. It is getting impossible to remember all our passwords creating a ripe environment for stress.
To deal with this, powerful password managers have entered the scene. These managers can do anything from just remind you of the password for the site to fully logging you in automatically. That they are essential is not of debate. Like anything though that is becoming popular, there is a flourish of password managers. However, not all are created equal,
The Best Antiviral/Malware Programs for the Mac Ecosystem
For the purposes of brevity, I’m going to just list what are really considered the best of the antiviral programs for the Mac. These programs are:
- Intego x8
- Bitdefender for the Mac
As for password managers, this is a bit of a kettle of fish. However, you can’t go wrong using any of the following but it is important to note that OnePassword seems to be the strongest of the bunch for the Mac.
Last if Not Least
Protecting yourself on the internet really requires you. It’s difficult as these habits aren’t natural and seem more of a nuisance. As an example, try to use strong password and different passwords between sites. If you login to a lot of sights and people generally do the days, you could have a lot of passwords to know and it’s not possible to remember them all especially if their number gets up there and for many of this is the case.
So good security really requires you the user. Without a well mapped out plan on how you will manage it all you’ll get very frustrated and there are a lot of frustrated password users these days. A good password manager is essential however, it’s not the B all and end all. You can still end up with an incorrect password manager.
Good security management, which is essential now and will only get worse, requires a more rigorous approach to our looking after our own security. That may not be enough but it sure will be a lot better than your card getting hacked or even worse your identity stolen.