Mac users have been told for years: Macs don’t get viruses. Even Apple said so, in their famous Get a Mac ads that aired a decade ago. Wow, that’s so cool! It’s good to know we’re all safe. Now, on a different topic, can you tell me why Safari is going to a Russian search engine instead of Google? And I keep getting pop-ups telling me to “clean your Mac from junk!”
Unfortunately, this old “wisdom” has never been true. There has almost always been malware for the Mac. The first widespread virus was the Elk Cloner virus, which actually infected the Apple II, prior to any PC malware. Some of the earliest malware affected the first Macs in the mid-1980s. The switch to a completely new architecture in Mac OS X, in 2001, killed all the old “Classic” Mac malware, but it didn’t take long for more to start appearing, starting with the MW2004 trojan a few years later.
The only reason the myth that Macs can’t get infected with malware has persisted is that, until recently, malware has been fairly rare. Unfortunately, that has begun to change in recent years. Since around 2012, Macs have seen a huge upswing in all manner of threats – malware (including spyware, keyloggers, backdoors, and more), adware, and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).
Thus far, as of early July 2017, there has been an increase of 230% in Mac malware over last year, and this year is only half over. Worse, that only tells a small part of the story. Adware and PUPs are increasing at an even higher rate, with even the Mac App Store suffering a tidal wave of scam software. Go to any Mac forum these days and it won’t take you five minutes to find someone suffering from some kind of malicious threat.
Because of these changes to the Mac threat landscape, we have released Malwarebytes for Mac, which includes real-time protection. Now Malwarebytes doesn’t just clean up your Mac, it protects it too!
There is some basic anti-malware protection built into macOS, but it’s not perfect and doesn’t catch everything. Multiple layers of protection are always recommended by security experts. Malwarebytes strives to proactively detect and block all Mac malware, providing additional protection against the worst threats that exist on the Mac.
Malwarebytes has been recognized for its aggressive stance against adware and PUPs, many of which are not detected by other antivirus programs. It has been widely recommended in the Mac community due to its effectiveness at removing such threats. With real-time protection, Malwarebytes can now detect and quarantine those threats before they get a foothold.
Malwarebytes for Mac uses the same unique engine to detect threats, which means that manual scans are still very fast. This also means that the real-time protection is extremely efficient, causing no noticeable impact on the system. Fire up your favorite MMORPG or FPS game without worrying that Malwarebytes will cause your frame rates to drop.
Don’t fall for the hype, there’s nothing implicitly safer about a Mac except for the rarity of threats when compared to Windows. As that starts to change, most Mac users aren’t prepared for it, continuing to think they’re safe simply by virtue of using a Mac. This puts Mac users at higher risk of getting infected with something nasty.
Keeping security in mind at all times is important and can protect you from some threats, but not all of them. Don’t let a one-time mistake cause long-term issues. Malwarebytes for Mac can protect you when it turns out you’re only human and make a mistake.