Years of advertising have led Mac users to believe that their machines are naturally immune to viruses. While it used to be true that Mac computers did not have any known viruses, recent gains in market share have made the Mac ecosystem more enticing to hacking organizations.
The first Mac viruses began appearing in 2006, and security companies were not far behind with comprehensive antivirus software. Unfortunately, Mac OSX has proven to be every bit as vulnerable as Windows, which has led to plenty of headaches for small businesses.
Often, the simplest scam is the most effective. Phishing refers to the practice of sending out legitimate looking emails that contain links to scam websites. Employees are invited to disclose personal financial information by sites that mimic banks, retail stores, and utility companies.
Phishing emails work so well because they don’t contain any malicious code, which many operating systems have some defense against. Individuals give up their information freely because they believe that they’re communicating with legitimate organizations. The best way to protect your business and your employees is to advise them to never provide their social security numbers, addresses, or other personal information. Instead of clicking on links within an email, they should type in the addresses manually in their web browser’s address bar.
Adware is mostly benign, but it can still tie up system resources and slow your network to a halt. Although web browsers include popup blocking features, websites can circumvent these defenses to display annoying advertisements on your business computers.
Depending on their frequency, these advertisements can distract your employees, resulting in lost productivity. Some adware is impossible to close normally, so employees will be stuck staring at it until the adware is removed. Adware is often installed when employees download free software.
As its name implies, spyware sneaks onto your computers and steals information. Spyware typically enters Macs through web browser vulnerabilities, so all it takes is clicking on the wrong link to expose sensitive information to hackers.
How to Protect Your Computers
You can prevent the vast majority of infections by educating your employees on smart browsing techniques. They should only visit sites they’re familiar with, and they should never open attachments or links from anonymous email sources.
Of course, we all make mistakes, so it pays to invest in antivirus software. A crippling virus can bring down your entire network, costing you thousands of dollars in lost productivity, but you can protect your network for a fraction of the cost.
To help protect your business from malware, ScaleIT offers numerous services to lock down your network and purge any existing viruses. Firewalls offer the first line of defense by putting up an impenetrable shield against most malware. Antivirus software can also block many viruses outright, but it will also identify and eliminate any viruses lurking on your network. Regular updates ensure that you’ll always be protected against the latest threats.
If you want to protect your network against cyber threats, contact ScaleIT today for a free consultation.