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Although your Mac is an exceptionally secure machine, it’s still a machine. And a determined malicious actor can breach even the most secure device. Take, for instance, the mysterious malware named Silver Sparrow that targets Apple’s products.
According to Brian Donohue, an intelligence analyst at a cybersecurity company Red Canary, Silver Sparrow has not been triggered yet by its mysterious author. However, the malware alarms many tech analysts for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that Silver Sparrow infects almost 40,000 Mac machines. The second is that it also targets Apple’s new M1 processors, which don’t have many known flaws.
Of course, Mac security issues have been startling researchers for some time. For instance, the State of Malware report from Malwarebytes noted that Mac threats grew faster than those in Windows in 2019. After crunching massive data, the cybersecurity company learned that threats per Mac endpoint were nearly double the average threats per endpoint on Windows.
Advanced Antivirus for Mac
As a Mac user, there’s no need for you to panic. Your Mac’s default security system is undoubtedly competent at stopping most malware threats. In addition, Macs are incredibly secure machines because of the way Apple controls manufacturing. However, with Apple’s products gaining market share, more cybercriminals turn their crosshairs towards Macs every day.
That’s why you need cutting-edge antivirus software that enhances your Mac’s security system. A sound cybersecurity system for Mac should have the following characteristics:
- It should complement your Apple’s default security software rather than clash with it.
- It must be light and lean so that it doesn’t burden your computer’s resources.
- It should scan your Mac in less than a minute.
- It should remove destructive viruses that can wreak havoc by corrupting files and folders.
- Its anti-malware technology must actively target ransomware and malware used by cybercriminals to commit serious financial crimes.
- It should block potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) like adware that affect your Mac’s performance and invade your privacy.
How Do I Know if My Mac Has a Malware Infection?
With malware growing more sophisticated by the day, it’s challenging to know if your Mac is infected until it’s too late. For example, you may not know that you have a virus until your essential files and folders are corrupted. Likewise, you may not know that you have a ransomware infection until your computer is locked, and you must pay a bounty to a hacker.
The best way to determine if you have a malware infection is to use Malwarebytes antivirus for Mac because it employs artificial intelligence, machine learning, and heuristics detection technology to check your Mac for malware infections.
Adware such as NewTab and Genieo are the most common culprits. Similarly, be wary of malware infections like OSX.Generic. Suspicious and FakeFileOpener, that try to take you to fraudulent websites.
In addition, please watch out for the following signs:
- Pop-up ads on your screen.
- Browser redirection.
- Mysterious slowdowns.
- Bizarre storage drive or webcam activity.
- Unaccounted for bandwidth usage.
- Crashing applications.
- System restarting.
Optimize Your Mac
Not only is top-of-the-line antivirus software good for your security and privacy, but it’s also excellent for your Mac’s performance. By getting rid of malware, you’ll free up your computer’s resources, your Internet connection, errant processes, and conflicts. But proactive cybersecurity tools are just one way to optimize your Mac.
There are many other reasons why your Mac may be slowing down or crashing:
The best time to buy a Mac is at the beginning of a new product cycle because Apple releases new hardware less frequently than some manufacturers of Windows-powered machines. If your Mac is at the end of the road, then your only option may be a new one with an updated processor and RAM. You could even get a trade-in deal if you’re lucky.
Still, you may be able to upgrade some components to help your machine run more smoothly. For example, if you can swap in new RAM to improve your computer’s memory, you’ll give your software more space to work. Upgrading your Mac’s RAM is especially worthwhile if your machine only has 4GB of RAM. Upgrading to 8, 12, or 16, depending on your motherboard, can enhance performance significantly.
Likewise, if you upgrade your old hard drive to a new Solid State Drive (SSD), your Mac will boot significantly faster. Your Mac will also load programs and play music and videos more quickly when equipped with an SSD.
Update Your Operating System
There are multiple advantages to updating your operating system. For one, Apple often fixes security issues with updates. Such security holes can be used by ‘exploits’ to breach your security and privacy. In addition, OS updates often result in performance enhancements by fixing software compatibility issues.
However, it’s a good idea to research an update before downloading it if you have an older machine. Some Apple updates have been bad for older Macs, resulting in bugs, slow-downs, crashes, and even system failure. You may be able to downgrade your operating system if the update results in issues, but there’s no guarantee.
Consider uninstalling unnecessary software on your Mac that runs in the background and uses your computer’s memory and power. Start by going to your Applications to view your list of programs. Here, you can use the Date Last Opened feature to help you determine what programs you don’t need.
You can also look at programs that use the most resources by clicking, Go, Utilities, and then Activity Monitor. You can use Force Quit to stop programs that use the highest CPU power and memory if you need to save battery life and enhance performance on your MacBook.
Reducing motion effects is also an excellent way to earn a speed boost. Go to Accessibility in System Preferences and use the Reduce Motion option in the Display section. Although this will reduce the visual splendour of your operating system, it can also speed your Mac up.
When trying to optimize your Mac, always stick to reputable anti-malware software from cybersecurity companies like Malwarebytes instead of Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) that promise the moon. For example, Pups like PCVARK and JDI are infections that slow down your system but are part of programs that claim to optimize your computer.
With the right cybersecurity tools, settings, and browsing habits, you can keep dangerous malware at bay and ensure that your Mac runs smoothly for many years.