Apple users sometimes brag about their immunity from viruses. After all, for years, rumors have persisted that Mac computers have better security than Windows PCs. For the most part, those claims are false.

During the first quarter of 2018, a rash of headlines describing Mac OS malware has attracted attention, making some people question Apple’s security. Man-in-the-middle attacks, remote access infections, malware droppers, infected applications, and cryptojacking only begin to tell the story.

So, in response, consumers should now realize that Apple’s operating system has just as many vulnerabilities as Windows. However, everyone should exercise care before drawing incorrect conclusions. After all, both Windows and Mac OS have achieved a high level of security.

Although viruses have become less of a problem for both computing platforms, malware issues continue to persist. Perhaps the parity between PCs and Macs was perfectly illustrated when both platforms required patches to deal with the Meltdown and Spectre flaws.

Despite knowing about the vulnerabilities of their OS, Apple continues to lag behind Microsoft when it comes to dealing with bugs and exploits. Still, Mac users can take some definite steps to mitigate their risks:

  • Use the official Apple App Store. Users that download from alternate sources risk acquiring apps that have been infected with viruses and malware.
  • Avoid questionable software. In other words, when Mac users see an app that meets their needs, they should first check to see if a reputable company offers a similar product.
  • Install updates. Apple periodically releases new MacOS versions that fix bugs and patch vulnerabilities. Simply by installing these updates, users can improve their security.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi. Hackers can use the Wi-Fi at libraries and coffee shops to capture data and infect computers. People who must use public Wi-Fi should first connect to a paid VPN service.
  • Backup your computer. Users should always have multiple computer backups on different types of media. Also, everyone should store at least one copy at an alternate physical location.
  • Use a security app. Mac users should subscribe to a security application to identify and mitigate threats such as viruses and malware before they become a problem.

In summary, Mac users should realize that they face risks similar to those that Windows users face. In response, they should take the above simple steps to protect themselves and their data.