It’s a common misconception that Mac users are protected from online threats, unlike PC users. The truth is that Apple users are equally at risk as their Windows peers. This is because it doesn’t matter how you connect to the Internet, when you are online, you are always vulnerable.
Today, social engineering scams, virus attacks, etc. for Mac users have become a major problem, and the following are some of the top threats that you must be aware of:
1. Compromised Software
A large number of people and almost every decent business today use at least a few software programs for running a variety of everyday operations. To save costs they often use license-free or trial versions of these software. Attackers use these base programs and embed a harmful piece of code within them. Thus, when you install these infected programs the attacker can steal your sensitive information through them. The most common way these attacks get the users to download these software programs is by sending emails with links to them.
The best way to protect yourself from malicious programs is to always download the software from official websites and not the links available on other sources. It’s also advised that you use high-quality antivirus programs like Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac.
2. Reverse Social Engineering
Email scams are often easily avoided by users as they are not pressured by a sense of urgency that way. However, when a fraudster calls their victims on their phones, they don’t get much time for rationalization, and this is exactly what makes their job easier.
A shyster may call your employee pretending to be a representative of the security firm your company is partnered with, and wrongly inform them that they need remote access to protect their IT network from a potential malware threat. This is one of the most popular reverse social engineering attacks because the culprit takes the role of a protector and deceives by winning trust.
3. Fake LinkedIn Invitations
Fake LinkedIn Invitations are the easiest to be fooled by, as they often appear quite legitimate. Here is how they work – a person creates a fake LinkedIn account and updates the account information to pose as an employee of a major organization, or even a company executive. Then they connect with the victim by sending an invitation. Accepting it, the victim is quite happy, believing they are connected to a reputed executive. Thus, when the fraudster casually inquires about their company, the victim provides their information without a second thought. The fraudster uses the sensitive information received for their ulterior motives.
According to experts, the best way to avoid LinkedIn or other similar scams is to confirm the sender’s identity by contacting their company directly using the information on their official website before accepting their invitation.
4. Bad Password Habits
If you are like most people, then you have a slew of accounts for different websites and online services. To make password management easier, you may use the same password for every account. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most common and dangerous password habits to develop.
To protect your online privacy, you need to pay heed to the following:
- Use strong passwords that are combinations of numbers, letters (both uppercase and lowercase), and special characters
- Enable two-step authentication wherever possible
- Use Google’s Password Checkup service that alerts you if any of your online accounts has been breached due to password exposure, identifies weak passwords for you, etc.
5. Public Networks
When you go online with your Mac at home, then you usually don’t have to worry. This is because you can trust your home network. However, when you are traveling, then you may want to use public hotspots at restaurants, bus stops, railway stations, etc. These networks can’t be trusted 100% as it’s easier for a cybercriminal to hack into these networks without you knowing. So, it’s recommended that you use your own mobile network. If you have to, then you can use public networks, but only after activating a VPN service on your device. There are many good VPN services that you can buy on the Internet for affordable rates. You can also use these services in conjunction with a quality mobile antivirus program for your iPhone, like Bitdefender Mobile Security for iOS.
Summing it Up
In a world that’s become largely technology-dependent, online scams are on the rise. Data breaches, malware infections, etc. are becoming more and more common. Thus, it pays to monitor your online activities and deploy security measures such as online backup, antivirus programs, etc. Of course, the information above can be of huge help in that area.