Tech Guides (IT Governance)

Mac Viruses & Tips

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As Macs grow in popularity and usage, so will security threats. That being the case, it is up to you to take the steps necessary to protect your computer from intruders.


Apple device X-Specific threats

Macs are often viewed as the computer of choice for politicians, businessmen, and successful people of all shapes and sizes. Because of the reputation that Macs and their users hold, cybercriminals often view Macs as a treasure trove of information.

Some have even gone so far as to create Mac viruses. Below is a list of some of the risks you may encounter when using a Mac. You will learn what these viruses do, how to spot them, and how to avoid them. We also realize that the list of security threats a user faces shifts almost every minute. This list will be updated as we receive information on new viruses and prevention methods.


FAKEAV first struck in 2011. Disguising itself as an antivirus security program, FAKEAV targeted Google users via search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Essentially, FAKEAV was designed in such a way that it appeared as often as possible in search engine result pages.

Occasionally it would also spread via Facebook status updates. It appeared under several different product names, includingMacSecurity,MacGuard, andMacSweeper.


First unleashed on the public in 2011, Flashback is a Trojan virus that typically disguises itself as a Flash player. Flashback usually takes effect by modifying the contents of its victims web browser.


LEAP is a computer worm that spreads via the iChat program.

How can I keep my Mac safe?

  • Keep calm and remember Macs still encounter far fewer risks than PCs do. If you use common sense in Internet usage, your Mac will do its part to stay safe. 
  • Be wary in your Internet searches and download practices. Unless something is coming from a reputable source, do not download it. Most viruses can only infect your Mac if you allow it into your computer. 
  • Install a protection program on your computer to keep threats at bay. Be cautious, as some viruses disguise themselves as antivirus protection software and encourage people to download them. See Antivirus Software Tips for how to pick a good protection program.
  • Educate yourself on what viruses are and how they might affect your Mac, but don't overwhelm yourself by trying to learn everything, because it would be difficult to learn about each one. Focus on how viruses may disguise themselves. Learn where they can be found. Once you know these things, viruses become much easier to avoid. You can begin your search by checking out the article, Types of Viruses


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