Mac users were spared from the WannaCry ransomware that attacked older versions of Windows last month. However, most people don’t know that Macs are occasionally targeted by cyber attacks and there is a chance that it could happen again.

During last year’s presidential election, it is speculated that the same Russian hackers were behind Xagent malware that attacked the Democratic National Committee. The malware was developed to steal iPhone backups from Macs.

Moreover, there were other ransomware attacks that targeted Macs including KeRanger in 2016, an adware Trojan in 2013 and Flashback in 2012.

Protecting your Macs

Fortunately, the MacOS has two native tools to protect itself from viruses; the Gatekeeper and XProtect.

The Gatekeeper basically won’t allow users to download and install any apps that have not been approved by Apple. Users can also adjust the level of alertness of the Gatekeeper by going to “System Preferences,” and “Security & Privacy.” Here, users can choose whether to download only from the App Store or from the App Store and Identified Developers.

Meanwhile, the XProtect scans and checks a downloaded app if it is opened by the user. The malware scanning tool then checks if the opened app is included in a list of malicious apps in its database. If it does, the user will be prompted with a warning.

Both the Gatekeeper and the XProtect need to be updated regularly to make it more effective against viruses. It is recommended to set your settings to automatically download updates by going to “System Preferences,” then “App Store.” Check the box where it says “Automatically check for updates” and “Install system data files and security updates.”

In addition, there are several antivirus apps available for the MacOS and many are free to download if you want an extra protection for your Mac device.

Why are PCs more prone to cyber attacks?

There are two reasons why Windows users are more frequently targeted by hackers.

The first reason is pretty simple; there are more Windows users compared to MacOS users. On a financial standpoint, hackers can potentially earn more money by attacking more machines and Windows operating system owns a larger percentage of the market share.

The second reason is there are a lot of hacking tools out there for Windows devices that are readily available for attackers. This is much cheaper than creating one from scratch.