For decades, Macs have been known for their security and stability. In 2006, Apple even told its customers in advertising campaigns that Macs don't get viruses. While Macs have certainly been more secure than PCs due to Apple's strategies, they've also been targeted less by malware attacks because of their lower market penetration.

However, with the Macs becoming more popular by the year, cybersecurity threats have increased quickly. In fact, in 2020, a cybersecurity report concluded that the volume of Mac "threats per endpoint" outpaced Windows by almost two to one.

What Are the Signs of an Infected Mac?

There are many types of malware, such as viruses, worms, adware, spyware, ransomware, etc. Each malware has the potential to infect your Mac. Here are some signs that you should watch out for:

·         Your Mac suddenly starts booting slowly and responding sluggishly

·         Your Mac crashes or heats up

·         Your Mac works intensely with your system fans on full blast, but you have no programs running

·         Programs on your Mac take a long time to load and lag after they do

·         You notice random and aggressive pop-up ads on your screen

·         Websites load on your browser without permission

·         New plugins and toolbars are loaded on your browsers

·         Your trusted websites behave unpredictably

·         Random web page text suddenly has a hyperlink

What Antivirus Software Should I Download? 

Regardless of whether your Mac is infected, it's critical to download advanced antivirus software that can remediate all malware threats and offers protection around the clock. Let's look at some characteristics of good antivirus software for your Mac.

  • It Should Be Well-Reviewed: Do your research and pick a cybersecurity software that's well-reviewed by critics. For example, the Malwarebytes antivirus software for Mac has earned excellent reviews from trusted technology websites. Even a tech publication by The New York Times recommends Malwarebytes for its potential to "shore up the Mac's own defenses against malicious software."
  • It Should be Thorough: The right antivirus software for Macs should crush all malicious software, including mild threats like adware and other potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). These annoyances can creep into your Mac, invade your privacy, and slow down your machine.
  • It Should Be Light, Lean, and Fast: You want cybersecurity software that augments your Mac's default security system rather than slows it down. The right antivirus software should scan your Mac in less than half a minute and use very little disk space.
  • It Should Have a Free Trial: You want to take the antivirus software out for a spin before you pay for a subscription. The right program should offer a free trial to show you what it can do.

What other steps should I take?

After strengthening your Mac's defenses with good antivirus software, enable your firewall and subscribe to a good Virtual Private Network (VPN) service to secure your network. Next, set complex passwords for all your accounts, including your Mac user account. Finally, keep your software updated to close security problems and be cautious of unsolicited email attachments and other fraudulent types of communication. With the right cybersecurity software and good habits, you and your Mac should stay secure for a long time.