Mac malware on the rise: Should we be worried?

Security researchers said that in 2016, Mac-targeted malware grew by more than 700% – with more than 460,000 total instances reported.

The spread of such Mac malware grew by a more modest 53% in the first three months of 2017 – not as startling as the year before, but Mac users should still be cautious.

While the total figure of Mac malware victims has soared past 700,000 cases in the last two years, experts said that this should not cause much panic among users.

In the malware study, instances are measured instead of apps; when a type of malware attacks one thousand devices, that counts as 1,000 instances.

Similar to last year’s report on Mac malware, a majority of these occurrences are adware – software that displays or downloads advertisements when a user goes online.

Having adware on your computer can certainly be annoying, but the good thing is they are normally harmless to your data compared to other malware.

Mac users should not be complacent as there still are a number of malware types that could affect Macs much worse.

On the other hand, Mac malware incidents only account for 1% of the total number of malware found on Windows machines – where malware occurrences almost reached 700 million.

It is worth noting that Mac computers and devices are smaller in total compared to their rival, making them less appealing to cybercriminals.

This might change soon as Apple reported earlier this year that there are more than 100 million Mac users as of April of this year – which might lead to cybercriminals shifting their focus on more Mac-centric attacks.

In addition, Mac OS also has a much stricter protection installed into their machines. Mac devices are not impenetrable, but they make it slightly harder for cybercriminals.

Apple is also quick to respond with security updates whenever malware is reported or detected in their systems.

Still, Mac users should not be complacent when it comes to their security as there still are a number of malware types that could affect Macs much worse.

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