Good Mac security goes beyond antivirus

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For years, the Mac has been seen as a safer platform than competitors. But, there are still steps you can and should take to keep yourself safe.

So far in 2022, over 34 million samples of new malware have been discovered. But only 2,000 of those samples have targeted macOS, according to AtlasVPN.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s chief of software engineering, appeared in court in May 2021 during the Epic Games v. Apple trial. He explained the security features of Apple devices and how the Mac has different security than the iPhone.

Users can download apps from the Mac App Store, a curated storefront where apps are subject to scrutiny from Apple’s review team. But software is also available to download from the web, a practice referred to as “sideloading” on the iPhone.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers asked Federighi why the Mac supports multiple sources of apps, a capability that Epic Games would like to see on iOS. These third-party sources of apps are “regularly exploited on the Mac,” Federighi said, adding that the level of Mac malware is unacceptable.

Federighi used this as an example of why Apple believes iOS is more secure than macOS. “iOS has established a dramatically higher bar for customer protection,” adding, “The Mac is not meeting that bar today.”

If used safely, the Mac is still “the safest possible” platform, Federighi continued. That statement should get Mac users to think about their security software and how they use their computers.

Layer one: Best security practices

The best ways to prevent a virus infection involves stopping infected emails, routing around infected websites, and downloading software from trusted sources. Basic safety practices combined with a Mac’s built-in security features mean that antivirus software isn’t needed for most people.

Some of these safety practices are preventative, such as keeping software up to date, and using a DNS service that blocks malicious websites. Others help stop malware that has…