Can Macs get viruses?

We’ve discussed how computer viruses can bring about data loss previously, but this is just one of the drawbacks of having an infected machine. Reduced performance, irritating popups and – in the worst-case scenario – financial loss are all possible when a device is infected by an insidious programme. For several years, this has resulted in many consumers who falsely believed that Macs could not be infected by viruses opting for these devices over PCs.

Sadly, this is – as we’ve alluded previously – a myth. The operating systems used by Macs have flaws that hackers can exploit – leveraging them is simply less profitable when compared to Windows.

Why we all thought Macs couldn’t get viruses

When Windows became the operating system of choice, it was only logical that nefarious individuals would target such systems. In particular, the vast majority of commercial entities elected to purchase devices running Microsoft’s OS, effectively making it the target of choice for hackers. It is here, after all, that the money is, and financial gain is a hacker’s ultimate goal.

So, in short, Macs have long been perceived as being ‘immune’ to computer viruses because few viruses were developed that targeted their operating system. As they have grown in popularity, however, this has changed.

What type of viruses can infect Macs?

With Macs having grown in popularity amongst home and commercial users (particularly within the creative industries), viruses exploiting flaws in their operating system have become far more commonplace.

Mac users can find their devices infected with malware, trojan horses, spyware and any other computer virus you can think of. Apple’s claim that their devices were immune to infections was never true but, these days, it’s easily disproved. Yes, their operating system is widely believed to be more secure than Windows, but it’s also true that more and more IT professionals are encountering infected Macs than ever before. Fields Data Recovery are no different: we’ve seen more Macs that have lost data because of viruses over the last two years than we had in the previous 18 combined.

How viruses can cause data loss on a Mac

Viruses can render data inaccessible for any number of reasons but the most common are it having been encrypted via malware or that the device has failed in its entirety because of the infection. Fortunately, we’re usually able to recover data from Macs when it’s been lost under these circumstances, but data loss – whilst so often highly damaging – pales in comparison to the worst possible outcome for anyone whose device is infected with a virus.

Cybercrime continues to become more of an issue for businesses, public bodies, charities and individuals alike and there are no signs of it abating. Whatever device you may use, the need to be vigilant; to refrain from downloading anything from sources you don’t recognise; to keep any anti-virus software you have up-to-date; to remain mindful of the threat hackers pose. Doing so will not guarantee your device is immune to infections, but it will certainly help.

But what can I do if I have lost data because of a virus?

Get in touch with Fields Data Recovery! We offer a completely free, no-risk data recovery diagnostic: we’ll determine precisely why your data’s been lost, work out the best means of recovering it and provide you with a no-obligation quote. Decline the quote, and we’ll return your media to you absolutely free-of-charge.