Macs no longer immune to nasty viruses, trojans

It be nice to have a computer that would not get viruses,you have a Mac you figure that you are immune to all that - wrong.

In this electronic world that we live in where everything it seems is controlled by a few keypad swipes, wouldn’t it be nice to have a computer that would not get viruses, Malware, Trojans, and the likes?

Well, since you have a Mac you figure that you are immune to all that. After all, it is a Mac, right? WRONG. There are not as many viruses available for a Mac as for a Windows machine, but they are around.

The first Mac virus called Elk Cloner was introduced in 1982 by 15-year-old Rich Skrenta. The current Trojan Malware making the rounds for the Mac is called “Flashback S”.

Flashback S will not affect other computers as a virus would. What it does is make your computer open to data theft (stealing your info, bank passwords and so on). Kapersky Security has a program called “Flashback Check” that will check your Mac to see if it is infected with the Flashback S Trojan. F-Secure has a program called “Flashback Removal” that will check your machine.

There are about 140,000 Macs out there that are quite ready to be infected and about 600,000 Macs that are affected. Fifty-seven per cent are in the United States and about 20 per cent in Canada. Don’t be one of them.

The simplest way to not get this horrible Trojan is to make sure that your software is updated. Go to the black Apple at the top left of your screen, click on “Software update” and let the machine download the latest software security from Apple.

The best way to get the latest software updates is to turn off your Mac at night—don’t put it into sleep mode, actually turn the Mac off. When you turn the computer on in the morning it will check for the latest security and software updates on its own.

Now I would like you to check that your Mac firewall is turned on. Go to System Preferences, click on Security and Privacy, then click on the tab for the firewall. If the firewall is not on then you will have to click on the padlock (bottom left in the dialog box) to be able to activate the firewall.

That would be step two in security. For the next step, download an anti-virus program that will scan your entire machine and report back to you. Don’t worry, I have a bunch of free anti-virus programs lined up so that you can choose the one that you like:

• I Antivirus (www.iantivirus.com/product)

• Sophos Antivirus (www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/Sophos-antivirus-for-mac-home-edition.aspx)

• ClamXav (www.clamxav.com)

• Avast (www.avast.com/free-antivirus-mac)

Here’s another security check that you should do, especially if you are connecting to commercial WiFi such as McDonald’s, Starbucks and so on. Go to System Preferences, under Internet and Wireless, click on Network, make sure that the “Ask to join New Networks” box is checked. If not you will have to unlock the padlock in the bottom left and make the changes.

Now when you go to use Wi-Fi in a public place, people sitting nearby will not be automatically connected to your computer and able to steal all of your info.

Any questions?  E-mail me at nsilverstone@telus.net or see me online at www.silverstonephotos.com.

 

Norman Silverstone teaches photography through North Island College and Eldercollege in Port

Alberni.

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