We rely on our computers to do our banking, send and receive emails, and almost everything we used to do in person from the slippered comfort of our homes. However there are lurking invaders that have come knocking – phishing, scareware and malware. What’s the difference between these and what can you do about it if they find you?
Phishing is an email asking you to send money to someone or an email requesting your baking login or password – they aren’t real but look very convincing. Always check in at your banking account online for any messages, never click the paypal or send money links in your email.
A virus runs when the user launches an infected program or boots from an infected disk. They also can be passed through email. Viruses keep a low profile, so as to spread widely without being detected. Most of the time, the virus code simply infects new programs or disks. However on a Mac we are protected from many viruses with the multiple layers of protection that Macs have in hardware and software.
Malware, unlike a virus, malicious software that gets downloaded to your computer when you click on a link in a website that has the bad code hidden inside. It downloads an application to run on your computer. For a Mac is will slow down your computer and may disable your browser.
However there are some new types of malware that we’ve just started seeing. The emails say things like: “You have a package that we tried to deliver to you, click this link to get your package delivered.” These “new” malware infections download a file, generally zipped up, and if you open it runs an application to watch what you type, control applications – some even have pop-up messages saying your flash player is out of date. Read more about this type here: https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2014/01/21/data-stealing-malware-targets-mac-users-in-undelivered-courier-item-attack/
What is an unsuspecting Mac user to do? The first line of defence is being aware of what websites you go to or what links you click. If you have already been infected, the full solution is found at Mac Outpost and Outpost2. We have a service called deepcleantuneup that will completely clean your computer of the malware. We also have a Sentinel Service that monitors your computer (not seeing any of your private data) and will alert us of any infections that you suffer. We can then call you to let you know and get you in to see us as soon as possible. The Sentinel Service also monitors the health of your computer – watching to see that it remains in good health – the hard drive, the RAM, backups and overall systems are running as they should.
We are your Mac team members, alongside you for the longevity and enjoyment of your computers. If you need any assistance to find out if you have a malware problem or suspect that you do, we can help. Our service technicians are both experienced and knowledgeable.
Thanks – Kimberly Beaven, Outpost2