OMG! That headline! Run! HIDE! SAVE YOURSELVES!
This article spread like….well…a virus over the past couple of days, prompting much glee and snickering from certain groups of computer users. And it’s an example of something I rail about on a regular basis – a lack of objectivity, skepticism, and a willingness of the tech media to serve up whatever pablum is sent to them via a press release without any thought to those persnickety things called “facts.”
First of all, the “information” comes from a company called Malwarebytes, an antivirus software maker. Right there is your first clue this “report” may not be entirely objective. After all, while they are in the business of protecting users, they are also trying to sell you a product. One of the easiest ways to do that is through fear.
The Malwarebytes report speaks of a “virtual landslide” of malware detections on OSX devices.
What is a “virtual landslide”? 11. 11 Mac OS threats were detected in 2019. Now, that’s not nothing but….a landslide? I live in an area that has frequent real landslides and I can tell you, that’s a slide down a very low hill.
According to the report, Mac threats also differ significantly from those faced by PCs. While Windows machines are more likely to face traditional types of malware, the most prevalent Mac threats are adware and PUPs. The latter mostly consists of “cleaning” apps like MacKeeper and MacBooster.
So, while incredibly annoying…not all that bad?
The report states that in all of 2019, “only one incident involved anything other than tricking the (Mac OS) user into downloading and opening something they shouldn’t.”
According to the last line in the Gizmodo article:
The main takeaway is that no, your Apple computer isn’t more immune to malware.
Glad they saved that until the very end. And the last line in the New Atlas piece?
for now, it seems education and the odd free malware scan are still sufficient to keep you relatively safe from anything but annoyance on a Mac.
The media should be pointing out these kinds of scare tactics. Report on the potential threats? Yes. Educate readers? Of course. But there’s is no need to use the same tricks as the anti-malware companies who are trying to shill their products.