How to protect your Mac from malware

In recent years, the number of malware for macOS has increased dramatically. Take OSX/Dok ā€“ malware that bypass the Gatekeeper steals passwords and study the online traffic of their victims. In this connection it is necessary to think about protecting your computer.

Gatekeeper and firewall

Mac users first need to check the Gatekeeper settings. This built-in feature that blocks the installation of any unsigned Apple. You’ve probably encountered the limitations of the Gatekeeper when you try to install an app not from the App Store.

In order to access the Gatekeeper settings, go to System preferences -> Security and safety > General -> “Allow applications downloaded from:”. Make sure you select “Mac App Store and identified developers”. This means that Mac can only run Apple-approved apps.

If you need to bypass Gatekeeper and install the program from the developer that you trust, simply hold the Ctrl button and click on the dmg file, then click Open.

Also suspicious, Gatekeeper blocks the installation of unwanted plug-ins in Safari, such as Flash or Java. The Safari browser also protected against phishing.

In addition to Gatekeeper, you must enable the firewall (firewall). This element of the network interface to filter traffic. To enable the firewall in Mac OS, you can also going to System preferences -> Security and safety.


The second and most important tip ā€“ do not lose vigilance. Try to avoid suspicious websites and programs, this will significantly reduce the risk of infection. Unfortunately, nowadays malware is becoming more sophisticated.

For example, OSX/Dok is a Trojan, which, as noted above, was able to bypass Gatekeeper, as used real developer account and a trusted certificate.

Spread a virus via e-mail. So never respond to emails that ask you a password, and especially do not give anyone your personal data or install any software directly from mail.

Another example MacDownloader. This virus was distributed as an update to Adobe Flash. If you get a notice to update a plugin or app, do not settle immediately, better double-check on the official website of the developer.

Apple tries to do everything possible to get rid of the malware, but “the MacOS users” need to stay vigilant.

Always keep

When you install the macOS updates expect many innovations in the user interface and new functions. If not, then people often reject updates.

However, with each update of the operating system in the XProtect file on Mac added a new threat. XProtect stores the definitions of all malware, which is known by Apple to protect Mac. In addition to updating XProtect updates fix vulnerabilities in macOS.

Therefore, always pay attention to what version of macOS you have.

Check the Mac third-party software

Apple has excellent built-in protection system, but you can even fool it, as we have seen in OSX/Dok. Therefore, you may want to use third-party applications. On the Mac there are several free, such as Bitdefender and Malwarebytes.

Clifton Nichols

Clifton Nichols

Hi! Iā€™m Clifton and I am a full-stack engineer with a passion for building performant and scalable applications that are beautiful and easy to use.

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