Monthly Archives : February 2020

Macs now twice as likely to get infected by adware than PCs …

Macs now twice as likely to get infected by adware than PCs … according to research

A Malwarebytes report says threats to Mac computers “increased exponentially” over the last year compared to Windows PCs.

There was a time when Mac computers were virtually invulnerable to malware. That safety has long been one of the major talking points for Macs over Windows PCs. But as time has gone on and malware detection on PCs has gotten much better, and Windows has gotten more secure, you’re just as safe today using a PC over a Mac—and perhaps safer from certain kinds of malware.

As Macs have taken a larger piece of the computer market pie, they’ve become a juicier target for cybercriminals cranking out adware and what Malwarebytes calls “potentially unwanted programs” (or PUPs).

“While these threats are not considered as dangerous as traditional malware, they are becoming a much larger and more noticeable nuisance for Mac users, who can no longer say that their beloved systems are immune from malware,” Malwarebytes Labs said in its recent report.

When calculated in threats per system, Mac-targeted threats outpaced Windows by nearly 2:1 in 2019.

The full report details an over 400 percent rise in overall Mac-related threats, for consumers and businesses, in 2019, and a significant rise in detections per system, from 4.8 in 2018 to 11.0 in 2019. That’s double the detections on Windows PCs, which was 5.8 in 2019. Cybercriminals have been able to target Macs more aggressively because Apple’s built-in security has not cracked down on “adware and PUPs to the same degree that they have malware,” making it easier for malicious software to infiltrate computers with Mac operating systems.

In general, most Mac threats are different forms of adware and PUPs, and Malwarebytes notes in its report that a pair of Mac threats appeared at the top of its ranking of the most widespread malware—for the first time ever—coming in at second and third place. One of those, PCVARK, a generic name for “system optimizers” or “junk-cleaners” that claim to make your system faster, was only 31 on the list in 2018. PCVARK accounted for around 25M malware attacks on Macs last year. At the top was Adware.NewTab, which accounted for nearly 30M attacks in 2019.

The top threat for Windows PCs, in contrast, was Adware.MindSpark, which rose 497 percent from 2018 to 2019, but only accounted for 2M infected consumer PCs. Adware.Yontoo accounted for just over 3M infected business PCs. And while Trojans and other more serious forms of malware dominate the PC landscape, adware attacks are the fastest growing malware attack in both the PC and Mac sectors. The only difference is that Windows PCs are much better at catching those threats.

But if you’re still worried about the health of your PC, we have some good antivirus software recommendations.

Goodbye Windows 7 – but why are people still using it?

If you are one of the 27% of Windows users still running Windows 7 be advised that Microsoft officially began the Windows 7 end of life phase on 14th January 2020.

Windows 7 has been, and still is a very reliable and stable operating system. Many users have been loathed to replace what is not broken and possibly introduce new problems! Your Pc will not just stop working in January, however Microsoft will stop supporting it on that day. This means no more feature updates and no more security patches.

Microsoft has traditionally launched new versions of Windows every few years, retiring old code and software architecture in favour of newer, safer methods. Now, more than a decade after launching Windows 7, they are retiring the operating system. They have pledged that Windows 10 is ‘the last version of Windows’, there won’t be any new versions. All you have to do is keep your computer patched with the latest updates and you won’t ever have to move to ‘Windows 11’ or ‘Windows 12’. Windows 10 has improved considerably in recent years so there are many benefits. We therefore strongly advise that you consider upgrading to Windows 10. We would also suggest upgrading if you are still on any of the other legacy Windows Operating systems such as Vista or Windows 8.

You do not have to replace your PC, as it is possible that your existing computer will handle Windows 10. This depends on its age and the version of Operating system that is installed. Microsoft did allow a free upgrade for a certain period which unfortunately expired on July 29th 2016, however in some cases we are still able to get the software upgrade licence free of charge. The upgrade generally involves reinstalling the operating system and programs from scratch.

If you want to upgrade or replace your PC contact us on 01572 770653

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