This is a common question we receive in our store. Especially from Apple users since a huge selling point for Apple computers in the past was that they didn’t get viruses as PCs did. However, it looks like things are changing. Anti-virus is like an extra layer of protection, but they are not created equally. In today’s post, we discuss why having protection is essential. Malwarebytes, a popular anti-malware program, released its 202 State of Malware Report.

2019 Results

In 2019 the number of threat detections decreased 2 percent from 2018. However, the number of threats was 40.9 million, which is still a staggering number. Businesses saw a 13 percent increase in attacks.

Consumer Threats

Source: Malwarebytes

As you can see from the chart, adware was the dominant threat for consumers. Adware is unwanted software designed to display advertisements on your screen. This threat will commonly infect a web browser. The adware will disguise itself as a legitimate program or piggyback on another program to get installed on your computer. Another takeaway from the chart is that Trojan horse attacks are still prevalent, but on a decline – at least for consumers. This trend means the cybercriminals are losing interest in consumer targets.

Business Threats

Source: Malwarebytes

As for businesses, attacks ranged all over the place. As the graph shows, Adware and Trojan attacks spiked early on in the year then went down. Even with the steady drop after the spike, Adware attacks were up 463 percent compared to 2018.  Ransomware was present but not as dominant as in the past. Unfortunately, while the number of attacks is down 6 percent year over year, the sophistication is way up.

Other Noteworthy Takeaways

MacOS threats saw a rise of over 400 percent in 2019. Malwarebytes does say that is, in part, due to increased use of its software on Mac devices. When looking at each endpoint user’s threats, Macs saw 11 threats per device, compared to PC average of 5.8 threats per user. That means PCs were safer than Macs in 2019.

Adware was much more aggressive in 2019. Windows users received an estimated 24 million Adware detections. Mac users saw about 30 million Adware detections. To read the full report, click here.

The biggest thing you can do to protect yourself is to watch what you are doing when surfing the web. Most of these threats disguise themselves as legitimate programs, but if you look closely, inconsistencies will start to emerge. Spelling or grammatical errors are a key giveaway with these types of threats. Piggybacking on legitimate programs is another strategy for reaching your computer. When installing a program, it will prompt you to use the ‘Express’ or ‘Custom’ route. Express will typically have recommended but select the custom option. This will show you everything being downloaded and give you the ability not to install things you don’t need.

Lastly, anti-virus is another thing to have on your computer to keep you safe. Computer Warriors have several protection options designed to keep your computer and data safe. These plans are packed full of other great features like backups, discounts, and more! If your interested in getting more information about our anti-virus protection plans, stop in and see us or visit our website.

If you found this article interesting or helpful, check out our other posts!