Is it possible to hack a Mac? While Apple has worked very hard to make sure their devices are as secure as possible, hackers are working just as hard to access the sensitive material on Apple devices. The T1 or T2 chip might offer an additional layer of security that could stop some hackers from wanting to take the trouble to hack a device. The M1, M2, and M3-series of chips also have additional security features that hackers may choose to avoid altogether. But it’s always a good idea to be aware of the signs of hacking. This article will discuss ways you can tell if your Mac has been hacked and how to protect yourself.
Macs are often purchased over other computers because of the belief that they are more secure. Some believe that Macs are hack proof. However, Macs can have areas that are exploitable by those with nefarious plans such as back doors or even the zero-day vulnerability. Friendly hackers are usually quick to let Apple know when they discover these vulnerabilities so Apple can create a fix. Apple has been known to be quick to fix these, but there have also been times when Apple seemed to move slowly on an identified vulnerability. Yikes!
One of the things users can do to avoid being hacked is to install updates. Unfortunately, some of us like to put off doing an update, but that can lead to exposure from an identified vulnerability. Usually, updates can be installed automatically without a user needing to opt in, but you can always check to make sure this is set up on your Mac by going to System Settings and clicking General. Next, click the i beside Automatic Updates and make sure that the option to Install Security Responses and system files is selected. This will ensure that your Mac is automatically protected whenever an update is rolled out to fix an issue.
Common Methods of Hacking
One way Macs can be hacked is Cryptojacking. With cryptohacking, someone uses your Mac’s processer and its RAM to mine crypto. If you notice that your Mac has slowed down without a known reason, it may be because of this type of hack.
Another type of hack is spyware. Spyware sounds exactly like it is. Hackers try to spy on you to get information that is useful. They can use key loggers to see what you’re typing, and this might eventually give them enough information to be able to log into your accounts to gain access to sensitive information. They can use the info themselves or even sell it on the dark web.
Another common type of hack is using ransomware. Ransomware is when criminals try to get money from you by blackmailing you or through extortion. They may encrypt files on your computer and then say that to unencrypt them, you have to pay.
Signs your Mac has been Hacked
If you think it’s possible that your Mac has been hacked, you can look for some of the tell-tale signs of hacking. Has your Mac slowed down drastically? Does your internet seem to be extra slow? Are you getting some odd ads? Have you noticed unauthorized charges on your bank statements? These are all signs that you might have been hacked.
If you think your email address might have been hacked, you can use the website haveibeenpwned.com to check for your email in a data breech. Whether you have been hacked or you haven’t, it’s not a bad idea to change your email password. You can also check Activity Monitor on your Mac and look for any unexpected network activity. It’s also a good idea to run a security sweep of your system with security software to check for viruses or malware.
Protect your Mac from Hackers
To protect yourself from hacking, only download software from the Mac App Store or official websites. Also, don’t click on links in emails you weren’t expecting. Surf in private or incognito mode when you’re on websites. If you get a ransomeware request or phishing email, don’t respond. The hacker might just give up and think it’s an abandoned email if you don’t respond. You can also get a dedicated security software package to protect your Mac from hacking.