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Experts predict rise in Apple malware

Experts predict rise in Apple malware
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

You've been hearing a lot about cybercrime this past year. That includes frightening online crimes like ransomware attacks, where criminals threaten to blackmail if you don't pay them, or spyware, where criminals are literally watching you in the privacy of your home.

There have been data breaches and ID thefts that you left you, your finances and your digital devices susceptible to serious crimes. It also includes a rapidly increasing number of attacks on Apple devices.

"Today's cybercriminals are skilled enough and sufficiently resourced to have the persistence and patience to carry out highly successful attacks on consumers, businesses, and governments around the world," according to cybersecurity firm Symantec. "Their efforts have turned cybercrime into big business with private information being stolen on an epic scale."

A growing number of cybercrimes is targeting the one-time rarely attacked Apple. Last month, for instance, we told you that five times more malware was found on the Apple OS X operating system than in the five previous years combined.

That may have been just the beginning. Among Symantec's top predictions for 2016, at No. 2, is, "Opportunities for cybercriminals to compromise Apple devices will grow."

The cybersecurity firm points to Apple's popularity as the key reason for this. It says Apple accounts for about 13.5% of smartphones and 7.5% of computers sold worldwide.

The sheer number of Apple products means hackers have more opportunities to attack them. But Symantec also notes that cybersecurity researchers who search for vulnerabilities in operating systems and software have dug deeper to uncover security holes on Apple devices.

Symantec urges Apple users that they "should not be complacent about security and change their perception that Apple devices are free from malware. This perception opens up opportunities for cybercriminals to take advantage of these users."

So, what can you do to keep you Apple devices, your ID and your financial information safe? Visit the Komando Security Center often for tips on staying safe, including suggestions for anti-virus software programs.

Note: Are you wondering what Symantec's No. 1 cybersecurity prediction is for 2016? That's this: "The need for improved security on Internet of Things (IoT) devices will become more pressing."

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