David Papp Blog

Do you need Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware programs on your Mac?

Well I suppose it really depends on you and exactly what you do, or maybe it really doesn’t? Are you the kind of person who constantly and wildly installs and runs random programs they come across? Or are you the kind of person to come across an application and do a quick google search first?

Hard-core and constant Mac users sometimes claim that malware scanners offer a lot more potential harm than they do good, especially considering the massive lack of malware apps for OS X. However, this statement contradicts those who may not have the ability to avoid all potential avenues of attack and infection on their systems.

Sandboxing is another premium security feature on your Mac. It forces the apps you’ve downloaded to play in its own personal sandbox by isolating access from other apps and sandboxes. So even if the app is malicious and tries to escape its own sandbox , it can’t because it’s restricted. This statement is yet again contradicted by those who feel more harm is done then good due to unwanted files, bugs, lack of support and other problems.

Here is a list of 12 Antivirus Apps for the Mac.

I feel undecided on this topic… Should you install Antivirus/Antimalware software on your Mac?

22 thoughts on “Do you need Anti-Virus/Anti-Malware programs on your Mac?”

  1. Even though I don’t have a mac (yet. I want one!) I have come across the claim you don’t need to protect them as you do PCs. I found such an attitude risky even if its true there are a far less forms of malware for Mac than non-macs. So, I was hoping to find an answer to the question. Even if I didn’t get one, the article was interesting, so thanks.

      • Sorry, clicked the enter button by mistake. Anyways, what I wanted to say is that I think I read that you are not supposed to protect a Mac like you protect a PC because there are more Windows users compared to the quantity of Mac users. Plus according to the article I read, the Mac comes with a build up protection that is was stronger than what Windows offers.

        But that doesn’t mean Macs can’t get virus, they do! I’m happy being a Windows user for now 🙂

  2. Yeah I’ve heard the same talk that Macs are so secure that you wouldn’t need the use of any program that could potentially protect it from threats. That’s shortsighted though, as your Macs could be in real danger if you download a rare, malicious app. Good thing I am the type to research an app before I use it, but I’m sure many others don’t. It’s best advised that Mac users get Avast and protect themselves regardless. It takes up much less resources to effectively work and it has a great sandboxing feature to prevent attacks before they happen.

  3. I have installed the Avast anti virus just in case because I’ve had 2 laptops that have crashed because of some deadly virus. So now, I’m just really paranoid about these kinds of stuff and make sure I do a thorough research before I install or download anything.

  4. I personally don’t use any anti-virus or malware software because my Mac doesn’t always have the virus, which I think it’s more secure than the Windows OS. I think Mac OS is very good about protecting the computer when I surf some websites that seem to be virus-prone, which then the browser tells me whether or not I should open it. I have found that the anti-virus or malware software is unnecessary for my Mac, and I haven’t used one for 10 years.

  5. In my opinion all anti-virus software on all platforms are rather unnecessary. They slow down the entire system and often spam users with annoying pop-ups. Users should use some common sense while operating their computer and no virus will ever infect it.

  6. I remember when my dad got a MacBook Pro a few years ago. He was so excited about not having to worry about viruses. It almost hurt to explain that any computer can get a virus, but less viruses are made to affect Macs.

  7. Well, it is better to be safe than sorry. I am not usually paranoid about security threats or anything really, but you did offer some great insight on what I should be focused on. I am one of those people who claim with a high level of certainty that my macbook is super safe.

  8. Macs are not secure. They false sense of security comes from the fact that macs are Closed Source, which means none of the code is available, except parts of the BSD kernel. Because of this, security systems are still needed on macs.

  9. The only software that I use is Norton. I have not used any other type of Anti-Virus software so I do not know how all the other ones are or if they are good or not.

  10. Mac has lesser virus and malware than windows, because windows operating system is more popular than Mac Operating System but this doesn’t mean you are free from virus, although there are few but still can get into your Mac system. It is still better to have anti virus installed.

  11. I had to install one on mine since I go back and forth with my Windows and Mac, I know Mac’s don’t read viruses native to Windows but sometimes my Mac gets “infected” by Windows based viruses and malware and when I transfer files my Windows get’s it.

    • I’m just curious, what kind of viruses did you get from your Mac? I’d like to know just in case.

  12. I do use Antimalware software on my Mac. I think it’s better to be on the safe side when it comes to things, even if the Mac doesn’t really have OS shattering viruses and malwares like in Windows it’s better to have one just in case some maniac tries.

  13. I use the program built into my browser. It lets me know when sites might contain malware or be compromised. I’ve never had problems with viruses (knock on wood) but I try to be careful. Macs are less prone to getting them but I know times are changing on that front.

  14. Macs are very intuitive in the way that they protect users from things like this. OS X benefits from its very closed ecosystem, just like iOS. You sacrifice in freedom and productivity, but gain security and simplicity.

  15. Rumor has it that the Mac does not need any antivirus software because the way it is built makes it virus proof. I thought it was a very big deal, when I visited the Apple store, because the operating system was super safe. This post suggests that the Mac may not be as safe as I thought it was.

  16. IMO all operating systems are vulnerable to viruses. There will never be an operating system that won’t have a bug on it, because humans are so far the only ones that can code, and humans make mistakes. So yes, it is required for a Mac to have an anti-virus, because while it may not be such a target because of it’s tiny user base compared to Windows, there are still viruses that can and will infect it. The same goes with Windows. It’s technically secure like Macs, but it depends on where you go. As long as you steer clear of shady software, and don’t go hunting for anything obscure, you should be fine.

  17. I have an old macbook which I use pretty much daily (mostly in bed watching various shows before bedtime and such).

    I’ve always had the impression that there are no viruses to be scared of on mac. However I suppose nowadays nothing is safe whatsoever. I personally am going to stay away from antivirus because my macbook is already slow and old as it is so I’m gonna keep my performance, haha.

  18. To be honest I don’t know much about this topic, other than the things I’ve read about Mac and how good their built in security is stronger than what Windows has to offer. I have never had a Mac myself, so I can’t really talk much about it, but from what I read Macs can get infected with virus, it might not happen often. But I’d still think it twice if I had one. To be honest I’d not risk it if I had one… I’d install a really good antivirus even if I had a Mac. Not worth the risk… better safe than sorry!

  19. Quick answer is: if you already have a mac and you don’t have antivirus or antimalware software installed, you probably believe the hype that macs can’t be infected, and nothing will probably change your mind- I know this because I’ve tried to change a few mac users’ minds before. It’s like they don’t listen to reason.

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