Macs aren’t completely immune to viruses

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This is a guest post by Sofie Olsen

Contrary to common belief, Macs are not invincible machines. They have a reputation for being virus-free, but many people believe this is simply because there are less Macs than Windows PCs. The smaller market share means virus writers have traditionally focused their efforts elsewhere, leaving the Mac alone. Macs are, however, not immune.

Initially, Macs and the Mac OS X operating system fitted as standard were seen as being protected against all things malware related. As time has gone on, the volume and sophistication of viruses and malware attacks has increased, putting increasing numbers of computers at risk.

Many Mac users feel they won’t fall victim to any virus lurking on the worldwide web, but this isn’t entirely true. According to Kapersky, there are more than 30,000 new internet threats detected every single day, which emphasises the importance of having adequate antivirus software to protect your Mac.

Earlier this year, a fake antivirus program specifically targeted Mac OS X users who were running Safari. While it wasn’t a virus, the trojan – called MAC Defender – did infect Macs, making the computer open websites at random, as well as giving users’ personal information to third-party sites. Apple was fairly quick to stem the problem, issuing a patch shortly after reports surfaced, but it proved that Macs are not invulnerable.

Macs are unlikely to ever be as at risk as their Windows PC counterparts, but they are still susceptible to viruses and malware. For the thousands of attacks launched against PC users each day, Mac users only ever see two or three, but they do still occur.

Downloading antivirus for your Mac is a good way of protecting it against the majority of threats lurking around online. As well as this, users would be wise to follow the general rules of internet safety – avoid downloading programs from unknown sites and never give out any of your security details.

Do you use antivirus software on your Mac? Do you see it as a necessity, or is it just a way for antivirus companies to make money by scaremongering? Tell us your thoughts in the comments. 

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  1. I have a sneaking suspicion that my Mac would be just fine, but I’m a “belt and braces” sort of person so have installed Kaspersky to be sure.

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