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Do I need Antivirus on my Mac?

Hi there, this is Nick with the MadGear Computing team. I often hear people say that they don’t need antivirus software on their Mac. It may have been true in the past that Macs were far less susceptible to viruses/malware than their PC counterparts, but gone are the days of proclaiming Macs free of malware.

Now you might be asking why you haven’t heard more on this issue. Surely it would be big news if the Mac platform were targeted by programmers of viruses and malware. While Macs have enjoyed a boost in popularity following the iPod and iPhone, Mac computers still hold only a fraction of the market share that Microsoft has dominated over the last two decades.

For evidence of what a major issue viruses and malware are to Macs, we don’t have to look very hard for evidence. In response to the MacDefender/MacSecurity/MacProtector malware threat, Apple has released patches to help remove and protect against this software. They have also put up a support page for those who already may have been infected with this software, dated as recently as 6/8/2011! (See http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4650 for details on how to remove the MacDefender/MacSecurity/MacProtector malware)

Just because Apple has acknowledged the new malware threat doesn’t mean Macs are unsafe to use. Like using any device with an internet connection, one should follow the guidelines below to ensure their safety:

  1. Always make sure your computer is fully updated with the latest patches
  2. Make sure your computer is running antivirus software with the latest virus definitions
  3. Pay attention to the webpage’s URL, if it doesn’t match what you expect don’t stay on the page
  4. Don’t post personal information, as even your private Facebook page isn’t entirely private
  5. Never share your passwords and make sure your password is too complex for someone to guess

Before you run out and buy antivirus software for your Mac, keep in mind that not all antivirus software has to come at a high price. Check out our Recommended Software page for a list of free or low-cost alternatives for your Mac antivirus needs.

From the entire MadGear Computing team, so long and remember: When your gear’s gone mad, get MadGear Computing!