Antivirus on Mac - yes or no?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Ariel12, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Ariel12 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2018
    #1
    Hi guys,

    So I finally bought my new MacBook Air after being a Windows fan for years. I'm not really sure how it goes with antivirus in Mac, is it really necessary?

    I always thought Mac computers are safe from junk but I googled it and it doesn't look like they are… you think Mac can get viruses or be hacked like Windows? How can I protect it?


    Thanks a lot!!!
     
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #2
    I once had a virus when i was running Mac OS 9. That was an experience. But one virus in 30 years, so I think I am fine, and have therefore never used antivirus software.
     
  3. decafjava macrumors 68020

    decafjava

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    Geneva
    #3
    This is the wrong forum btw should be in MacOS apps. But yea no need, I do run Malwarebytes free just as insurance.
     
  4. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #4
    OP, this question comes up quite frequently, and if you are really interested, you can do a search and find lots of threads around here (some are quite long) about this, and it can make for interesting reading.

    You will find a wide range of opinions from those who say it is essential to those who say no way would they ever use it.
    Some will swear there are viruses for macOS (there aren't).
    Others will point out you can transmit Windows viruses (you can).
    Still others will talk about Bootcamp and Windows viruses (separate issue/partition).

    IMO AV is not needed (that could change in the future), and can actually cause more problems than it prevents, depending on what you use.

    What IS needed is common sense, safe computing practices regarding sites visited and downloads and wise use of your admin password.
    There are no viruses in the wild for macOS, but you can still encounter trojans (requiring your interaction/admin password) and some browser type malware (url hijacking, adware).

    Running free Malwarebytes occasionally will most likely rid you of browser type malware and adware if you find you are having strange behavior.
    Other than that, just enjoy your Mac.
     
  5. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030

    Ulenspiegel

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Location:
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    #5
    There is no need. An AV does more harm on Mac than good.
    As decafjava I run Malwarebytes time to time, though it has never found anything for years.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on macOS, and there never have been any since it was released over 17 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect your Mac is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by being careful about what apps you install (no pirated software). 3rd party antivirus apps are not necessary to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as a user practices safe computing.
     
  7. The Man macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    #7
    I would only run a malware scan from time to time, with a non-intrusive app that doesn't need a special installer.

    Simply don't install apps from unsafe places. App Store is the safest.

    Sometimes apps can be hacked, but keep up to date with the app developers and you'll be safe.

    Don't buy into pop ups in safari that says Flash Player needs to be updated, etc. My brother actually got duped and installed malware.

    Sometimes apps that supposedly keeps your system clean will act as malware. Mackeeper is such software. It really is scamware that is heavily promoted on the web.
     
  8. Apple Fritter macrumors regular

    Apple Fritter

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #8
    It all depends. As has been said, common sense alone goes a long way towards a safe and healthy Mac. Then again, Malwarebytes won't hurt.

    I myself use F-Secure, because I'm in a mixed environment and that way my Mac kind of takes care of incoming Windows malware before it reaches those machines. So it's more to the benefit of the entire setup than for the Mac. If it was my only computer, I probably wouldn't bother too much.
     
  9. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #9
    Uh... what did you do in Windows?

    Those of us who have spidy-sense don't need no anti-virus. I "known" when there is something wrong and reload my last good image copy, I don't even bother to waste time running a clean up app.

    In Windows, I used to have to reload several times a year, since OSX, "maybe" once a year if that.
     
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #10
    Have been using Macs since 1985, never had a virus, never used antivirus software.
     
  11. RootBeerMan macrumors 6502

    RootBeerMan

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2016
    #11
    Here's another no for anti-virus. It's useless and slows your machine down. I'll also advise you to get Malwarebytes and run it on occasion.
     
  12. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #12
    Even better, uninstall Flash. I got rid of it over a year ago and haven't had any problems. Adobe has already announced they are going to discontinue it. And if you have uninstalled it, then you'll know that any "flash update" popups are bogus.
     
  13. dwfaust macrumors 68040

    dwfaust

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    I am here => [•]
    #13
    No.

    Delete Flash.
    Surf smart.
    Don't open files from unknown/unverified sources.
    Skip the porn.
     
  14. Ariel12 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2018
    #14
    wow guys thank you so much for all of your detailed answers!!
    So I see most of you don't believe in AVs... anyway if I decide that I'm not brave enough to keep surfing without AV (After all, I've heard about some people who got duped and downloaded malwares and junk and I really don't want to join them:eek:), when I'm looking for the right AV, how can I know the AV I choose is effective? I mean, what are the most important things I should check before I choose AV (I want to choose one and then forget about it knowing my Mac is safe no matter what).

    thanks!
     
  15. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #15
    So why should I contribute here? You’ve asked a question and received an almost unanimous response but then ignored said response. I don’t understand why you’d even ask to begin with.

    MalwareBytes
     
  16. MacDawg macrumors Core

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #16
    There is no "right AV"
    There is no Mac AV that is "effective"
    There is no "my Mac is safe no matter what"

    Practice safe computing habits
    Don't download from shady sites
    Stay away from porn and other nefarious sites
    Know what you are authorizing when you enter your Admin password
    Don't click on browser popups masquerading as warnings

    If you feel like something is "off" with your system, run the free version of Malwarebytes

    There is nothing that will make your Mac "safe no matter what", you still have to be responsible and have common sense
    If you do that, you will be fine
    If you don't, then no AV is going to protect you anyway
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #17
    It's not about "believing in antivirus" apps. You automatically assume that you need one, because your frame of reference is Windows, where true viruses exist and where most malware exists. For Windows, malware is common. For macOS, it isn't. The average Mac user never encounters any form of malware during normal practice. The likelihood increases dramatically if you are visiting shady sites or installing pirated software. You simply don't need an antivirus app to keep your Mac safe, especially if you practice the safe computing tips already shared.

    Safe computing alone will protect your Mac better than any antivirus app.
     
  18. TheSkywalker77 macrumors 6502

    TheSkywalker77

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2017
    Location:
    Florida
    #18
    I wouldn't just say "My Mac won't ever get a virus". Although it's uncommon for it to happen it still can. I'd just say install a trial version of an antivirus and run scans periodically.
     
  19. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #19
    You’re muddying the waters. There are, AFAIK, no instances of Mac viruses. Malware and adware, yes, but not viruses.
     
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #20
    There's no guarantee for future events, but no true virus has ever existed in the wild that affects macOS, so it's not currently possible for a Mac to get a virus, since none exist. That could, of course, change in the future. All macOS malware (which is so limited that most Mac users have never seen any) can be completely avoided by practicing safe computing. With relatively few exceptions, those that think they need an antivirus app to protect a Mac have been drinking the Kool-Aid being served by the companies promoting their antivirus apps.
     
  21. dogslobber macrumors 68030

    dogslobber

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    Location:
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #21
    Most 3rd party AV products are now vectors for attacking systems. Should you really compromise your Mac to protect Windows users?

    I periodically run Malwarebytes but it now has a fancy UI and wants to install all sorts of root processes now.

    Given how everything is going to the Cloud then do we really need to run programs locally? Including AV?
     
  22. thewap macrumors demi-god

    thewap

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    #22
    Viruses are a rare occasion on a mac, I have only experience one in over 30 years. Reducing ads and clutter by cleaning out unwanted cookies and malware is a better maintenance solution IMO. As many have pointed out Malwarebyte is a good app for malware, and many other apps offer solutions to keep your OS lean and mean by periodically cleaning out unnecessary files, caches, and cookies.
     

Share This Page