Virus/malware protection? Is it needed?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
I'm new to macs, and before I buy, I would like to know what the mac community says about virus protection and/or malware protection.

I don't plan on running any microsoft products.

Do you run any protection on your mac?

If so, what should I run?



May 16, 2006
There are no viruses for OS X. There is no need for protection. The only virus scanners for macs scan for windows viruses, in case you plan on sending a file that may have a virus on it to an unprotected windows computer...

Mr Skills

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2005
Macs have a superior security model to Windows. This does not make viruses impossible but far more unlikely and difficult to create successfully. This - and, to a much lesser extent, the Mac's small marketshare - have meant that in 6 years there has never been a successful virus attack on the Mac. There have been one or two botched attempts and a couple of 'proofs of concept' which virus-protection companies claim to have created.

The two main reasons you might want virus software on your Mac are to protect Windows users (you could pass on a virus even if you are not affected by it) and to protect against Macro Viruses which can be present in Microsoft Word documents.

Relatively few Mac users have virus protection. Since most models of virus protection are retroactive (after a virus is found, they provide a fix) the first victims of an attack would likely be unprotected anyway; the others could get their protection when they saw this unlikely event light up every news network in the world.

If you do want to be a model citizen and protect your Mac, many people recommend the open-source ClamX AV which is completely free to use. Whatever you decide to do, don't get Norton!


After G

macrumors 68000
Aug 27, 2003
Only get AV if you work a lot with non-Mac users.

And even then, don't pay for it. Get ClamXAV or something. Just practice good computing (don't go to strange sites, don't open unknown attachments, etc.) and you'll be fine.

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