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Mac Antivirus

Updated on March 30, 2008

Macs don’t often get infected with viruses, spyware or general malware, but the potential is out there. Lots of Mac users don’t think twice about opening unknown emails because they know it poses minimal risk to them – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t creating a virtual threat for their colleagues, friends or family members who use PCs. Just because a virus can’t destroy a Mac doesn’t mean it can’t be inadvertently forwarded in the next email you send out – which your mother or father will not hesitate to open.

That's not to say PC users aren't responsible for maintaining their own computers and keeping their virus definitions (etc) up to date. With a bazillion Windows-friendly trojans and other creepies out there, it's a necessary part of owning anything related to Bill Gates. But that doesn’t mean Mac users should just say “Eff Windows Users!” Which, frankly, is what I’ve heard quite a bit of lately, every time I asked about Mac antivirus software. So, I looked into it myself, because I want to make sure I’m covered. I don’t want to wake up one day and find out I’ve had a keystroke logger on my Mac for 2 years, you know what I’m saying?

Here’s what I found:

Intego’s Virus Barrier ($70)

Pricey, but this is the one to get if you’re going to get something. It catches Windows viruses, too, so you don’t have to worry about sending Grandma the I Love You virus along with her Birthday eCard. Simple to use, doesn’t install stupid crap you don’t want everywhere, you won’t get spammed by their advertising dept and… well… it does what it’s supposed to do.

Mac Scan ($25)

This isn’t antivirus, it’s anti-spyware, which is something you should pay attention to, if you have a Mac. While viruses don’t often infect Macs, trojans and keystroke loggers stand a better chance. This is a simple, easy to use program – and it’s not expensive. If you don’t see the point in antivirus software, this might be a happy medium for you.

Symantec’s Norton Anti-Virus for Macs ($50)

No, thank you. When this product first came out, an announcement soon followed – the software had a major security flaw which affected both PCs and Macs. What’s the point installing this kind of thing when all you’re doing is showing a hacker which rock you hide your spare key under? I had Norton for my PC back in the day – I wasn’t impressed.

McAfee Virus Scan 8.5 ($40)

You may or may not remember when an earlier version of this actually wreaked havoc on Mac users, by deleting all inbox emails. I gotta say I’m not really willing to take their word for it when they claim present versions are A-ok, if you know what I mean. I don’t care what kind of reviews they get, and I don’t care how cheap they make it. No, thanks. Most Mac users don’t have any kind of protection on their computers, and that’s fine. I’m not really here to convince anyone they need it, I’m just showing you what’s out there, if you want it. Personally, I want it.

xx Isabella


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    • profile image

      Yuri 9 years ago

      Macs don't need and never will need antivirus. The only thing to get a Mac infected is to manually approve the install of for example a spyware tool. But even then. Of course if you wanna stay friendly for the pc suckers out there, you can install an AV because it could still infect pc's by passing on viri. Also note that in case someone should find a security hole this is usually updated within a very short period of time. Cheers

    • profile image

      Nour 9 years ago

      Good hub, thanx

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 10 years ago

      Thanks Veronica!

    • Veronica profile image

      Veronica 10 years ago from NY

      I'm Mac, and will never go back. I was aware that I didn't "need" antivirus (yet) but I was not aware that were already these products out there. I had looked into that before I made the big leap this year and trashed all my PC's.

      I will NEVER use another freaking Norton piece of shit.

      I remember when the McAfee crap was happening, it effected so many of my coworkers and colleagues. Yeah, I am with you on that one, I'm not going to take their word for anything.

      I'm thinking Intego and MacScan will be in my future...

      GREAT HUB!!!!

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 10 years ago

      Well.. it doesn't *need* one.. but as more and more people leave PCs for Macs, its bound to become an inevitability. Its mostly to protect PC users though, via sending them infected docs and the like.

      But I should stress that, no, the Mac doesn't need anti-virus protection at this point in time. It's mostly for peace of mind, as the risks are minimal.

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 10 years ago from North Carolina

      Good Hub, I thought Mac didn't need an antivirus tool, I will bookmark this for future reference. It is better to be safe than regret later.