We all know Spider-Man got bit for the better…
But how do viruses infect a Mac? And should you have virus protection software? It's not as easy to find an answer as it would first seem.
This article examines threats Mac users encounter and evaluates the effectiveness of antivirus software designed specifically for Macs. Let’s see how Macs hold up against malware today.
For a variety of reasons, as we shall outline below, Macs have long had a reputation for safety and security. Nevertheless, this perception has changed significantly in recent years: yo-yoing… For instance, Malwarebytes noted a “significant jump in the total prevalence of Mac threats, with an increase of over 400 per cent over 2018” in its 2019 state of malware assessment.
THIS GUIDE: Comes from your friendly, neighbourhood researchers.
Do you own a Tech website? ☑️
With great power comes great responsibility.
You need a way to ensure more of your most important readers find you online, so that more people can use your services for the better!
Table of Contents:
- Mac Needs Anti-Virus (UK Guide)
- Is it Time for Mac Users to Freak Out
- Do Macs Need Anti-Virus (When Downloading)
- Does My Mac Need Anti-Virus (for General Malware)
- Free Mac Anti-Virus Tool
- Tips, Patches & Upgrades
- Use Alerts
- Use a Password Manager
- Other Protections
- When DON’T These Protections Work
- Top Mac Anti-Virus Tips
- Best Paid Mac Anti-Virus: Intego Mac Internet Security
- Conclusion: Do Macs Need Anti-Virus
Mac Needs Anti-Virus? (2023 UK Guide 📕)
Mac’s Malware State of Affairs: 2019 to Now… ⌛
The good news?
Malwarebytes said that “backdoors, data stealers, and cryptocurrency stealers/miners” surged by more than 61% the year later, so you may not want to let out a sigh of relief just yet in 2023.
Malwarebytes said that “overall Mac detections declined by 38%, but Mac detections for companies climbed 31%” in 2021. As consumer-facing malware declines, other annoyance software continues to rise: Just 1.5% of Mac detections in 2020 were malicious, according to Malwarebytes' research; the remainder were caused by PUPs and adware.
Apple Gives Thumbs Up to AVs 👍
Even Apple has noticed that there may be a problem with malware on Macs, contradicting Malwarebytes' findings. When Apple vs. Epic trial witness Craig Federighi testified in May 2021, he said, “Today, we have a degree of malware on the Mac that we don't find acceptable.”
Federighi made the statement to support the argument that an iOS App Store is necessary to safeguard users of the iPhone and iPad from malicious software. On the other hand, he didn't hold back much on the Mac's malware problem.
300,000 Infected Macs 💻
Since May 2020, he estimated that over 300,000 Macs had been infected with malware, and said that even members of his own family have been infected.
Federighi responded to the judge's question on the fact that Mac customers are not restricted to the Mac App Store when it comes to purchasing and downloading software by saying, “Yes, that's absolutely how we've done it on the Mac and it's frequently abused on the Mac.” The iOS operating system has set a much higher standard for user privacy. The Mac just isn't cutting it today.
Federighi continued by saying that allowing third-party software downloads on iOS would be a huge issue since Mac customers don't download as much software. He explained: in spite of Mac users naturally downloading less software and are exposed to a lot less financially motivated threat.
With so many iOS devices and so much money at stake, the iOS ecosystem would be completely trampled underfoot if Mac security methods were applied.
Federighi wrapped off by saying, “Today, we have a degree of malware on the Mac that we don't think acceptable and is considerably worse than iOS. Introducing the same scenario to iOS would be disastrous for our clientele.”
Is it Time for Mac Users to Freak Out? 😱
There is some cause for alarm, but Apple has taken steps at the operating system level to safeguard Mac users from the most severe malware attacks.
You should be safe from these dangers if you supplement Apple's security with a specific Mac security package like Intego Mac Internet Security. We have reviewed many Mac antivirus products and have found Intego to be superior to competitors like McAfee and Norton.
Macs are Hard to Crack but Not Flawless
Built-In Security ✔️
As we'll see, Macs have a lot of built-in security mechanisms that make attacks on Macs quite difficult.
Gatekeeper, which prevents any programme from operating on Macs without permissions if it hasn't been certified by XProtect, Apple's proprietary antivirus embedded into macOS, are two examples. Such safety measures will be discussed in further detail below.
But Macs Can Get Viruses ❌
The term “virus” is used much too often when “malware” would be a more appropriate term. As computer viruses can copy themselves and propagate, that's how they got their name.
Malware Comes in Various Forms
Although viruses tend to get the most attention, malware comes in various forms, and the Mac has sadly fallen victim to several of them.
1. Adware Effects on Macs…
When installed on Macs, malicious adverts displays pop-ups for more software, usually PUPs. Malwarebytes says macOS' built-in measures aren't able to crack down on these as much as malware, allowing for the aforementioned malicious software to get through.
PUPs stands for Potentially Unwanted Programs. For example: Mac Adware Remover, Advanced Mac Cleaner, and Mac Space Reviver are all instances of well-known PUPs. According to Malwarebytes, the number of infected Macs has decreased because of the negative reputations some of these programmes have earned. The general public may now be beginning to see the legitimacy issues with these fake programmes.
3. Ransomware on Macs… 🤠 🚬
On Macs, ransomware has been discovered, however the most recent example, EvilQuest/ThiefQuest, wasn't effective in doing much damage (indeed, many think it only pretended to be Ransomware, but was in fact only doing data transferring). Whatever the case may have been, it was soon detected and put to a halt.
4. LOUDMINERs (oi, quieten down there)…
LoudMiner is just one example of how criminals have tried to utilise Macs to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (aka Bird Miner).
Spyware is created to steal this information because of how useful it is to cybercriminals. The Pegasus malware, which was found on several iPhones, is one such case. This was a big enough deal for Apple to say that it would alert consumers to malware assaults like Pegasus (more on that below).
We've all gotten phishing emails and we all know the risks, but can we be sure we won't fall for a phishing effort to steal our information or login credentials as cybercriminals get more adept (and maybe even learn to spell)? You could be convinced that you'd never fall for a phishing effort, but could you say the same about your parents?
7. Trojans… 🐴
The term “Trojan horse” refers to a kind of malware that is camouflaged as a legitimate programme. Several types of Trojans exist. Hackers may gain unauthorised entry to our systems using a Trojan's “backdoor”, allowing them to steal our personal information. The term “Trojan” is derived from the means through which the malicious software infiltrates your system.
8. Good Ol’ Fashioned Malware…
Malware has also been installed on Macs using tampered USB cables and Thunderbolt adapters. Even Thunderbolt has had security issues.
The Research is Clear 📚
These incidents demonstrate, with near certainty, that malware poses a risk to Mac users, and similar incidents are likely to occur in the future. Soon after its release in November 2020, the M1 Macs were also a victim of the Silver Sparrow virus, which also affected Macs with Intel CPUs.
The good news is that Adobe will no longer be providing updates for Flash after December 31, 2020. At the very least, this should slow down the spread of malicious software that pretends to be the Flash Player for Macs.
Head to our best antivirus 🎉.
Tactics are for amateurs, logistics for experts. So, let’s go into the logistics of staying safe.
Do Macs Need Anti-Virus? (When Downloading?)
You may think it's obvious that Macs need antivirus software now that I've shown you the danger presented by Mac malware, but that's not always the case.
Apple takes extraordinary measures to prevent malware infections, including making it almost hard to even download malicious software.
Helps to Protect Downloads 🏆
For instance, Apple's XProtect anti-malware software, included in macOS, scans every programme for malicious code.
Gatekeeper is a component of macOS that ensures only apps from trusted developers may be launched or installed on a Mac.
Because of these capabilities, your Mac will scan downloaded apps for malware before allowing them to be installed, and it will be difficult to launch software from an unidentified source even if there is no cause for alarm.
In the next section, we'll discuss all of the macOS-specific features that should protect your Mac against malware.
Nevertheless, if you continue on, you'll learn why these protections may not be enough.
Does My Mac Need Anti-Virus? (for General Malware?) ☠️
How Apple Safeguards You ☑️
Macs are typically safer than PCs, but as the Mac's popularity grows, so do the number of those who would want to harm Macs. As a result, Apple has had to include security features into macOS and the Mac hardware itself, to protect and backup your data.
Here we'll examine macOS's built-in safeguards to see whether they're enough or if additional antivirus software is necessary for your Mac.
The Limits of XProtect 🌊🔫
XProtect, the Mac's virus scanning programme, runs silently in the background and never has to be configured by the user.
Whenever you launch a downloaded software on an Apple device, it is compared to Apple's blacklist of known harmful programmes. Apple constantly releases new versions of XProtect, and the upgrades happen automatically, so you're always protected.
This is functionally equivalent to using third-party antivirus software on your Mac, however it has the added benefit of being built directly into macOS itself.
Your Mac May Still Be Destroyed 💥
A clear warning that the files may “destroy your machine”, along with a reference to the kind of virus, may appear if you download and attempt to open files tainted with malware. If such is the case, you need to get rid of the file right away.
For Mac users, this is excellent news, but is it sufficient? What makes XProtect better than other antivirus software? However, XProtect does not scan for as many types of malware as some other options offer, and it is not always up to date. This is our rundown of the top antivirus software for Mac computers.
Limits of Gatekeeper 🥅
Gatekeeper in macOS prevents the installation of any programme that has not been digitally authenticated by an Apple-authorized developer. If you attempt to run or install a programme that hasn't been digitally signed, you'll get the standard “[this app] can't be launched since it is from an unnamed developer” warning.
You may restrict GateKeeper to only install software from the Mac App Store, or you can enable software installation from the web, but only from trusted developers ⭐.
With the release of macOS Catalina, Gatekeeper now performs malware and other problem checks every time an application is launched, rather than just once during installation.
To modify these parameters, go to the Security & Privacy pane of System Preferences:
- ✔️ Go to the General section under Privacy & Security.
- ✔️ Make your selection under Allow Apps Downloaded From.
- ✔️ You may either use the App Market or the App Store plus Identified Developers.
Using solely apps from the App Store is the most secure method, but if you also want to install reputable apps from the web, then using the App Store with Identified Developers is the way to go.
An additional option to turn off the function by selecting “Anywhere” has been removed.
The following Gatekeeper warning may appear if you try to launch an unsigned programme that you obtained from the web rather than the App Store:
This might indicate a malicious software package was nearly deployed. In such scenario, you may want to try installing it nonetheless, despite Gatekeeper's warnings.
Just look for the programme in your computer's Finder. Now, to launch the programme, click on it while holding Ctrl. After that, click Open. Doing so will designate it as reliable.
This second feature may seem appealing, but it allows you to entirely sidestep Gatekeeper's safeguards, and increasingly dangerous programmes are advising users to do this during installation.
Free Mac Anti-Virus Tool 🆓
Apps on Apple devices are restricted to just performing their intended functions because of the Sandbox technology used in Apple's approval process. By isolating from your operating system, your data, and other applications, sandboxed programmes should be unable to do any harm.
It won't keep malware out entirely, but it will reduce its impact.
The fundamental issue here is that only Mac App Store programmes are required to be sandboxed, while all other Mac apps are not.
Not Essential… 🖐️
Even if you don't sandbox, macOS has other protections in place to prevent programmes from accessing your files without your knowledge. All Mac programmes must now ask for permission before accessing files.
To further protect your privacy, macOS will always ask for your permission before allowing an app to use your camera, microphone, or keystrokes.
With the release of Catalina, Apple moved macOS to its own dedicated disc volume (instead of using the primary “Home” partition for user data). Due to its isolation, your system's vital data will be more difficult to access. It should now be impossible for any applications to get access to the system files where they may create issues.
Tips, Patches & Upgrades 📀
There are frequent improvements to the Mac's security provided by Apple (shares). They are normally given quickly, but they may serve to show that the Mac isn't bulletproof, since Apple is always having security holes pointed out to it.
But, at the moment, these patches are delivered along with macOS updates; for instance, macOS Monterey 12.2.1 patched a security hole in WebKit that might have let hackers to install malicious software on Macs.
Upgrade Frequently 💾
Certain Mac users may be less inclined to apply the update immediately, even if scheduled to install automatically, since these security updates are given as part of a bigger upgrade to macOS, which typically needs the machine to reboot during the install process.
Apple plans to push out the security upgrade independently from other macOS updates in the next Ventura release. This will allow for a seamless update that doesn't need a restart for most customers.
Safeguarding Using Passwords and Passkeys 🔢
With macOS Monterey, Apple modified two-factor authentication and enhanced the password management features for users. System Preferences > Passwords is where you'll locate all of your passwords. Your password will unlock a list of all your passwords (you can also get this information on your iPhone under Settings > Passwords).
In addition, a new authenticator has been introduced in Monterey that may be used in place of authentication apps to generate verification tokens.
To add a setup key, choose a password and then click the corresponding Enter Setup Key button (You should be able to get this from your service provider, and after you do the two if a verification, you are good to go).
Passkeys are now the thing ✅
Apple is ditching passwords (NordPass review) in favour of passkeys with the release of macOS Sierra this autumn. Apple explains: “Passkeys utilise iCloud Keychain public key credentials, removing the need for passwords. Instead, they use Face ID and Touch ID for iOS biometric ID.”
Apple claims that passkeys provide superior security. One half of a cryptographic key pair will be maintained on your device, while the other half will be kept by the service you're trying to access.
You can use Touch ID or Face ID on your iOS smartphone for biometric authentication, and it will automatically log you in. It's unclear whether Passkeys will be ready for prime time when Ventura debuts, but significant updates are coming with the next version of macOS.
Use Alerts… 🔈
With macOS Monterey, Apple included a Recording indication in the menu bar, similar to the light that shows the mic is in use on the iPhone, so you can see whether an app is recording you.
In a similar vein, macOS Ventura requires any software requiring pasteboard access to first ask for it.
Safeguards for Safari 🦒
Safari has anti-phishing technologies built in, which may identify malicious websites. If you try to access a malicious website, it will block the page and provide you a warning.
Safari protects you from malicious websites in more ways than one. Apple also provides a way for people to prevent ads from following them online. With a Privacy Report, you may learn more about the many cross-site trackers Apple has blocked from using your data for profiling purposes.
Plug-ins like QuickTime, Silverlight, and Oracle Java won't launch if they aren't up-to-date, which is another precaution you can take to keep your Mac secure.
And thus, given that Adobe has stopped Flash, users should be safe from falling for malware disguised as a Flash Player update.
Safari Alerts ⚠️
While creating an account on a website, Safari will alert you to weak passwords and provide secure alternatives. Your iCloud Keychain will be updated to include this robust password. Compared to using the same password everywhere, this is a much safer option.
If you attempt to log in with a password that is too easy to guess, you will be prompted to change it to one that is more secure. You may also be interested in reading about Apple's future intentions for eliminating passwords.
Use a Password Manager 💼
For certain websites, such as those that require at least one uppercase character, one special character, and one number in a password, Apple's recommended passwords may not be sufficient.
Password suggestions made by Ventura, set to release this autumn, will enable users to be modified to meet these standards. This will be the case initially; but, as we discussed above, passkeys will ultimately replace passwords.
Improvements to Safari's Intelligent Tracking Prevention were included in Safari 15, which was released in 2021. By hiding your IP address, you prevent site trackers from identifying your location and personalising their content to you.
To be sure, go to Safari's Settings > Privacy > Hide IP address from trackers.
Other Protections 🛡️
Many years ago, Apple received a lot of negative attention when several celebrities claimed that their images from iCloud had been stolen.
For more information on preventing iPhone picture hacks, read this. Since then, Apple has added many more layers of protection to iCloud and given customers new tools for keeping their photographs private, such as the option to delete or hide individual photos or whole albums.
Apple is improving this feature in Ventura such that both hidden albums and the Recently Deleted album need authentication by Touch ID or Face ID to access.
With the release of macOS Monterey, a new addition was made to the Mac's Mail app. With Mail Privacy Protection, users' personal information is safer.
If you use this extension, email senders will no longer be able to see whether you have seen their messages or even your general location based on your IP address.
Launch your email programme and go to the “Options” menu to ensure that the functionality is functioning properly. You may enable this feature by selecting Mail > Preferences > Privacy > and checking that Protect Mail Activity is checked (it should be by default).
iCloud Has More Email Security… ☑️
If you subscribe to iCloud, you get extra cloud security for Mail. Make a fake email address that you can use with Hide My Email. The message will still arrive in your inbox, and the secondary message may be deleted at any time.
To activate this feature, go to the System Preferences, then Apple ID, and finally Private Relay (currently in Beta).
Here, in Ventura Hide My Email will soon be available in external programmes.
Safeguards for iCloud Plus ☁️
With the release of Monterey, iCloud users now take use of Private Relay, a new feature included with the iCloud+ upgrade. It functions in a similar manner to a virtual private network in that it encrypts your data in transit and directs your DNS queries via two servers, one of which is not managed by Apple.
Yet, it is not a virtual private network (VPN) since it is Safari-specific and, thus, lacks the standard VPN functionality (In order to save even more, have a look at our top Mac VPNs.)
System Settings > Apple ID > Options underneath Hide my email is where you'll find Private Relay's management options. All of your spoofed email addresses will be shown here; to stop receiving messages at these addresses, just choose the one you wish to disable and click the Turn Off button. As an added convenience, you may modify the email address to which they are sent.
Ventura (and subsequent OS upgrades in Fall 2022) will have a new feature called Safety Check, which will enable users who feel threatened by a known contact to immediately remove that contact's access privileges.
That individual will be unable to see your location, images, or any other information that may lead them back to you.
FileVault 2 encrypts your data and works in tandem with Gatekeeper to prevent malicious software off of your Mac.
FileVault allows you to encrypt the contents of your Mac so that only you can access the encrypted data. If you want to know more about how to protect your Mac, including by utilising FileVault, then read on.
In November 2021, Apple said that it will provide alerts to iPhone, iPad, and Mac users about state-sponsored espionage assaults like the well-publicised Pegasus malware.
Email or text messages will be used to notify you. There will be a similar warning on the user's Apple ID website (appleid.apple.com).
The alert will provide guidance on how the affected users may best defend themselves. Visit Apple's website for more.
Lost Your Data…? Find Me App 🌍
Apple's Find My service shines in the event that a thief steals your Mac and makes off with your data, proving that malware isn't the only source of data loss.
If your Mac is ever misplaced or stolen, the Locate My app can help you track it down. Your data may be erased from the Mac if you're worried it won't be recoverable.
To add insult to injury, the Activation Lock function is included in all M1-series, M2-series, and T2-chip Macs, allowing for remote bricking.
When DON’T These Protections Work? ❎
Cases to Look Out for… 👁️
All of the above is excellent, however, malware has gotten an authorised developer signature in certain circumstances, which means Gatekeeper can be circumvented. Since it was signed by an Apple-issued developer certificate, OS X/CrescentCore was able to get past Gatekeeper. Apple takes a few days to revoke the certification.
It's not only when a malicious programme is signed off on by an official software maker. OSX/Linker was exploiting a zero-day vulnerability in Gatekeeper.
When a vulnerability is “zero days old”, it cannot be patched until it is discovered or reported by an authorised developer. The time limit for the patch to be released is typically 90 days. Sometimes the developer doesn't react quickly enough, and the vulnerability is released.
Apple Can Be Slow
Although Apple is usually fast to respond to security issues, there have been instances when the corporation has chosen to ignore them, such as when a teenager revealed a Group FaceTime vulnerability that allowed anybody to listen in on a conversation and Apple did nothing to address the issue. After this, you may read more about Apple's response to security issues.
In most cases, after Apple is made aware of a security problem, a security update will be released for the current version of macOS and the two previous versions. By doing so, Apple will shield its customers from potential security holes in macOS.
The update should normally be installed as soon as possible. Nevertheless, when users reported issues after applying a security update for Sierra and High Sierra in July 2019, Apple retracted the upgrade.
What Measures Apple Takes When Faced with a Security Threat 💽
The Mac sometimes comes under attack, despite Apple's best efforts to keep it secure.
Although Apple does employ its own security experts, they rely on consumers and other researchers to disclose any vulnerabilities they discover.
Thus, Apple offers an incentive programme that pays up to £150,000 for such findings, depending on the severity of the vulnerability. Yet, this was the last large technology firm to implement such a system. (In 2013, Microsoft implemented its own bug-reporting incentive scheme; the company was criticised for launching the initiative so late.)
Ivan Krstic, Apple's head of security, unveiled the company's bug-hunting reward programme on August 4, 2016. At all times, “we've gotten fantastic support from researchers in strengthening iOS security”, Krstic said of iOS. “[But] it's becoming more difficult to identify some of those most essential sorts of security vulnerabilities”, we've heard on a regular basis. Researchers who responsibly disclose major vulnerabilities to Apple will be rewarded under the Apple Security Bounty Program.
Those who find serious faults in Apple's secure boot firmware components are eligible for the maximum prize of £150,000, while those who find less severe vulnerabilities are eligible for progressively lower amounts, down to £20,000 at the lowest tier. Details may be found in Wired.
Top Mac Anti-Virus Tips 💡
We think most Mac customers will be glad to learn that Apple has an incentive scheme to increase the rate at which its security flaws are reported.
By rewarding researchers for reporting vulnerabilities to Apple rather than selling them to hackers (which is still, tragically, more profitable), the security of Apple's products is improved for everyone.
The High Sierra root vulnerability was found on November 28, 2017, and it was one such weakness. Due to this vulnerability, it may be possible to get unauthorised access to a Mac's settings while using macOS 10.13. Apple promptly published a statement verifying it was working on a remedy, and an update was expected to be released within days.
Macbook Safeguards 🗼
Although while Apple takes several precautions to ensure that your Mac is secure, you still need to take steps to ensure that it remains so, such as downloading updates as they become available, avoiding malicious links in emails, not installing Flash, and so on. You might also look into other antivirus software; we have a comprehensive guide to the best Mac antivirus software here.
The following are some suggestions:
1 – Always use the most recent version of macOS ☑️
Normal advice would be to apply a security update as quickly as possible, notwithstanding what we indicated above regarding the security update Apple subsequently rescinded.
As Apple releases OS updates to fix bugs and security holes, it's crucial that you always have the most recent version installed on your Mac. Regularly checking for OS updates is still a crucial aspect of any good security plan.
Here you may discover details on the most recent releases of macOS, including macOS Monterey and macOS Ventura.
Macs may be programmed to update themselves whenever a new operating system is released. Set it up in accordance with these guidelines.
Methods for Setting Up Automatic Updates in MacOS
- ✔️ Invoke the computer's configuration menu.
- ✔️ Use the “Update Software” button.
- ✔️ Make a selection next to Please update my Mac automatically.
- ✔️ Instead, you may go to the Options menu and choose Automatically: Verify for and, if necessary, install macOS and app store updates.
How to set up automatic updates for macOS High Sierra and earlier versions:
- ✔️ Go to the App Store.
- ✔️ Check for software updates manually (next to Automatic).
- ✔️ You may manually install the updates, or you can have macOS do it for you by checking the box next to Install macOS updates once you've downloaded them.
Updating your Mac manually:
If you don't want your Mac (best Mac VPNs) to automatically update, you should check for updates on a regular basis.
- 🎫 You may visit the Mac App Store to see if there are any available updates for macOS High Sierra or a previous version.
- 🎫 To access Software Update on macOS Mojave and later, launch System Preferences.
After the update has downloaded, you may be prompted to restart your computer. A 460 MB download should take around 8 minutes (during which time you may continue working), but if it's a major update, you'll need to restart and install it, which might take up to 20 minutes, bringing the entire install time to roughly 25 minutes.
2 – Avoid using unsecured Wi-Fi networks ☑️
Whenever you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, keep in mind that anybody nearby might potentially see your activity and steal your passwords and other sensitive data. Intruders may intercept your data by creating a fake Wi-Fi hotspot and passing it off as a hotel or coffee shop's.
A hacker might potentially get access to your Mac due to previously discovered OS vulnerabilities, such as the SSL mistake in an earlier version of Mac OS X, which made it feasible for a hacker to access your system if you were using public WiFi.
3 – Do not download Flash Player 📸
As of 31 December 2020, Adobe wisely abandoned Flash. You shouldn't install Flash Player, as advised by Intego, Malwarebytes, and other security software.
Malware is often spread via fake Flash Player upgrades. If someone is searching for a free streaming link to a famous TV show or movie and finds a result that directs them to a page where they are prompted to upgrade Flash Player, they may be put off.
Because HTML5 has rendered Flash unnecessary, there is no longer any need to have Flash Player installed. Because of this, the easy recommendation is to stop using Flash altogether.
4 – Make sure you're running the most recent version of Java on your Mac 📆
Updating Java (which is itself difficult) is a requirement if you must use it. Bugs in Java have shown that there are cross-platform dangers that even Mac users need to be aware of.
Apple's default setting prevents Java from running, thus it's up to the user to determine whether or not to install the necessary plugins. Be cautious about from where you obtain updates if you find you must make changes.
5 – Phishing emails should be avoided at all costs 📩
To avoid falling victim to a phishing scam, never click on a link in an email that prompts you to submit personal information or download attachments. A free programme like BlockBlock is another option. And even if you did manage to launch the virus, it still wouldn't be able to write files or set itself to run automatically at boot.
6 – Don't be duped by Facebook scammers! 🎭
If something seems too good to be true, it generally is, and you should avoid sharing it on Facebook since scammers target the most trusting users to get their personal information.
If you fall for a scammer's bait and share their post, they may get access to your personal information and the personal information of everyone you've shared it with at the very least, and at the very worst, they can steal your identity.
Don't give out personal information or click on links merely because they were posted by friends.
Best Paid Mac Anti-Virus (2023): Intego Mac Internet Security 💂
Features & Fees:
- ⭐ The number one Mac internet security suite
- ⭐ £20.99 for a year on a PC or a Mac
- ⭐ Great for parents, featuring family configurations
Great for UK Users 👍
The two programmes included in Intego's Mac Internet Security X9 bundle are there to ensure the safety and optimal performance of your Mac.
Both VirusBarrier and NetBarrier can identify and neutralise malicious software, as well as block any incoming or outgoing attacks from the outside world or malicious programmes.
Available for Download 💾
The Mac Premium Bundle X9 enhances these features with three more:
Personal Backup's backup skills (a handy “belt” complement to your Time Machine “braces”); Mac Machine's cleaning, tidying, and general speed-optimizing techniques; and ContentBarrier's multi-user safe browsing intelligence.
Granted, that third option isn't necessary for everyone, but it's fantastic for parents. You can be certain that your Mac will be well-protected no matter which of these packages you decide to install.
Conclusion: Do Macs Need Anti-Virus 🏁
Does a Mac Really Need Virus Protection Software?
After reading the preceding sections, you should be convinced that antivirus software is not a must-have for your Mac. Apple does a decent job of monitoring security flaws and exploits, and the necessary patches to macOS that will keep your computer safe will be sent rapidly through automatic updates.
Unfortunately, Apple isn't always as responsive as Mac customers would want. In such situation, you may find antivirus software, both free and commercial, that may help you rest easier.
Best Antivirus for Macs? 🗿
Intego Antivirus for Mac is our current top choice.
You should be aware that malicious software has been known to masquerade as antivirus software in recent years, as shown with the recent appearance of pop-ups claiming that the Mac requires software called Mac Auto Fixer (at a high price). Another bogus antivirus programme with comparable features, MacDefender, has been circulating for some time now.
MacKeeper is another Mac antivirus firm with a bad reputation. Some prior stories have speculated that it is a hoax or perhaps a virus. MacKeeper has been making efforts to modernise and shed its negative reputation recently.
For instance, it has been granted Apple Notarization, which indicates that Apple has verified that the programme in question is free of any dangerous code.
The firm has also been striving to get certifications from different organisations, such as an AV-Test certificate, to demonstrate that their product is not a potentially unwanted programme. If you're having issues with MacKeeper, we do provide instructions on how to delete the programme here: How to Uninstall MacKeeper.
Finding a Mac Virus: What to Look For? 📕
In order to tell whether your Mac has been infected with malware, keep an eye out for the following:
- ⚠️ Banner ads and browser pop-ups that force you to download software.
- ⚠️ Hyperlinks appearing in the page's text.
- ⚠️ Unauthorized software installation and execution.
- ⚠️ There has been a Mac crash.
- ⚠️ The Macintosh becomes heated when in use.
- ⚠️ Unexpectedly, Mac speeds fast.
Open Activity Monitor and go to the CPU tab if you suspect foul play. If a programme is taking up a lot of memory or CPU time, you should investigate its presence on your computer.