I Have a Mac. Do I Need an Antivirus?
Have you ever heard someone say “I have a Mac, so I don’t need an antivirus” and seriously doubted them? Congratulation, you are far more equipped to avoid the dangers of the internet than they are – not because they are entirely wrong, but because you are mostly right.
Although less susceptible to virus infections compared to Windows computers, Macs have become an increasingly more popular target for aspiring hackers. You see, it isn’t that the Mac is impenetrable, it’s that it wasn’t very high on the list of priorities to begin with, due to the massive dominance of Windows computers in terms of sheer numbers. However, you may have noticed more Macs in people’s hands lately, making them a viable target for hackers. It can be argued that using an antivirus for a Mac is even more important because once a successful infection occurs, it carries the risk of spreading wildly across many unprotected devices.
With this in mind, it is important to note that Macs are indeed a tougher target for hackers, requiring additional expertise not needed for Windows penetration. The Mac OS design is based on the Unix kernel which is entirely different from a Windows computer. This fact alone makes it much harder to for hackers that specialize in Windows to develop an effective virus on Apple’s platform. Furthermore, most of the development tools needed to create a virus are exclusive to Windows, requiring a rarer set of skills. On top of this, a Mac is equipped with a built-in security feature called “Gatekeeper” which can prevent any third-party application from making any changes to your system without a special digital signing from Apple.
In short, if you’re wondering whether you should use an antivirus with your Mac, the answer is a resounding YES. Although less common, viruses designed to infect Macs have the potential of infecting a dizzying number of computers, if only because Mac owners have neglected to maintain their computers secure due to how things used to be. Today, with Macs gaining a more substantial share of the marketplace, hackers are shifting their efforts to Macs as well.
Luckily, Mac users stand to gain the most from using an antivirus. The best antivirus software providers have already updated their offerings to include Mac virus protection, giving you all of the security afforded by both a powerful design from Apple as well as the latest cybersecurity features that have been finally become available.