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Do you Really Need an AntiVirus For Mac Computers?

by Deborah Cruz

Are you a Mac or Windows person? I am 100% a Mac person. Once I switched from a Windows computer to a Mac, there was no turning back. To be honest, trying to use Windows after being a Mac devotee for the past 15 years feels awkward and counterintuitive. Mac has always felt more user-friendly for me. It’s a very intuitive machine and the fact that it anticipates my needs makes me love it even more. However, there’s a common belief that you don’t need an antivirus on Mac because it’s so secure.

It’s true that Macs are not as easy as Windows machines to hack, but nothing’s impossible. The assumption that your Mac is naturally safe from malware can be costly, especially when you’re using your Mac for business purposes as I do. My Mac is the foundation for which my entire website is built upon. The thought of it going down or being susceptible to a virus is terrifying.

Macs make up only a small fraction of PCs on a cybercriminal’s radar. In reality, this is the main reason for fewer security episodes occurring on Macs. Hackers get a better “pay off” when they focus their efforts on Windows. However, this equation can change when you use Macs for business purposes. Businesses usually have valuable information or data that can be stolen or misused. Imagine a situation where your sensitive emails, email lists, documents or designs end up with a competitor! That would be a disaster.

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Although Macs are reasonably secure, users can be tricked into installing Trojans. Not everyone lives with an IT genius like me. I learned a long time ago to not trust any unsolicited emails and never click on anything from an unknown sender. From a security point of view, users are the weakest elements in any computing environment. Can you be 100% sure that your users will not open a malware attachment or won’t be tricked into installing something dangerous?

There is also the threat of deliberate sabotage by a disgruntled or dishonest employee. This is why I have an antivirus installed. As my mama always says, “Better to be safe than sorry.” Installing a Mac antivirus will protect your business from such inadvertent, willful or careless user actions. Although the OS is secure, the same cannot be said about other commonly used software on Macs.

The Safari browser, for instance, has a very poor security reputation due to many known security flaws. Users can also be tricked into downloading plug-ins for video players in the guise of a codec or as an enhancement to the player itself, or they may be tricked into an unsecure Android file transfer for Mac. Installing an antivirus for Mac can help eliminate most of these security threats, which can totally wreck your business.

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The cost of not installing an antivirus on your Mac can be catastrophic when your entire livelihood is at stake. A virus attack can bring your network down for hours or even days, compromise your business network or destroy your data. It can lead to disruptions and direct or indirect losses, including the loss of goodwill and customers. Don’t forget to use the best wifi extender for gaming and business to improve your work. Therefore, it only makes sense to invest in security software.

What Threats Do An Antivirus For Macs Protect You Against?

The urban legend around Macs is that they don’t get attacked by viruses. This may have been true in the past. However, in recent times, the threat threshold has changed. Macs aren’t free from malware threats. This is why it is often advisable to have an antivirus.

An antivirus can protect you against the following threats:

A Trojan is a piece of software which looks legitimate but is actually harmful. People are often tricked into running Trojans when they download internet files or email attachments. Once a Trojan gets installed on your Mac, it can delete files, steal your data, crash your system, download more viruses or create a backdoor which enables a hacker to have access to your system. A Mac antivirus software can protect you against Trojans.

A virus is a software or piece of code which attaches itself to another program, and then reproduces every time the program is run. In the past, it was believed that Macs couldn’t be attacked by viruses. However, this has changed. It’s less like a virus and more like computer cancer if cancer were contagious.

A worm is a stand-alone program which can replicate itself. Unlike viruses, worms don’t need to attach themselves to another program. They can run on their own. Once a worm attacks a system, it begins sending copies of itself to other computers within the network. As it copies itself, it usually deletes important files. Unless you get a Mac antivirus to stop its action, a worm can “eat up” your system files, and cause your computer to crash. Worms can also install backdoors which give hackers remote access to your computer. This is a nightmare and could literally take down your entire business.

A bot is a program which “recruits” your computer for some nefarious purpose. Once a bot is installed on your computer, it enables someone else to have control over it. In most cases, bots are used for creating a botnet i.e. a network of computers which are used for Denial-of-Service attacks. Any decent antivirus for Mac can help you to root out any bots in your system.

Ransomware is malicious software created to lock you out of your system. Once it takes over your computer, it changes the login details, and effectively locks you out. The unsavory people who sent it usually ask you to pay money if you want access to your Mac. If you refuse, they can wipe all your data. This may be the lowest of the low. I’ve actually had someone ask for a ransom without actually installing the ransomware. Thankfully, the Big Guy is an IT genius and stopped me from doing something reckless in my panic.

In a nutshell, those are the five main threats that Mac users have to contend with. Other common threats include spyware, adware, rootkits, and keyloggers. The bottom line is that the threat threshold faced by Macs from malware is steadily growing. This is why you need a good antivirus for Macs. Such an antivirus can not only safeguard your system; it can give you peace of mind.

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Make sure that you protect your Mac computer, friends. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your computer is safe just because it’s an Apple computer. My entire life is on my computer; contacts, photos, videos, my website, and my work. The thought that it could all be taken away in a matter of a few minutes because I didn’t install an antivirus on my Mac is absolutely terrifying.

Do you have an antivirus installed on your Mac? If not, what are you waiting for?

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