Mac computers have been better protected against viruses than Windows-based machines for many years. But does that mean you don’t need antivirus protection for your Macbook?
Is antivirus necessary for Mac computers? A Mac computer is well protected as long as you keep the operating system and applications up to date with the latest updates from Apple. There is built-in antivirus in the operating system, but it is possible to get viruses on a Mac. Therefore, it is recommended to have a third party antivirus program.
But there is much more to say.
Let’s look at how you best protect your MacBook and what you need to do at least to avoid viruses and similar threats
Can a Macbook Get Virus?
Yes. The short answer is that a MacBook can easily get viruses in exactly the same way as a Windows machine.
Historically, there have not been many viruses that have been targeted to Mac users. The reason has simply been that there were not as many Mac computers as Windows computers. Therefore, one could make the greatest impact by making a virus against Windows.
But today it is changing.
Because there are huge numbers of Mac users today, it has become more interesting for the shady programmers to make software that can damage a Mac computer.
On the whole, you are still better protected with a MacBook than the other computers on the market. The reason must be found in Apple’s business model.
Need antivirus on a Mac?
There is simply no short answer to that. It depends largely on how you use your computer, how many programs and things you download from the web, etc.
Personally, I have never installed a third-party antivirus program and I am now using my fifth Apple computer.
My first Apple computer and an iBook I bought in 2004, and since then I’ve had almost all the models. I have never had a virus and therefore I think it is reasonable to recommend using your Macbook without external antivirus software.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t need an external antivirus program.
Here are some examples of computer use where I would recommend buying an antivirus program for his MacBook:
1. If you download many programs from the web
2. If you download many different games from the web
3. If you often use your computer on unsafe networks.
4. If you have very important information on your MacBook
5. If you’ve previously had a virus on your MacBook
6. If your kids are using your computer
If you frequently download files and programs that your MacBook does not recognize, it may be a good idea to supplement your MacBooks protection with a third-party application.
As we find below, antivirus protection is already built into the operating system on a Mac. But no systems are 100% secure. Therefore, you can easily find that your Mac computer gets infected with malware or another virus.
How Apple protects you from viruses
Every time you install a new program on your MacBook computer, the computer will automatically check if it is released from an already authorized source. You’ve probably seen that you need to click yes a number of times to install some software on your MacBook that it doesn’t recognize.
It’s just one of the ways Apple protects their users from viruses and malware.
A program runs in the background of your computer called X-protect, which scans your computer continuously without having to configure it or install it. It also keeps itself updated. It works a lot in the same way as antivirus programs you can buy from third parties. Here you can read more about how antivirus programs work .
5 tips to keep your Macbook protected from viruses
There are a number of things you can do and that you should do to keep your MacBook computer free of viruses and other malicious programs.
Let’s look at the different best practices one by one.
1) Always update when there are updates
First of all, make sure you always have your operating system updated to the very latest version. It’s the best way to make sure your computer recognizes and detects the malicious programs when they try to infect your machine.
Precisely because many security programs have been built into the computer, it is important that you always get the latest updates.
Just as you always have to update your antivirus software every time there an update.
There have previously been some rumors that your computer may be slower to update your operating system. In many cases, this has actually been true about Apple’s iPhone mobiles and iPads. However, this is no longer the case.
You’ll almost always find that your computer gets faster and starts up faster after you install the latest Apple updates.
2) Avoid installing programs that the operating system does not recognize
Every time you install a new program on your MacBook, the operating system will grumble heavily if it does not recognize the development house that made the program.
You can still install the program, but you must click yes several times.
Here you need to know exactly what you are doing and have high confidence in the developers behind the program. Or do not install the program.
3) Pay particular attention when installing ester programs
However, when you install programs from third-party developers, you will sometimes find that they install other programs in parallel.
This can be done by clicking yes, without you discovering it, or it can happen without your consent.
There are many examples of software that are during installation asking you a number of questions. Here, please answer yes and no to some questions, where all the first ones are quite obviously easy to answer. That is why you can easily print quickly, and behind the last question there is an installation of some malware.
Of course, it is best not to install programs that Apple does not trust.
4) Use a VPN
We have previously written very adequately about what a VPN is .
When using a VPN, it is not possible for hackers to access your data and see what you are doing.
(Or, at least, it is much harder, and they have to take great care to hack you.)
When you use a VPN service to go online, make sure all your data is encrypted and it is a very safe way to browse.
5) Update your browser frequently
Computer viruses and malware often come into your computer over the Internet when you use a browser.
Therefore, make sure to keep your browser software up to date.
As soon as you see the possibility of updating, for example, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc., you need to do so as it gives you better protection against the very latest viruses.
TIP: Always avoid Internet Explorer. Chrome, Firefox and Safari are far safer to use!
The best antivirus programs designed for Macs
We have made a separate article with everything you need to know about the most used antivirus programs .
How do I know if my Mac computer has viruses?
It can be difficult to know if your computer has got a virus. Often, these annoying programs store far down on the computer and try to run without you discovering it.
Here are some things you may be aware of that may be typical signs that your MacBook has been virused.
1) Websites get many more links
If you suddenly find that websites you know have got significantly more links in the text, it can be a sign of virus. It’s a classic way to entice you into websites that the developers behind your virus have made to fool you.
2) Popup windows
Another sign that you’ve got a virus on your MacBook is that you suddenly get some extra popup windows everywhere. It can be when you surf the web with your browser or when you just have one of Apple’s own systems open.
When this happens, please do not click on the websites and sites referred to.
Again, it’s just a way for the developers behind the malicious programs to get you clicked over to some places where they can trick you or install more malware.
3) The computer becomes hot and / or breathable
When running some malicious programs in the background, it will typically take a portion of your processor power.
It can therefore easily help make your computer extra warm or breathing even if you do not use heavy programs.
If so, you also have to become suspicious, as it can easily be a sign of running malicious programs in the background. The best thing you can do is to open this program: Applications> Utilities> Activity Monitor. Here you can see exactly which programs are using your computer’s performance.
4) New programs and tools pop up
If you find different toolbars or new things you can click on may also be signs of malware.
It is important that you do not click on items, buttons, links and the like that you do not believe belong to your computer.
Why is a Macbook better protected than a Windows computer?
A Mac computer does not contain as much third-party software, so Apple has much more control over which software is running on the machine. It makes it more secure.
A Mac computer has most of the software and hardware directly from Apple. Whereas a computer with Windows is produced by a large number of hardware manufacturers, it also varies greatly, which software people install in addition to the Windows operating system.
It also means that a MacBook will stay vulnerable, the more external programs you install on it.
Another reason why Apple computers are safer than than Windows computers is to be found in the operating system building blocks.
The computers from Apple run on a Unix-based operating system, and it provides a number of security benefits.
These systems do not allow the user to read many rights to change system settings. With a Mac, you simply do not have as many rights as a starting point, as is the case with a Windows machine.