For years, Mac owners famously declared that anti-virus programs were all but unnecessary thanks to both the slow adoption of the operating system spy on any cell phone free software download and the lack of viable security threats faced by Macs. But as you no doubt know, Internet crooks grow savvier by the day. Macs are still among the most secure computers on the market but even they’re not completely safe. Many consumers wonder if they need to download an anti-virus program for their Macs.
The short answer? Yes. After all, it’s impossible to make anything 100% secure. But unlike a PC, Macs are simply less vulnerable to Trojans, adware, and whatever other nasty viruses and bugs are lurking out in cyberspace. If you download programs from the Internet, it’s especially important to consider a program since this is one of the most common ways malicious software can be installed on your system.Still, it never hurts to be prepared.
Some Things to Consider
Anti-virus programs need not be expensive at all. In fact, there are plenty of amazing free or cheap programs available for you to download. While you may not have nearly as many options available as a PC user when it comes to what kinds of anti-virus programs are compatible with a Mac, consider it a blessing. You never had to deal with annoying updates from Norton every time you booted your Mac up.
You’ll likely only need one or two simple programs to help scan for potential threats. Download more than that and you’ll needlessly bog yourself down with unneeded programs. The key is choosing the right one.
If you need anti-virus, the key is sticking with a program that’s cheap and effective. More expensive programs aren’t necessarily better for your Mac and they’re certainly not good for your wallet.
For example, Sophos for Mac is a free program that allows to scan and identify potential threats on your system. While it has been known for slowing down web browsing, it’s one of the most affordable options out there for someone who wants a quick way to present some of the worst threats.
Users who want more features should consider Avast, which offers a free version users can download. It’s easy to use and effectively protects your computer from known threats. And since it’s updating itself all the time, new malware and viruses are identified all the time.
Many users are fans of ClamXav, which scans your system for worms, malware, and so on, relatively quickly. Another alternative is the app Malwarebytes, which can return a report to users in a matter of minutes and helps sniff out adware in addition to malware.
One or two of these programs should suffice. Over three is overkill.
How to Prevent Viruses
But the best protection is prevention. Being smart about how you use your Mac and the Internet will help protect you against most common system vulnerabilities.
For example, never download programs from developers you don’t trust. Ask around and do lots of research to ensure you’re downloading a legitimate program. This applies to websites as well. While this may just be a way too obvious tip by now, don’t click on links that you’re unable to verify are safe. Use a service like Sucuri Site Check to scan dubious links and determine whether or not a website is okay to visit.
Ultimately, no computer is 100% safe, even if they’re as famous for their protective features as Macs are. There is no harm in downloading a free or inexpensive anti-virus program. And by being smart with how you use your computer, you can prevent most viruses from wrecking havoc on your system before they even have a chance to infect you.