Do I need an anti-virus program for my MacBook Pro?
I have a MacBook Pro. I have just received an email message from a hobby organization that I belong to that evidently some malware was installed on its website and anyone who has visted the site recently should run a virus program. I have visited the website but do not have any virus program on my MacBook Pro. Does Apple offer an anti-virus program that I can purchase?
- Asked by Gerard F from Woodbury
16 Answers from the Community
Apple offers ESET Cyber Security Pro 2014 Edition in the Apple Store. Recently my Macbook Pro became infected with adware or malware. A lot of pop ups, weird search engines etc. It was impossible to use the internet! A friend recommended Adware Medic, I gave it a try and all my problems were solved, just make sure you disable java script on safari before running the scan! Did I mention that it's free! I think that you don't need a classic antivirus for your mac these make your computer slow because of the real time protection, Apple updates offer all the protection you need for viruses. But for the newer types of threats like adware or malware you need to run software like this once in a while or every time you detect something funny on you browser.
- Answered by Carlos R from Chula Vista
I love Apple and their products as much as anyone, and I have white Apple logo stickers all over my the place to prove it. I am not a security expert, but I have worked in the IT industry for 15 years and believe Apple's computers are among the most secure computers available to consumers. Still, I would strongly encourage you to invest in anti-virus software for your Macbook Pro. Here's why:
Some people install extraordinarily robust locks on their doors, security bars on their windows, and monitored alarm systems in their homes. Yet, we know that a determined burglar can bypass those security measures. Does that mean their house is insecure?
Security is a relative concept. It is impossible to make anything perfectly secure. Computers, like locks and alarm systems, are made by humans; humans make mistakes; therefore, computers are not perfect.
This is not what you want to hear; I know. But the bottom line is: EVERY computer is vulnerable to attackers in one way or another. Hackers are notoriously clever and can eventually find a way into any computer, given enough time, no matter how secure the machine is.
The key to good security is to make your belongings less attractive as targets. If I park my bike next to your bike, and I'm using an inexpensive lock to secure it, while you're using a separate lock for each wheel and a third lock for the bike's frame--well, guess who's bike is more likely to be stolen.
So yes, to answer your question in the most exhaustive but candid way I know how, you should absolutely use anti-virus software for your Macbook Pro. I won'd recommend any specific products or vendors, but I will say this: do not buy security products from anyone who claims their offering is 100% effective.
- Answered by Thomas M from Gainesville
Yes, I highly recommend antivirus. I've known a number of Mac users who have had a similar experience with adware which is not often malicious but it can be painful to remove. I currently use Sophos for Mac Home Edition which has treated me pretty well but it did not detect adware for a friend of mine. By the way, I used AdwareMedic to remove adware and it worked well.
- Answered by Michael H from Cincinnati
AVG makes a free anti-virus product that I've used for years on both PCs and my Macbook. I've always had a good experience with it.
Just search for AVG Free. Keep in mind, they do have paid products, and they will try to get you to buy them. Just keep looking for the free option. It works great, in my opinion.
- Answered by Joe R from New Orleans
As a former Apple employee I don't recall Apple having a specific antivirus product on it's shelves for sale at the Apple Retail Store where I worked. I would highly recommend that you install a program(s) that protects you from viruses and malware. I use Sophos for anti-virus purposes and Malwarebytes for malware. Both are free versions and do the trick for me. I don't believe there is any one solution for prevention. Be careful out there.
- Answered by Dean M from Falmouth
I am using Norton. Apple people did say that not necessary, but I am sure it is necessary. You better have it installed. May take up some resources. Some might say it will slow down your computer, but if you do have banking and credit card information on it, I don't want to take any risk.
On the other hand, Norton has been very good in supporting customer distress call (I gave them two, haha). Very helpful. I strongly recommend. Other brand may be good, but I have no experience using them.
- Answered by Lawrence C from Vancouver
I have never knowingly had any viruses on a mac before, it is just more a problem if you are transferring data between a mac and a PC (bad news for the PC). It doesn't hurt too much to get an anti virus such as Sophos (which is free on the mac) but I suppose it could take a hit on the battery life. Chances are the malware isn't targeted at macs, but if you want to be uber safe I would give Sophos a run.
- Answered by Zavier S
I have a MBP retina and two retina imacs. all of them have Sophos for mac installed. I have never had any issues. It has alerted me to some potential viruses which are easily blocked. Look into it.
- Answered by Tushar D from Groton
Now, it depends on if the person that uploaded or injected the virus to the site made the virus activate on your computer by secretly downloading it in the background and running an exe file or a .app file. If the website downloads an exe file, then you are safe because Mac OS X cannot run exe, as they are the file type for windows PC's. But... if the virus was also made to work on a mac and is in .app format, then it may infect your computer, but I'm pretty sure that it would ask you for your permission to run the file if it did thanks to apple's security in Mac OS X. So Im 99% sure that you have nothing to worry about, but just in case, I would bring it to an Apple store and have them check it out. Hope this helped you out and give you a better understanding on why Mac's rarely get a virus. Good Luck.
- Answered by Robert D from Syosset
4 years of using MacBook Air without an antivirus and no problems yet. It depends on how much risk you are willing to take. It's low but never zero.
- Answered by Hassan E from Carmel
If you just use your Mac for browsing the internet and checking email, then basic knowledge on what to click on and what not to click on should serve you well (if you're asked to install software you didn't download or KNOW it to be a virus, just walk away) but if you do online banking or do anything that involves sensitive information, you should install some sort of anti-virus software. It's true that no software is 100%, but think about it this way; of all the people who wear seat belts in the car and get into accidents, not every singe person will survive. But your odds go up quite a bit if you have a seat belt on. The internet is a dangerous place, try and stack the deck in your favor.
- Answered by Kenneth L from Minooka
- Answered by Stanley S
No, no, no, no NO!! Even the AV software that's out there only looks for Windows viruses, so what's the point in installing it on your Mac? All you're doing is slowing down your Mac to protect some other Windows user. Don't waste your time or resources on it.
- Answered by James C from Flower Mound
no you don't most people who try to implant viruses don't mess with mac software because it is to expensive and a pain to put viruses on
- Answered by Todd S from Gas City
- Answered by Derrick T from Ridgeway
- Answered by Gregg S from Nepean