Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Do Macs Need Antivirus or AntiMalware Software?

Not really.

If you own a Macintosh or are thinking of switching to a Mac, you might want to read an article by Steve Sande in the Rocket Yard web site. He writes:

“One reason that many people move from the world of Windows to macOS is because they’re tired of the hassles of having their PCs infected with viruses and other malware. The other reason? The miseries of the tools that allegedly fix those problems but cause even new PCs to run slowly and crash more often. When new Mac owners first set up their new machines, one question they may have is whether or not they’re taking a risk by not installing that same genre of application on their Macs.

“The answer to the question “Do Macs need antivirus or anti-malware software?” is “No, but…” As a Mac user since late 1984, I have never had a virus, and I’ve rarely seen malware that caused an issue for more than just a few minutes. That includes the early days of Mac when the operating system wasn’t Unix-based with all of its built-in security features.

“So, as a longtime Mac owner and user, a former Mac consultant, and a writer specializing in the world of Apple devices, I’ve usually used my Macs with absolutely no anti-virus or anti-malware software.

“Am I just lucky? Not really”

I agree with Steve Sande. I have been using a mixture of Macintosh, Windows, Linux, Android, and Apple iOS devices for more than 20 years. I use the Mac much more than all the others combined. I have no anti-virus software installed in the Mac and have never had a problem.

You can read Do Macs Need Antivirus or AntiMalware Software? at

One amusing story:

About three weeks ago I unboxed a brand-new Windows 10 PC and set it up for a friend. A 90-day copy of “McAfee Total Protection” was included. During set up, I registered “McAfee Total Protection” and even ran a scan of the new computer’s hard drive. The scan didn’t take very long as the hard drive only had the operating system installed at the time.

About 90 minutes later, a message appeared on the screen:

“Your personal files are encrypted!

“Your files have been safely encrypted on this PC: photos, videos, documents, etc.”

(Some wording is skipped here.)

“In order to decrypt the files, open your personal page at…”

That was followed by instructions in how to pay the ransom in Bitcoins.

The amusing thing is that I had not yet installed any applications! There were no “photos, videos, documents, etc.” on the hard drive! Apparently, the ransomware locked up some empty folders. The interesting fact is that the ransomware had been surreptitiously installed even though the latest version of McAfee Total Protection was installed and running.

I have never seen anything like that on a Macintosh.

Categories: Uncategorized

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