Marshall Adult Education



TECH TIP:  Antivirus Software for a Mac
Here's a Quick Tip - to view the links in the article below in a new window, right click on the link and click on Open in New Window.  OR, you may be able to hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the link to do the same (some pop-up blocking software prevents this option).

It is very unlikely you will ever get a virus on your Mac mainly because they are written almost exclusively to affect only Windows operating systems.  You still should take precautions.  The number one precaution is never open an attachment from someone you don't know.  It's ok to open the email - you can't get a virus from opening an email (despite what anyone might tell you).

Now even though you can't get a virus, you could still send someone a virus. If you receive a Microsoft Word attachment with a virus and open it, you won't get the virus yourself.  But if you then forward that email to someone else, you will forward the virus.  If the person you send it to has a PC, they may get the virus if they don't have the proper antivirus software.

So, the question is:  Do you install antivirus software (Norton Antivirus is the best) or don't you?  I haven't run anti-virus software on my Macs for over 10 years now.  I had used Norton but eventually I just stopped renewing it.  I have never, ever gotten a virus in 20 years of using a Mac.  There are just a handful of viruses out their for Macs.  (There are 80,000 for PCs). The last big one was around 10 years ago that attacked a Mac through the auto-play feature of Quicktime.  (So go to the Auto-Play control panel and shutoff Auto-Play).
There are no known Mac viruses for OS X.

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not advising you not to get antivirus software. I'm just saying that for me, I am careful with my surfing and I don't forward attachments to my PC friends without first scanning them for viruses, so I choose not to use antivirus software.  If you feel uncomfortable not using antivirus software, by all means, spring for the 50 bucks and buy it (or use the Free Virux referred to below).

Probably, the only reason you will need anti-virus software is if you receive an attachment that has a  virus (that doesn't effect you) and then forward it to a PC person, they may get the virus

There is an excellent FREE antivirus software that has been around for years for the Mac.  It is called Virex.  It is available here:
Click on the Virex 6.1 link if you are using any system software other that OS X.  (If you have OS X, then you have to use Virex 7.2.1

Norton Antivirus Software is probably the best - read about it here.

Want to learn more about Mac viruses, read this lengthy article (it is several years old but still relevant today):