does my macbook pro need antivirus/antimalware protection

Richard Christensen
Richard Christensen used Ask the Experts™
A friend of mine traveling in Mexico recently experienced what looked like an overture to
repair/remove the Zeus trojan on her macbook air.  I have a relatively new macbookpro laptop.
Do I need to purchase and install antivirus software on this machine and if so which product
would be worthwhile?
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David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Normally Apple is good about quietly installing code to catch + kill Malware.

If you read their updates related to security, you'll find Apple does a lot behind the scenes.

I switched from Windows to OSX... geez... must have been around 2000ish + have never used any paid for malware scan/kill code, like I had to use on Windows.

Of the dozen or so Macs I've had over the years, I've never had one hacked.

It used to be one of the Apple fan's favorite slogans "You don't need an anti-virus program on  a Mac"....
but it's 2017.... everybody needs anti-virus nowadays, preferably one in combination with a firewall.

There are many AV available, but my favorite comes from ESET. Very little performance loss & updates regular.
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions Consulting

Remember many threats come from email, so watch those links and use a good spam service.
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Yes you need AV/AM, despite any anecdotal "information."  The major AV/AM companies all have a person in charge of a MAC division.  Sophos even has a free offering for the MAC.
Macs getting infected makes news, Windows not so much.
It is becoming common to read that Windows 10 builtin security is good enough to obviate a second AV utility.
My client base hovers around 50-50 Win or Mac.
Phone calls from "Microsoft Security", email scams about infections, and random webpages scareware are platform agnostic.
Educating users about how common these are, and how a AV utility will not protect them from the bad guys scamming is difficult.
Most of my calls from Mac users are about the scareware pages and email phishing.

I recommend Malewarebytes for Mac and Etrecheck, both deal with adware which is the common problem on Macs.
Running them once a month or quarterly or when browsers go wonky is sufficient in my experience.    AdwareMedic was purchased by Malwarebytes...
Beware because my mother recently got her computer totalled due to a "Apple Security" scam (see the article I wrote about it here.  And yes, AV/AM software would not have helped here.  But a good backup would have.
4 years ago I would have said you don't need antivirus on a Mac.  Macs now have had a handful of viruses.  However, that sounds much ore like a browser popup type of malware.  Install an adblocker on your browser and you'll block most of the phishing that comes through that through malicious advertising channels.
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technician


Thanks to all the experts for your helpful suggestions.  Much appreciated.
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technician


Thanks to all of the experts for your helpful suggestions.  Much appreciated.

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