Macs and Malware – do you need to be concerned? (2014 edition)

 In General, Mac Help

Since my last post about Macs and Malware in 2012 there was a lot of speculation on if the Apple Macintosh platform would become more like Windows in the aspect of needing Anti-Virus software.  Well two years have passed and not much has changed.  In fact in some cases the news front has been much more quiet than expected.  You can read my previous post:  Macs and Malware – do you need to be concerned? for some basic information.

Almost all malware that exists today in the Mac world are still trojans.  That means that you have to actually install some bad software accidentally to get infected.  With the advent of google searching, official download sites, and Apple’s Gatekeeper system built into 10.8 and later – it is harder these days to download infected software.   That along with the fact that most of these trojans are rare and over half of them never were or are no longer a threat.  Apple’s Operating System even has built in mechanisms to help protect against most of these threats.

So do you need Anti-Virus software today?  It’s still a case by case basis.  I do not run it full time on my machine other than for testing purposes.  We can help you evaluate if you need it in a secure business setting or if you would rather have more performance and hold off for now.  The best option out there still seems to be Sophos Anti-Virus.

I have yet to run into a customer that has had a Mac Virus, but what I do run into some today is Ad-Ware.  Ad-Ware is software that can hijack your browser and change your home page and search pages.  It will bring up annoying ads, redirect pages, and can even cause slow downs.  Genieo is an annoying example of this.  Luckily there is a free piece of software available from the excellent site: The Safe Mac that will search for and delete this and other Ad-Ware. As always feel free and contact us through email for any questions or clarifications on this or other topics.

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