Apple endorses antivirus and security software on Macs

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Apr
07

By: switchtoamac at: 12:36 PM on April 7, 2008 | Comments (7)

Things that make you go hmmm.  Mac users are quick to argue that Macs are not subject to virus infection.  Apple even touts this fact in numerous ways including on their web site and in their "Viruses" Get a Mac ad.  If that's the case, why is the Apple store selling antivirus software for the Mac? Is Apple endorsing antivirus software for the Mac?

The answer is Yes
Despite touting the security features of Mac OS X, the operating system for Macs, Apple actually encourages Mac users to run virus and security software.  Many of you are probably thinking, no way.  You'll find Apple's subtle endorsement on the Viruses page of the Get a Mac area of the Apple web site.  The following statement is made by Apple on that page:

"A Mac running with factory settings will protect you from viruses much better than a PC, but it’s never a bad idea to run extra virus and security software."

So there you have it.  Apple actually endorses the use of antivirus and security software on Macs.

Is it needed?

So does this mean that Mac users need to go out and buy antivirus and security software?  No, as there are no known viruses that can infect today's Macs.  I suppose the decision on whether to use them rest solely on the user.  If you are running Windows on your Mac (boot camp or virtualized), you'll surely want to install security software on Windows to protect Windows.

Apple sells the following Mac antivirus and security software from Intego at the Apple Store:

7 Reader Comments

I think it depends on who you are and what your use profile is.

Rich Mogull has some good recommendations for different scenarios in a recent column:

http://db.tidbits.com/article/9511

..."A Mac running with factory settings will protect you from viruses much better than a PC, but it’s never a bad idea to run extra virus and security software."
So there you have it. Apple actually endorses the use of antivirus and security software on Macs."

Well, that's not an 'Endoresment", that's actually a statement from Apple that a Mac user IS adequately protected without further software needed.
Note the word "extra", which, by definition, means not essential.

RSD

Look at it this way: Apple is encouraging us all to be good netizens, cleaning up the viruses from the various MS-Word files that pass through our Macs, protecting the unenlightened who still roam around on Windows machines.

Just think of Macs as an extra layer of anti-virus protection for Windows. :D

M

When Apple says, "... but it’s never a bad idea to run extra virus and security software." -- that's the equivalent of saying, "but the human race could be wiped out by a big undetected asteroid from our solar system."

It's nothing more than a "long-shot qualifier statement" and nothing more.

Your chances of winning a million-dollar lottery are fairly NIL, "but" you may be the one who wins, because usually someone does (at some point). BUT, I wouldn't make my financial decisions for the future on the basis of winning the lottery.... LOL...

Likewise, the chances of getting an actual working and "out-in-the-wild" computer virus is ABSOLUTELY NIL on the Macintosh -- BUT -- it doesn't hurt if you get anti-virus software.... LOL!!

I am using the Webkit and I believe it is quite "open" but I don't have to worry about Miller kind of exploit because I uncheck my open safe file box in preference, don't click links in emails and don't unnecessary install apps especially unknown website.
Safari spell check is a killer app.

The real problem for computer users who surf the net are themselves - Miller's exploit happened because the user activated it.

I bought Norton Antivirus for my last Mac to be extra safe and never detected a virus. I migrated to an Intel Mac, which turns out to be incompatible with Norton and won't uninstall. So now the only viral activity I have is Norton popping up all the time saying it won't work. I'll have to go into UNIX someday to dig it out.

Ok, so the debate is to run such software or no. I personally am more comfortable running antivirus software on my Mac than not running it. In fact, I've been using Intego since version X4 (they are now on version X5). Although Mac OS X is not subject to viruses today, it may be in the future. You never know!

So, I'd like to be protected just in case. I run Windows on my Mac using VMWare Fusion and I've installed an antivirus program for Windows.

I agree with you, it's personal preference.

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