Thursday, October 22, 2020
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Do You Need an Antivirus for Mac?

Do you need an antivirus for Mac? Some people believe that their Mac devices are powerful enough to provide protection on its own. 

In fact, many believe that because of the technology that is installed in Macs, they are not prone to viruses and malware threats. This is not true at all. In fact, a number of threats that are targeted at Mac have been revealed. While there is some truth that they are less vulnerable to these types of attacks, thanks to the built-in features which are powerful in their own way, these protective measures may not be enough. As such, there is still a need to install antivirus software, experts say. 

Apple’s Reliability

Even Apple does not claim an overall vulnerability with their devices. Why assume? The thought that Macs are resilient to malware attacks could be a dangerous one. Despite the fact that Macs come with amazing built-in features that provide protection, being alert is still a good thing. 

For instance, as you download an app from the internet, Mac scans and checks it using a system called XProtect. The app is being searched for any traces of malware functions. It works as an invisible detective in the background, which means that it requires no maintenance or activation. It also does not affect the performance of your computer. 

Another feature, Gatekeeper, prevents the app from entering and opening without permission if the app has not been signed digitally and marked as safe by Apple. To ensure this, the company has started notarizing apps in order to provide proof of their trustworthiness. To top it off, all of the apps are being sandboxed, which means that they will only be able to do what they are meant to do. They will not be given access to settings and other vital system features. 

Why Vulnerable?

Despite this seemingly resilient armor prepared by Apple, there are still gaps that need to be considered. For instance, the layer of security of MacOS mainly depends on Apple marking quarantine tags to outright malicious and suspicious software. In turn, this results in the appearance of the notifications and warning dialogues when there is an attempt to open them. 

At the same time, the list of malicious files under XProtect does not encompass all there is. In fact, it will only check and compare files against a total of 94 rules. At the same time, it is also only capable of looking out for a number of malware strains. 

Some may say that with the introduction of Catalina, more security is provided. This is true. However, even Apple admits that apps will ask for permission before you can access your documents, iCloud Drive, desktop files, as well as external drives. 

However, there is still no assurance that this can hold enough. At the same time, the very nature of the apps’ sandboxing restricts the workings of any antivirus software, at least when downloaded from the App Store. 

Not Enough Security

Security, regardless of the measures put into it, will never be enough. Completely depending on the system of Apple is not enough. There is a weak link, so to say. In fact, the built-in protection systems of Apple are qualified in performing a poor job when it comes to the detection of adware, as well as possibly unwanted programs. These, among others, are considered as among the most common threats to users of Mac today. 

If you end up succumbing to the dangers of malware on Mac, it is less likely to be caused by a usual virus, but most likely because you were tricked into adding a malicious software that masks itself as a reliable and legitimate app. 


Aside from the vulnerable aspects of Mac security, humans are still the main reason for a security breach. For example, there is a possibility that a user may think that an app is flagged unnecessarily by Gatekeeper, thus opening it unconsciously to malware. There may be a hint of a possibly suspicious website, but since it is well-made, we may only end up giving away our personal data and bank details. These are the things that are being prevented by adding an antivirus for Mac. 

Ann Castro
Ann Castro is a lead author at Techicy who writes on Technology, Home Improvement, and Businesses around the world. With a background in Journalism, Ann has a professional experience of more than seven years working with some of the big media companies. She is also an avid traveler, a singer, and a guitarist.
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