Do You Need Antivirus Software for Your Mac?

Macs are incredibly popular computers. They’re used for everything from music production to video editing, and users love their simple, user-friendly interfaces and powerful specs. One idea you may have heard is that Macs are immune to computer viruses and that they do not need to use anti-virus software. Is this true?

Digital security is an increasingly pressing concern. As our lives increasingly shift into the digital space, it’s vital we understand the threats and how to protect ourselves against them. Limiting what you post online and contacting data brokers to opt out can be effective methods, but they’re no substitute for sound anti-virus software. If you have a Mac, do you really need to get anti-virus software? Read on to find out.

Types of Computer Virus

Before we discuss whether or not Mac users need to use anti-virus software, it’s helpful to go over the different types of computer viruses you might come across.

Resident viruses can establish themselves within the memory of your computer. Here they can disrupt your computer’s functionality, and they can be incredibly difficult to detect. File infecting viruses target specific file types, particularly .exe files. Whenever an infected file is opened, the virus is activated. Browser hacking viruses infect internet browsers. They can direct you to dangerous websites or even steal login information.

Computer viruses are extremely complex, and they are constantly improved upon and developed to circumvent the latest security systems. If you have a Mac, you may assume that you don’t need any anti-virus software and that the in-built security features of your computer will be enough to keep this safe. Is this true?

Do Macs Get Viruses?

In years gone by, Macs were far more resilient to viruses than their Windows counterparts. However, as viruses have developed over time, Macs have increasingly been targeted by cybercriminals, who designed viruses that could infect Apple products.

So, in short, Macs can get viruses. While they may still be less vulnerable than Windows, the idea that Macs are completely immune to computer viruses is, unfortunately, a myth.

Part of this is due to how popular Macs have become. The market share for Macs grew by 60% in 2022, and their popularity continues to increase. This has led to increased attention from cybercriminals, who have developed new viruses to target Mac computers.

If your Mac is performing strangely, overheating, or if you have noticed suspicious apps or files that you haven’t downloaded, this could be a sign that your Mac is infected with a virus.

How to Choose Antivirus for Macs

Macs do come with in-built security systems, but to properly protect yourself you should always install a third-party antivirus software package. Look for anti-virus software that is Mac compatible, and always ensure the software you choose contains a regularly updated database, this way it will be capable of handling the latest emerging digital threats.


It’s a common misconception that Macs can’t get viruses, but unfortunately, they are susceptible to modern-day digital threats. The best way to protect yourself and your data is to have anti-virus software in place and follow the best cybersecurity practices.