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Does Your Mac Need Antivirus?

There’s a general perception that Macs are more secure than Windows PCs, but is that really true? Another common query is whether you need to install antivirus software on a Mac. Answering these questions isn’t always easy, as there are plenty of factors that need to be considered. However, we can certainly identify some key facts and make some critical observations to at least simplify your decision making. If you are thinking about using third-party anti-virus software on your Mac, here are some key things you need to know.

Inbuilt security systems: Present generation Macs offer a high level of security, which many experts consider to be better than that of Windows PC. Mac security comprises both hardware and software components that can store your data in a safe and secure manner. At the heart of Mac security is Apple’s T2 chip, an advanced system that integrates various features such as secure boot, Touch ID, and encrypted storage.

Runtime protection: Mac also comes with runtime protection to safeguard your data and transactions. Macs come preinstalled with antivirus software that works in the background to keep your system safe. The antivirus software used on Mac comes with features such as system integrity protection (SIP), address space layout randomization (ASLR) and execute disable (XD). Antivirus definitions are continuously updated to ensure effective protection for your Mac.

Safe browser: Mac comes pre-installed with Safari browser, which is ranked amongst the most secure browsers currently available. Some key security features include intelligent tracking prevention, strong password generation, and automatic protection from fraudulent and dubious websites.

Rising cases of malware attacks: Even when Macs come with advanced security features, they are not completely safe. According to a leading cyber security firm, malware attacks targeting Macs have more than doubled in 2019 in comparison to 2018. As a matter of fact, the number of detections for Mac was higher than that of Windows PC in 2019. This justifies the need to add another layer of security to your Mac. Most of the top cyber security firms have specialized products for Macs, which again indicates that these systems are not 100% safe.

Careless users: Many times, security is compromised when users are unaware of the dos and don’ts or if they fail to follow prescribed usage guidelines. For example, using weak passwords, not updating their systems or accessing unknown websites can increase the risk of security breach. This is where a third-party antivirus software or internet security software can help reduce the risks.

It’s quite clear from above deliberations that Macs can be run without anti-virus software, provided that you follow prescribed guidelines. However, if you want to reduce risks to the minimum, it would be better to install a third-party antivirus on your Mac.

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