Macs have a lot of built-in features that can be powerful tools in the fight against malware. But are they enough? These features come with every Mac by default, so is there really a need to install third-party antivirus software on your computer?
We asked the experts. And Macs really do have some stellar built-in tools that protect you right off the bat. For example, when you download an app off the internet, your Mac checks it against a list of known malware apps using XProtect. And now, Apple has even started notarizing apps so that they can prove they are trustworthy.
What about the new security features in MacOS Catalina, due to launch this fall? Reed also believes the nature of sandboxing on MacOS actually restricts antivirus software, at least if you download it from the App Store.
Even if you grant access to the entire hard drive, many of those files cannot be removed by an App Store app. This means App Store antivirus is less likely to be able to detect all threats and is also less likely to be able to remove all threats. What about the common criticism that antivirus apps put an unnecessary strain on Macs, slowing them down and adding unwanted bloatware? McElhearn feels this concern is overblown.
There are further indications that we are often the weak link. For example, while Gatekeeper can block apps that originate from third-party or untrusted developers, it can easily be bypassed by the user with a couple of clicks. While Gatekeeper gives you plenty of warning that ignoring its checks is a bad idea, it still lets you do it with relative ease.
Both points cut to the heart of the biggest vulnerability in Mac security: Us. Do you see a popup message saying your Mac is infected with viruses?
This popup message may appear in your browser Safari or Chrome etc. Specifically this popup message says:.
Your system is infected with 3 viruses! System damage: Immediate removal required. The immediate removal of the viruses is required to prevent further system damage, loss of Apps, Photos or other files. Our deep scan will provide help immediately!
The message you see may be slightly different than this. The message may also tell you to call a number. This is a tech support scam. The alert is not coming from Apple or Apple Care.
Do not call the number or do not click Scan Now. You should not interact with pop-ups or webpages that seem to take over your screen.
These web sites and messages are designed to steal your personal information. Just ignore everything what the message says and do the followings:.
If the steps above does not work, disconnect your Mac from the Internet, and delete cookies and other data and reconnect to the Internet. See also: Safari Says: Not Secure.
Beware that many keylogger-based malware or viruses also periodically secretly take screenshots, so be careful not to expose any passwords by copying and pasting from a document, for example, or by clicking the Show Password box that sometimes appears within dialog boxes. Hit Continue. How do Macs get viruses? Drag it to Trash. Follow the tips below to protect your Mac and keep it free from viruses. If you see it, follow its instructions. The above steps worked for me but now my keyboard is mistyping.
What Does It Mean? You may also want to check your Safari extensions.
Remove any extension that you do not recognize.