Antivirus on Apple

Users coming from the UNIX side are used to a life without anti virus scanner. Microsoft users feel uncomfortable and naked, if they don’t have a virus scanner. This discrepancy always leeds to discussions about the need of an antivirus scanner on an Apple computer. If you ask the AV industrie, they say you need one. Of course, there is a lot of money to make in this market. Experience shows, today you do not really need one.

Most known malware for Mac has to be installed by the user itself. Being a little bit careful from where you download your software from, helps more then spending a lot of money for software, which just slows down your machine.
Starting with 10.6 Apple started to scan downloads for trojans. There is a file called

/System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.plist

on every Mac containing the signatures of known malware. This file is maintained by Apple directly.

If you decide to install an antivirus package on your Mac anyway, don’t go for the first known one. Use a “Next Generation Antivirus Scanner”. These scanners are behaviour based and not pattern based. They protect you much more efficient then traditional scanners.

Two scanners of this kind are

And now a few numbers to think about:

Known malware for Windows systems: 7’400’000

Known malware for Android systems: 48’000

Known malware for macOS/iOS systems: 320

These numbers cover all versions of all systems. They are from February 2018.

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