Can a Mac Get a Virus?

I use a PC computer now and ever since I bought my first PC I have always had problems with viruses.
Also now I have to worry about spyware, malware and adware too.
So I'm thinking about switching to a Mac because I've been told they're way safer.
I imagine Mac computer can also get a virus but I'm not sure.
Is it possible for a Mac to get infected with a virus?

asked by Jordan in Software | 4595 views | 07-13-2009 at 08:59 PM

A Mac can get a virus. In fact any operating system can get a virus. However, not too many viruses exist for the Mac because virus writers focus their time on the OS that is most popular and has the greatest amount of users. Right now that operating system is Windows.
However virus protection is also recommended for Mac users. Using a Mac won't protect you from getting a virus.

answered by Lannie | 07-13-2009 at 09:18 PM

There are some viruses written for Macs but not a lot, so it is possible to get a virus but not likely.
However a Mac OS is no more secure than a PC it is just less attacked.

answered by Floris | 07-13-2009 at 09:25 PM

How not to get a virus, and other information
Any OS can get a virus, a virus is a program just like any other that happens to be bad and there is no sure fire way to detect if a program is a virus as every program is unique, It is best to follow a few rules and use common sense to protect your self.

How not to get a virus

1. Don't fall for anything that says it will improve or protect your computer.
2. Make sure you are running the newest web browser you can get, preferably not a Microsoft Branded Web Browser. Google Chrome is an EXCELLENT choice
3. Use a web based email provider such as gmail (which can use POP just like outlook) rather than Outlook
4. DONT download 'free' games from unknown sources or screensavers (Flash based games played online are perfectly acceptable)
5. Don't participate in file sharing (there are unlimited subscription music services available for around $10 a month)
6. DONT click links inside of emails or chat messages unless you are sure where they lead you. A recommended strategy is to verify that the email message was truly sent by someone you know and not just a random forward or spam or chain email.
7. Make sure your computer is not connected directly to the internet but is behind some kind of a hardware firewall. A simple linksys from walmart will do fine.

How not to get spyware / adware

1. (Follow all of the antivirus rules above)
2. DONT install any toolbars for your browser that are 'branded' (however Google toolbar and other very respectable companies are mostly fine, the MSN toolbar adversely affects the performance of older computers)
3. DONT install desktop based applications from sites especially not weather gadgets.
7. Be careful when installing software to uncheck special offers that you do not require if they appear. Many software installations will install browser toolbars or change your home page.


List of undesired and slow programs:
- Real Player (spyware / slow)
- Weather Bug (adware / slow)
- Alot toolbar (spyware)
- MSN Toolbar (slow)
- Yahoo Toolbar (slow)
- Norton (slow, it is a decent antivirus program, but it's not worth slowing down the computer, its much easier to just follow these rules or use a better antivirus program)
- RegCure (can do more harm than good) (any registry or computer optimizer can do accidental damage)
- Kodak Easy Share (VERY SLOW, use Windows photo gallery if possible, most digital cameras work without installing any software)
- iTunes on windows (will occasionally need to be reinstalled after updates (mac does not make good windows software), use windows media player unless you have an iPod)

- When installing a printer or camera try to just install its driver and not the bundled 'photo software' Microsoft provides decent photo software with Vista, and you can download Windows Live photo gallery for Windows XP. This kind of software is installed with digital cameras and printers and the more you have the longer your computer will take to start up. Don't install anything you don't need and your computer will run well for years.

I have not used anti-virus software for over a year and I have not had a virus in over 5 years. I am a computer technician and I clean about 1 virus a week of clients computers, all of which could have been avoided by these simple steps.

answered by brant | 10-08-2009 at 08:04 AM

wow thank you so much for the info. i used mac and also worried if my mac has a virus. so i need to install anti virus to mu mac book thanks.

answered by Guest | 10-09-2010 at 10:40 AM

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