Can Macs get a computer virus?

(Special thanks to author Anna Faller, from AVG. Contents have been edited for length. Please enjoy this very interesting and informative read!

Ah, the age-old question. Do Macs get viruses? Although by now, I don’t think it’s news to anyone that Mac devices can certainly get infected with malware. As technology continues to advance, Macs face an increasing number of online threats. So, how can you protect your Mac? Read on for our complete rundown of Mac viruses and malware. And learn how an antivirus app can keep your Mac safe.

The rise of viruses on Apple computers

Contrary to popular belief, Mac security is far from infallible. There’s a prevailing misconception that Mac computers are somehow immune to viruses and such. That simply isn’t true. But it is true that malicious software for Macs is relatively new to the cyber-scene.

Macs have been available only since the mid-1980s. Windows PCs have long dominated the personal computer market. With such market saturation, the Windows operating system was the prime target for cybercriminals. Macs, by comparison, simply weren’t worth the effort.

But these days, Mac viruses are steadily increasing as hackers create malicious programs specifically for Macs. Malware targeting Mac computers has grown exponentially since 2012, far outpacing similar growth on the Windows side.

According to Vox, Windows computers saw an average of 5.8 threats per device in 2019. Mac saw 11 per. In other words, Macs faced almost twice as many threats as Windows computers. Wow.

And viruses aren’t even the most potent problem. Instead, dangers can come from a variety of forms like spyware, adware, and Trojans. All of which can infiltrate Apple devices.

But just because malware can infect Macs doesn’t mean your computer has to fall prey. The rise in Mac-specific malware has also triggered an increase in antivirus tools for Macs. And there has never been a better time to get your hands on a good one.

High-quality antivirus software can protect your Mac from all sorts of threats. AVG AntiVirus ( combines a no-nonsense malware with a virus removal tool. It has the brawn of a malicious software detector and blocker, so you get protection and peace of mind.

How do Macs get viruses?

Macs can get infected by viruses in same way as Windows PCs. Basically, a computer virus is just a piece of code. It harms your computer by corrupting files, destroying data, and wreaking havoc without your permission. But, what really sets a virus apart is that it’s self-replicating. In other words, it can copy itself across files, computers, and data channels. All without your consent.

Since Mac viruses took so long to surface, it’s a fair question: How do Macs get viruses, anyway? As you might imagine, a virus can gain access to your Mac in multiple ways. A few of the most common channels include scareware, which is a phony virus infection notice.
Scareware ads claim that their ‘antivirus’ software will repair the alleged damage.
Infected emails is another. Viruses can be transmitted through email by both downloadable attachments and within the HTML of the actual email text.

Outdated software is another big source. When you don’t install a patch or update, you’re potentially leaving yourself at risk.

Instant messaging apps like Skype and Facebook Messenger are often used to spread computer viruses through infected links sent through chat windows.

And lastly, there’s P2P file sharing. Peer-to-peer apps like Dropbox and SharePoint, can also be used to create mass file corruption. The thing is, services like these sync information to any computer linked to an account. So if someone uploads an infected file, it’s granted immediate access to all connected computers. Ouch.

Now, viruses are just one type of malware, and there are many others. So, while all viruses are malware, not all malware is a virus. What are some other kinds of malware Macs are liable to get? Ransomware, spyware, adware, trojans, you name it.

Doesn’t Apple protect against viruses?

In the past Macs may have been more secure than PCs. This was mostly because hackers were focusing on Windows. When Macs became commercially available, an overwhelming majority of people continued to use PCs. This meant that targeting Macs didn’t make much financial sense for the bad actors.

And Macs aren’t easy targets. Mac’s operating system, macOS, has effective security features that make infiltration tricky. And while you shouldn’t rely completely on these built-in safeguards, they do offer a good first line of defense.

Macs need antivirus protection, too

It’s not just Windows PCs that need protection anymore. Macs need extra security, too. A comprehensive antivirus tool is the best offense for ensuring the safety and performance of your computer. And Corporate Armor partner AVG Antivirus is among the best. So give us a call at 877-449-0458, or email us at [email protected]. We are happy to help you our many anti-virus products for Mac and PC systems. Thanks for reading!

AVG Antivirus Highlights

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