Macs are immune to malware and viruses

There is a common misconception that Apple’s Mac computers cannot get viruses or malware. The belief is that only Windows-based systems suffer from malicious code and annoying bugs.

There is no consensus as to where the claim comes from. But it could also have been Apple itself. Until 2012, Apple’s marketing for its Mac computers included the rule that “a Mac is not susceptible to the thousands of viruses that plague Windows computers.”

Possibly Apple was sued, in 2012, Apple removed the rule and the claim that Mac “don’t get PC viruses” from all marketing materials and the Mac website. An Apple executive now believes the Mac has a massive malware problem. Keep reading for the truth behind Apple and viruses.

This tip is brought to you by our sponsor, TotalAV, Kim’s choice for total online protection. More on that later.

Here’s the backstory

Since changing the marketing details for Apple’s best-selling PC, the company has faced the malware reality. The truth of the claim is a little twisted: Macs can get viruses, but it’s very uncommon for them to do so.

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Apple CEO Craig Federighi was recently asked why macOS supports several online video game stores but iOS does not. His answer? Apple’s “dramatically higher bar” for personal safety, which macOS doesn’t meet.

“Today we have a level of malware on Macs that we don’t find acceptable,” he told Judge Yvonne Gonzalez. Federighi testified in the pending lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games.

So, what’s going on?

In short, scaling up. Malware is not universally developed for all platforms, but is made for a specific operating system and error. An error in a Windows program does not mean there is an error in the macOS or Linux version.

Putting it in perspective, a hacker targeting a vulnerability in Windows could potentially attack 1.3 billion devices. Targeting macOS, the hacker can only reach 110 million. It’s much more economical for a hacker to go after Windows than macOS.

But the long-held theory that Apple devices are immune to viruses is not true. Therefore, you need to protect your machine regardless of the operating system you are using. For full protection we recommend our sponsor, TotalAV

Right now, you can get full protection at for a whole year for just $19. That’s over 85% off the regular price for a full year of coverage on up to five devices. That’s a killer deal. Need help? Tap or click for a quick guide to setting up TotalAV on your Mac.

Here are some tips about how to avoid malware for macOS

Never download illegal or unlicensed software. Only use apps and programs from trusted sources. Make sure your Mac has the latest version of macOS. Reduce the number of administrators on the machine. This minimizes the chance of malware.

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