Do Mac’s get Viruses?

This is a question we get asked a lot here at The Tech Lounge, and it’s much easier to answer than you might think. So although we have to say it’s not a very good question, we’ll come on to that shortly.

Yes, Apple Macintosh computers can and do get Viruses. In fact, it’s possible for them to be infected by all sorts of nasties, including Malware, SpyWare, and AdWare.

Now let’s look at why it’s not a very good question.

Let’s start by understanding what a computer virus is. A “Computer Virus” can be defined as;

a piece of code that is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data.

The reason it’s not a very good question is that it’s possible to write code that can cause havoc with any computer system. For example, at its simplest, we can write a bit of code that uses the delete command and deletes everything.

However, just because something is possible doesn’t mean it will be done or easy to do.

Most people asking this question usually mean, “Are Macs more or less likely to be infected by Viruses etc., than a Microsoft Windows PC?”

The answer to that is just simple, in our opinion. “Macs are much less likely to be infected by Viruses etc., than a Microsoft Windows PC, but it’s not impossible.”

This is down to two main factors;

  • Many more Microsoft Windows PCs are out there, making them a much more attractive target,
  • The way Microsoft Windows is written makes it much easier to develop and spread viruses.

Now that said, more and more nasties are finding their way onto the Mac platform, and as the Apple Macintosh user base expands, it may become a much more attractive platform for those criminal masterminds who write such things, but the underlying architecture of Apple’s Operating System will make it a lot harder, but not impossible.

If you work with Windows-based PCs, we still advise running Anti-Virus software on your Apple Macintosh computers, as it’s still possible you could unintentionally send on a virus that doesn’t cause problems for you but might for the recipient.

It might be worth noting that provides all its contract customers with FREE Anti-Virus software, both on the Mac and Windows platforms. Check out our IT Support & Maintenance Options.

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