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DO YOU NEED ANTIVIRUS PROTECTION ON A MAC?

I ran across this question on another forum the other day and it got me to thinking about the current state of the art.

Background
  • I have blown hot and cold on antivirus software over the past 25 years. Wavering between running without third party protection and a variety of apps ranging from ClamXAV to Kaspersky and currently MalwareBytes Pro.
  • I have long contended the best protection is keeping macOS scrupulously up-to-date.
  • I have always been careful of where I go and what I do on the internet and what software I get from what source.
  • I have never had a malware infection on any of my devices


The Current Environment:
  1. The threat environment has evolved radically over the years. It has become far more organized and far more malevolent.
  2. The “virus” threat of twenty years ago still exists, but the range of exploits and how they are distributed has become far more sophisticated often relying far more on human engineering than software engineering to the point viruses of old are seldom heard of today.
  3. There is a spectrum of threats ranging from “Malware” (ransomeware and other exploits that have very real economic impact), through technically legal but highly annoying adware, to PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs you didn’t know you were getting).
  4. The potential for harm ranges from total financial disaster to annoying pop-ups or sluggish system performance.


The Facts Are...
  1. No computer device or software is immune to attack but some are a lot harder target than others.
  2. Macs and macOS are very hard targets
  3. iOS and iPadOS are harder targets
  4. Beginning with Catalina (macOS 10.15), macOS has included a XProtect a built-in antivirus scanner that “checks for known malicious content whenever...
    ☞An app is first launched
    ☞An app has been changed (in the file system)
    ☞XProtect signatures are updated
    and a corresponding Malware Removal Tool.
  5. Currently I have MalwareBytes Premium


My MalwareBytes Premium subscription is coming up for renewal
  1. Should I renew the subscription?



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