General Question

desiree333's avatar

Is it true that it is virtually impossible to get a virus on Macs?

Asked by desiree333 (3206points) September 24th, 2011

I just got a MacBook Air and I have heard that you can’t really get viruses on it. I never really got any viruses on my old laptop (a Dell Inspirion) probably because the only potentially dangerous sites I used were Demonoid and TV Duck.

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12 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

You are pretty safe. Lots of people don’t know this but there is a antivirus program built into OS X. It is always running and you never see it. But it checks for a new virus definitions file every day.

It is called Xprotect.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Dangerous malware does exist for Macs, so don’t think that you are safe from them. But there are very few Mac viruses. Very technically speaking, there are no Mac viruses as of 2009. Other malware exists, however, such as worms and spyware. Examples include Inqtana-A, iBotNet, and MacSweeper.

jrpowell's avatar

Here is a peek into Xprotect.

Nullo's avatar

For the most part people don’t bother to write viruses for Macs, as the machines lack the market share for their work to be very noticeable.

Gabby101's avatar

I have heard it explained as @Nullo just did – not enough market to make it interesting for the people that do this kind of thing.

dreamwolf's avatar

Viruses Shmyrishes. <a href=”">This is the reason LION OSX users are not safe</a>
Congratulations on your MacBookAir! I feel you should’ve spent the extra 300 for a Pro though. How can you live with out a CD/DVD drive?!

missingbite's avatar

@dreamwolf Everybody is different. I haven’t used my CD/DVD drive in probably a year. I can’t wait to trade in for a Macbook Air.

Edit. I use the CD/DVD drive on my iMac for burning cd’s but on my portable, not in over a year.

dreamwolf's avatar

@missingbite Yes everyone is different. But MacBookAir is such a cheese product for its price. In my tech opinion its a rip off. One USB port, one “thunderbolt port” which isn’t even as fast as the pros or imacs exhaust. Furthermore its process and memory standard speeds are way below subpar in comparison to a majority of even 300$ windows supported PC’s.One usb port, baffles me. Apple just wants to you to commit to its sleek design, and buy all its separate products, to make a “computer” an actual “tool.” I guess the MacBookAir is good for browsing web and stuff like that, but let’s be real. 1000$ to do that? That is just unwisely uneconomical. Also with a max capacity of 4GB Ram, that’s also a cheese win for Apple. Again I think the bare minimum standard laptops should be at a rate of 4GB Ram, it shouldn’t be it’s max. Again, most 300$ Windows pc’s come standard with 4gb ram. Ask a true techy what they think about macbook air in comparison to a cheese brand computer. The only plus I give MacBookAir is that it runs Apple OS.

Nullo's avatar

@dreamwolf The Air is really just a gimmick. Its main selling point is that it’s the thinnest, lightest notebook on the market.—I headed a group in a Marketing class once where we had to come up with a campaign for a new product. We chose the Air (which was new at the time), and had a horrible time with it. With every re-presentation of the specs (we were comparing with the competing notebooks) the thing just looked lousier and lousier (and that price! ugh), until all that was left was the size.
We saw some nice Lenovos in there. Sure, it weighs another 2 pounds, but it’s got specs worth looking at and doesn’t cost nearly as much.

missingbite's avatar

@dreamwolf @Nullo While I know the price is high and the tech is not in line with larger netbooks or notebooks, it is still running OSX on a very small machine. To many people that is worth the price. I am one of them. I am typing on a Black Macbook with that is over three years old that has about the same specs as the 11 inch Air. The size alone is worth the money for me. Not to mention, with these specs I have done lots of iPhoto work and even iMovie stuff.

I travel worldwide for a living sometimes 17 to 20 days in a row. With the Air I get a very small sturdy laptop running OSX. My coworker bought a $300.00 netbook and got what he paid for. I’ll pay the price and get quality.

desiree333's avatar

@dreamwolf It has two USB ports, not like it’s that important anyways lol.

@Nullo @dreamwolf It may fall short for many people because of things like memory and and the GB space etc. However, these people are typically “techy’s”. I am just a university student who needed a light notebook to carry around without weighing my bag down (I have many textbooks to worry about already!). I also like how it is completely silent due to no moving parts, which is great for the library and lectures. It also shuts down and boots up very quickly so I am ready to get my notes ready before the prof starts lecturing. To be honest, if my OSAP/mum wasn’t paying for it I would never have paid for a MacBook Air with my own money. But if it is technically free to me, who would choose a PC over a new MacBook?! I have never had great experiences with PC’s. Also, my friend has the best Toshiba (or maybe Panasonic?) laptop, which is not even available in Canada yet. She is already having problems with keys and logging in. I find Apple products to be very user friendly, simple/fast, and reliable.

missingbite's avatar

I may also add in Apple’s defense that the Macbook Air is a great 2nd computer. I wouldn’t want to replace my iMac with an 11in Air but it is great for travel.

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