A popular claim made by apple enthusiasts is that their Mac computers cannot get a virus. Is this true? Why do they say this? And what should you do to stay safe if you have a Mac?

First off, the main feature that makes a mac different from a windows computer is the operating system that the machines are running. Both machines will have normal computer components: motherboard, memory, etc. But the programs that dictate how the machines respond to inputs or process commands are drastically different. This means that malware meant to infect a computer running windows may simply not work if the same code is read by a Mac.

Additionally, Macs have a far smaller market share than Windows based machines. This is a large part of why the classic wisdom was that Macs did not need antivirus. Most viruses written targeted windows users, because who wants to write a virus for a small group of potential targets when you could hit a large group?

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A final reason why Mac viruses have been seen as less common is that apple takes much more control on the ability of users to customize and control the software. This means that trying to run whatever software you want on a Mac might now work, as your computer declines to run it. Therefore, writing a virus which will bypass this safety measure is more difficult than writing one for the open windows system.

However, Mac viruses have become more common, and there are many new ones popping up all the time. Currently, businesses using Macs are more vulnerable than ever, as their false sense of security has lulled them into letting their guard down. If you use Macs for sensitive information or business, it is critical that you take the time to ensure that your systems are virus free and protected from malware. Malware has cropped up to steal your personal information, take your money, and control your computer. Just because in the past Macs were thought be safe, it doesn’t mean that your system is safe now. As is often the case, believing something to be risk free can cause the user to take less caution than might otherwise be employed. Make sure to train your employees, as well as have any infected computers repaired by a professional. Just because Macs are less vulnerable, it does not mean that your computer is safe.