Mac computers are generally seen as less vulnerable to viruses than Windows PCs, but does this mean that you don’t need to fork out for third-party anti-virus software? This blog will take a look at the ins and outs of Mac v PC in terms of virus vulnerability, and what you can do to stay safe online.

What is a virus?

Viruses are small programs that infect your computer. They are designed to spread, replicate, and cause damage. By gaining access to your system, they can infiltrate its resources, steal personal data, and spread themselves further via emails and removable media. A computer virus is similar to a biological virus in that protection and prevention from spread is key. 

What does anti-virus software do?

Anti-virus software is designed to protect your computer and its files from potential threats. It works by monitoring your computer for malware—programs that can damage files or steal information. Malware includes viruses, spyware, worms, Trojans, adware and other malicious programs. Anti-virus scanners are constantly scanning for these threats in your system to ensure they don’t do any damage; if a threat is found, it will block it and alert you. 

Differences between PCs and Macs in terms of virus vulnerability

PCs run on Windows, a system that’s notorious for its vulnerability to viruses. However, Macs are immune to Windows viruses because they run on Apple’s own operating system (OS X), which, until recently, was deemed to be safe from computer viruses. However, a 2020 report showed that Macs are increasingly vulnerable to attacks, in fact, the increased threat was in excess of 400%.

Is a Mac more protected against viruses?

However, this doesn’t mean there’s a need for immediate panic. Apple puts measures in place at OS level that protect from the biggest threats. But there does seem to still be a need to add that extra layer of security; you can’t beat the value of peace of mind, after all.