Forum Question: How Do I Choose Antivirus Software for My MacBook Air?

I’ve owned only Macs for 17 years, and I’ve never used antivirus software, and I’ve never had a problem.

But a company I’m now contracting with requires me to have it, because I’ll be networking with their PCs.

I’m completely ignorant in this area, and was wondering if you could recommend something that will satisfy IT without making my Mac run sluggish.
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Cameron

Comments: 6 Responses to “How Do I Choose Antivirus Software for My MacBook Air?”

    4/7/18 @ 7:24 pm

    I don’t recommend using any antivirus software on a Mac. At best, it will slow down your Mac looking for malware that an up-to-date macOS system will already be immune to. At worst, some of it is pretty much malware itself, bringing your Mac to a crawl and showing you ads for upgrades and other things.

    Tell this company that you have anti-virus software. It is called “XProtect.” That’s just the part of macOS that protects against malware. It gets updates just like Windows anti-virus too.

    Cameron
    4/7/18 @ 8:07 pm

    They want me to present a certificate to show what I’m using and is the up-to-date version. Is it possible to get this type of documentation for XProtect?

    4/7/18 @ 8:41 pm

    Cameron: I doubt you could get that. I’ve never heard of it. You may want to push back on them with it, explain that you are on a Mac, not a Windows computer. If you end up being forced to have an AV app on your Mac it would be a shame.

    Joss
    4/8/18 @ 4:23 am

    There is a built-in antivirus software in macOS: XProtect has the malware definitions, and MRT.app in /System/Library/CoreServices is the malware removal software (automated); it’s not as great & versatile as Windows Defender, but it will do the job regarding Mac malware. There’s also a freeware app called UXProtect by Digita Security (digitasecurity.com) that you can use to proactively scan files, add yara rules/definitions yourself, and not rely on automated scans by Apple’s MRT. (CONTINUED)

    Joss
    4/8/18 @ 4:33 am

    CONT: But they might want you to have an AV software that also detects Windows malware, since you’re networking with PCs, i.e. they might not want you to unwittingly spread a Win malware on the network. I believe that every Win client should be responsible for its own security, so you shouldn’t really have a Mac+Win AV software, but if they force you, I suggest ClamXAV (clamxav.com). You’ll be supporting a small developer, not one of those doom & gloom Mac AV snake oil corporations.

    Joss
    4/8/18 @ 4:45 am

    CONT: as for the certificate: I never heard of anything like this. You can, however use the aforementioned UXProtect to show the current & the available version of Apple’s XProtect, also in the Terminal: /Applications/UXProtect.app/Contents/MacOS/UXProtect -g
    Use UXProtect or (in Terminal) the -f option to force-update XProtect if the version numbers don’t match, but macOS usually does that automatically.

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