There has been a lot of publicity about the recent Flashback Trojan threat to the Mac. Headlines like “600,000 Macs infected” have some Mac users worried that the Mac is going to become as prone to virus and other Malware attacks as the Windows system. I think the threat is highly overblown, and much of the hype is from Windows antivirus software developers. Within the last year several have offered new free antivirus apps for the Mac, possibly as a way of getting their foot in the door for future paid versions.

In my opinion the threat to the Mac is minimal, but there are two reasons that you might want to run Antivirus software on your Mac. 1) A feeling of reassurance (particularly if you are an ex-PC user and used to the extreme level of threats in the Windows world, and 2) To prevent the spread via email or other means of Windows viruses and other malware  to friends’ PCs, even though they won’t harm your Mac. Should you choose to run antivirus software, it should have a nearly imperceptible impact on computer performance while protecting against realistic threats. Both Sophos and ClamXav can do this.

The presentation at the meeting briefly described viruses, Trojans and other Malware and which are a possible threat to the Mac. The two free antivirus apps ClamXav and Sophos were compared. Clicking the PDF icon will download this presentation.