Generally speaking. I’ve been asked a lot of questions recently at the shop regarding the slowness of a computer vs. whether or not if it has virus’s on it.
If your running Windows anything, it’s almost a guarantee, disregarding some manually-mandatory factors like defragmenting and disc checking in XP.
However if your running a computer with Mac OS X, you probably did your research with Consumer Reports. Only the most weary will tell you to blow your money on nearly-worthless Macintosh Anti-Virus programs that generally scan for Windows viruses. Let me repeat: WINDOWS VIRUSES! And even then, running scans 24 hours a day on your Mac attachments and your own Mac files will only yield a few a year–all Windows viruses that wouldn’t affect you in the first place. But you will be rewarded by an ambiguous successfully-cleaned-virus message. It will have one of these in the message: !
Just remember, you bought a Mac, in my own fanboys definition that means you invested money at Apple because you trust they are doing the best job, and make the sexiest hardware. If there was a big virus threat on the Mac, all of your cult-of-mac friends would spread the word pretty fast. All the viruses that have ever surfaced on the mac basically require your password to install and next buttons and generally can’t install without your permission.
However, if you absolutely must grab some safety pin for your Mac, as you’ve been attacked by something before whether it be a pc wielding salesperson at the mall or some jerk outside the AppleStore that has warned you of end of days: use MacScan and OS X Rootkit Hunter. Naysayers will hear you, “dammit I have a Mac:” not for pretentious reasons, but because you don’t buy into programs and operating systems that make you feel unnecessarily dumb. For instance, a new user can feel right at home in a couple hours, butterfly stomach and all.
Conclusion: Mac’s are generally safe on the internet.