Although the attack of viruses and malware on Mac is significantly less than its PC counterpart, that does not mean you should be on your guard. The recent Mac Defender issue has caused many people to panic and Apple has to respond with a security update to fix the problem. Even then, that doesn’t mean it’s safe from all other attacks. As an end user, it is your role to ensure that your system (particularly the virus definition) is up to date.

While Apple releases a new batch of definition files in its daily updates, some users have reported that the files have not been automatically updated as they should. This procedure shows you how to check if your virus definition files are up to date and, if not, how you can update them manually.

Check if your malware definition is up to date

1. In Spotlight, search for “terminal.” Open the Terminal app.

2. Copy and paste this command:

more /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.meta.plist

4. In the code that appears, you should see a last modified date on the code. If this date is today, you do not need to update. If not today, then you need to update your virus definitions manually. The date line should look like this:

How to update your virus definitions

You’re going to love this one because it’s so simple. Just follow these steps:

1. Open your System Preferences.

2. Click on the “Security Preferences” panel.

3. Uncheck the box next to the word “Automatically update safe download list.”

4. Check the box again.

There you go. You will have your files updated automatically. You may want to check your system again with the same command to see if the file is up to date. If you see today’s date, then you are good to go. Otherwise, you may need to check your Mac for 1. viruses that prevent the system from updating automatically, 2. software defects.

There you have it, the best way to ensure that your system is up to date with the virus definitions that are available to you.

Image credit: ?rakaz


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About the Author

Owen Cox

Inventory Specialist

Meet Owen Cox, a passionate gamer with a rich history in the world of gaming. From owning nearly every console since the Atari 2600 to indulging in gaming for over two decades, Owen's love for gaming knows no bounds. With experience in gaming retail, he has had the opportunity to immerse himself in the vibrant gaming community and share his expertise with fellow enthusiasts. Additionally, Owen has worked at Deloitte USI, honing his professional skills in a dynamic environment. Currently, as an Inventory Specialist at Best Buy, he continues to contribute to the ever-evolving landscape of technology and gaming.

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