Anti Virus / Malware / Spyware / Adware

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Augustine864, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2013
    I am wary of asking this question since for some reason it's such a sensitive subject, but I will proceed.

    I am getting my first Mac. I want some type of "safeguard" to make me sleep better at night. Please accept that I want something, so if you don't have a software suggestion to make, please do not respond to the thread.

    I am not interested in the difference between virus and malware and spyware, etc. If someone has a recommendation for a program that helps to shield against any of it, real or imagined, I would be curious to know what that recommendation is.

    I did a search and I just found a bunch of people saying, "Mac don't get no viruses, dummy!!" "Name one, just one!" (that one is real popular).

    Please do not tell me that my best course of action is "safe computing practices". No kidding.

    Ultimately, this question is only for those of you running something. If you are, what are you running? Does OSX do anything natively?

    If you are not running any sort of "protection" I would like to politely say that I am not interested in you.

    My intention is to keep this thread argument-free and short. I've heard another user recommend ClamXav but I don't know anything about it. Anyone else use this?
  2. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You will find answers to your questions, including app recommendations, here:
  3. macrumors member


    Jan 31, 2013

    AV-Comparatives is an independent not-for-profit organization offering systematic testing that checks whether security software, such as PC/Mac-based antivirus products and mobile security solutions, lives up to its promises...

    "Mac users can often be heard to say “I don’t need antivirus software, I have an Apple”. Unfortunately, this is a misguided conclusion."

    Look 4 yourself!
  4. tug
    macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    loughborough. u.k.
    i have clamxav installed (just in case and for peace of mind really) its very light weight and never intrusive, if you want it you can find it here;

    but it is always best to read ggj's post above its all you need to know really.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2013
    United States
    Don't even bother with Anti-Virus software. It slows down your Mac.

    If you want one, get a paid one. Their much better than the free ones, imo.

    I'd recommend any Webroot software.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2011
    Lucky Country
    I use the best antivirus on the planet - the idiot pushing the keys!
  7. macrumors 65816


    Apr 3, 2009
    First: There is absolutely no need for Antivirus/malware on OSX!

    Please don't think about using any software. It will slow down your Mac a lot doing nothing.

    The companies are making AV software to earn money from naive Windows users changing to OSX - but there is NO need for it.

    Furthermore, Apple will auto-remove Malware from your system with Xprotect.

    Use your common sense. That's the best protection you get!
  8. macrumors 601

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    OP, sorry, all the things you don't want to hear comprise the best advice on the subject. But if you insist, look for something that doesn't run in the background, something you have to initiate intentionally. Then it won't unnecessarily use up resources when you're trying to use the computer. You can then run your malware protection as often as you want without disrupting other programs. I don't know if such a thing exists, as I've never had 3rd party malware protection for OSX.
  9. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I would expect such a post from a vendor who is motivated to promote their antivirus app. :rolleyes: It's not misguided at all. There is no additional protection available from 3rd-party antivirus apps that can't be achieved by following a few simple safe computing habits.

    Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 12 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). While any user may choose to run them, 3rd party antivirus apps are not necessary to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as a user practices safe computing, as described in the following link.
    Read the What security steps should I take? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for tips on practicing safe computing.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2013
    I too am of the paranoid kind. I installed ClamXav and a tool included within it called Sentry is set to scan my entire Mac all the time. It did not slow my mac down at all. It did catch and eradicate one virus over the course of the last two years. Viruses do exist on Mac, they are rare but they do exist.
  11. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    They are not rare, they are currently non-existing in public circulation. Either you got a Windows virus (which in itself CANNOT harm a Mac) or some other malware, either for Windows (again, CANNOT harm your Mac) or for Mac OS X.

    Since it has been a while, I guess you do not remember that virus' name, thus there is no point in arguing.

    I have fared well without AV software for the past nine years on Mac OS X, and a lot of time was spent on drugs, which made me paranoid quite extensively, and still I have not had AV software installed.
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2013

    Thank you for the advice and thank you for paying attention to the original post.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2007
    Apple does have a page dedicated to "safety"

    A Mac isn't immune to viruses or malware; it just doesn't seem to happen very often. As you are aware, there has never been an OS X virus and Apple has been very quick to issue updates to prevent/remove malware attacks in the past.

    Been using OS X for 10 years on multiple computers connected to the internet 24/7 without any issues. But you have to decide what is best for your needs. There are plenty of options available.
  14. macrumors Core


    Jan 23, 2005
    Partly. OS X has a "malware" list that gets updated automatically. The idea is this list contains known malware and blocks it.

    It is activated by default, buy you can check the screen below to make sure it is on. This is in System Preferences in the Security pane advanced button.

  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2013
    On that page it says "Innocent-looking files downloaded over the Internet may contain dangerous malware in disguise. That’s why files you download using Safari, Mail, and Messages are screened to determine if they contain applications."

    Does that apply only to those applications listed? As in, is that a feature of Safari, Mail, and Messages, or is it a feature of OSX? For example, if my current habits continue, I'll likely be using Chrome.
  16. macrumors Core


    Jan 23, 2005
    You are fine. Chrome has it own, similar protection.

    See below under advanced preferences in Chrome.

  17. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    As ClamXav scans for both Mac and Windows malware, if it was a virus, it was a Windows virus, since there are zero OS X viruses in the wild.
    As already stated, there are zero OS X viruses in the wild. There are trojans, but no viruses.
  18. macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011
    As long as you stay on legit websites and not dodgy ones and avoid being a pirate that uses torrents then you will be fine.
  19. macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    OP, I can tell you what NOT to use:

    Sophos. It's a complete waste of space. It won't even give you placebo protection. I was required to have it when I lived in the dorms at my school. I only just got around to eradicating it from my system. It never found anything on my system ever.

    My boyfriend just got ESET for his new Lenovo, and I believe they have Mac software as well. They're one of the top antivirus software companies out there. Get the paid one, not the free one. AVG is another one that is highly rated.

    Stay away from Sophos, Norton. Mcafee, etc.
  20. Guest

    Sep 15, 2011
    Isn't there a free antivirus software by Norton on the Mac Store? That's what I've been using.
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2010
    You'd really trust Norton/SomeAntics on your Mac?...or even a PC?
  22. macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    In the picture above this post, the settings of GateKeeper are shown. You can pick how restricted your Mac is regarding usage of 3rd party apps.

    1. Mac App Store apps only
    2. Mac App Store apps plus apps downloaded elsewhere that are digital signed by a developer who is registered with Apple. (This is the best for most people)
    3. Any app from anywhere written by anyone

    You can also set level 1 or 2 and make exceptions for particular apps that aren't in the MAS or signed by a developer.

    Other precautions...
    If you don't need Java, don't install it. It is no longer installed by default.
    I don't install Flash, I use Chrome or Chromium with built in Flash player if I really need Flash.
    Java and Flash are the two biggest security holes on computers, besides the end user of course ;)

    If you really want to see what your computer does, install Little Snitch. You'll be surprised at how many apps "phone home" even when you haven't used them is days or weeks.

    Also, the most of the trojans for Macs were for fake anti-virus, Flash updates, or "video codecs". The installer app for these trojans would scan the computer, and if they saw Little Snitch, they wouldn't install.

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