Do I need antivirus software?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by hkriffraff, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. hkriffraff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #1
    I'm not too concerned about my powerbook getting infected, but do I need to worry about infecting PC users (recipients of email) with any dormant viruses on my system? If I'm running OS X with no antivirus, won't all kinds of PC viruses accumulate on it?
     
  2. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #2
    Nope. Any pc infected user can't affect your mac. If there is a virus on your pbook you wouldn't notice anything because it would effect it. Mac OS X has no viruses/spyware. There was one trojan made by intego but, it didn't really do anything. It was exploiting a security issue in it and apple made a patch for it like 2-5 days after the trojan made its debut.
     
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Do you need antivirus software? No. Should you use antivirus software? Yes. You cannot be directly adversely affected by any extant virus. However, you can be a carrier. It is your responsibility to do whatever you can to interrupt the flow of viruses and other malware. With antivirus software installed on your Mac, you can remove viruses from infected files that you receive from your Windows-using friends.

    Imperfect analogy: Should a terminal cancer patient practice safe sex?
     
  4. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #4
    It always pays to be a good citizen, or you could be evil and infect PC users to convince them why you need a Mac;)
     
  5. paxtonandrew macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    I Come From A Land Down Under
    #5
    Thats what I do :rolleyes:. But on that topic, I do have an Antivirus program. My work now fully uses macs, and just after they 'switched' all of the eMacs they use were uploaded with Nortons. I borrowed the discs and put it on all of my Macs capable of running OSX. It is good when a Windows user sends you an email with a virus, but otherwise there is really no point of keeping it on your Hdd. I would say there is no need for one, and I wouldn't use one unless i could have gotten it for nothing.
     
  6. beefcake macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #6
    One of my friends will occasionally send me PC viruses via email. Really irresponsible, but thats why I don't keep an address book and remember all major email address I'll be using.

    Side note: It's always fun to be browsing an add-loaded website, click a link, and see a spyware .exe harmlessly download to desktop.
     
  7. jhu macrumors 6502a

    jhu

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    #7
    unless it's a word macro virus, then you could be in trouble. in general though, you probably don't since most viruses can't run on a mac.
     
  8. Felix_the_Mac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I don't use AV myself.

    The good citizen argument isn't very convincing since you'd most likely notice that the email that you might be forwarding has kournikova.exe as an attachement.

    However, my main reason for definitely not using AV is the massive speed impact that I am accustomed to it having on Windows PC's. In my experience it takes about 1GHz of subjective processor power to operate the AV scanned in the background. (Does that make sense? I mean it makes a 1.7GHZ machine seem like a 600 Mhz machine)

    Does it have the same effect on Mac?
     
  9. Nspace macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #9
    I honestly think that AV software for any computer is simply a waste of money and resources. I have used a Windows PC since 1995 and I have got maybe 2 virus's in all of that time, both of which were easy to get rid of without the help of AV software. Just be careful on the internet. If I can stay basically virus free on a pc anyone can on a mac.
     
  10. Felix_the_Mac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    NSPACE:

    I went to help out a neighbour the other day and found that their 6 month old Win XP machine had no AV software. When I installed some 7 viruses were found.

    In the recent past viruses don't seem to have been doing anything really nasty.
    Probably because they are no mainly programmed by professionals for business purposes (think Russian Mafia).

    However there is no reason why tomorrows next big thing shouldn't be a virus which first overwrites and then deletes all the files on your disk.

    A Windoze PC should not be connected to the internet without AV software.

    BTW, the avergae time for getting a worm on an unprotected windoze machine is now 25 minutes.
     
  11. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #11
    I don't run AV software myself, but it's probably not a bad idea - it's sort of "the right thing to do", I guess. Honestly though, on a Mac, you really have no reason to, and I suppose if you forwarded PC viruses along to PC users this could cause some trouble, but it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Myself, I'm on my Mac, behind a firewall, I install all Apple security updates as they are released, and my ISP employs excellent spam blocking and virus checking of all inbound e-mails, so there's no real reason for me to use AV software - I feel pretty safe. :cool:
     
  12. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #12
    I've experienced the same thing far too many times myself when helping friends out with their PCs. Between running Norton AV, SpyBot and AdAware, I have found hundreds of problems on people's machines before and it never ceases to amaze me how careless/ignorant some people are to these types of security issues.

    And then there's my one friend who bought a brand new Dell, nothing much pre-installed other than the usual basics, and the first things he does is install Kaazaa. I came over that night to install Office for him and his autoload on his CD-ROM no longer worked and his machine was pretty @#$%ed already! I just shook my head, did my thing, and eventually got everything working again.
     
  13. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #13
    I wouldn't :X
     
  14. hkriffraff thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #14
    As I say, I'm not too worried about my own machine. But since I frequently email my boss from it and send my resume to potential employers, I don't think it would help my prospects if I passed on a virus! I'm surprised that this isn't an issue for everyone...

    Are Virex and Norton AV my only choices? Which is better?
     

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