The true usefulness of Virex and Norton.

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by stoid, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
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    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #1
    I was chatting on the phone to a friend of mine about general 'geek' stuff, and we were discussing the uses of dotMac. We cam to the conclusion that it is useful if you are syncing multiple Macs, but a waste if you just have one machine, especially a laptop. Then he brought up the point that dotMac gives you Virex, and then we remembered that Mac OS X has yet to get any virus. At that point I had a revelation, a new way to describe the usefulness of Virex or Norton to Mac OS X. I think it so witty that I have included it in my sig. (Reprinted for this thread so that it will still be here in case I change my sig later).

    Using an antivirus program like Virex or Norton on a Mac is like wearing a condom when you masterbate, it just gets in the way!
     
  2. paxtonandrew macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    I Come From A Land Down Under
    #2
    I only use them to detect Windows viruses in my emails. I really have no other use for it, and the version I have is so out of date, I am questioning the usability of the program as a whole also. It is like a chicken/egg scenario. It we have the Virus detector, one day, if we do get a virus (an eventually we will) we will be safe as a Windows computer is now. If another Blaster happens, the whole of the windows world will be in turmoil, and we, the Mac users, can sit back and laugh, but if we get a Virus, we will be in a lot of trouble, especially if there is one tomorrow that nobody knows how to get around, especially Apple, or the Virus companies. They are good to have if you have a lot of Windows using friends, but otherwise, I fail to see the use for one.

    All this talk of viruses reminds me of a funny story, which happened to my Wife earlier this year. She is studying as a Radiologist, and had a Thesis to hand in on the day after Blaster hit. There was only 2 in her class to hand the thesis in, and the rest had an automatic fail. The majority of the class now uses iBooks, or PowerBooks, with only 4 people hanging on to their peecee notebooks. The moral to this story, use Macs if you are in University, and have an important assignment to do, as a peecee laptop will contract a virus the day before the assignment is due, and disable you from handing the assignment in.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
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    Location Location Location
    #3
    Don't they allow for extenuating circumstances? Surely even the computers at uni's were all hit, as were all the computers around them that could get on the internet. Your wife's school couldn't have failed everyone. If they had, all the failed school could have made a request for extenuating circumstances.

    I sorta take Radiology, and I know that I'd be able to hand it in whenever was reasonable, although I use a Mac, so it wouldn't matter to me. ;)

    If your WinXP didn't crash a lot (like my PC), you may as well have stuck with Windows, because you could have detected Windows viruses on a Windows computer as well. ;) Using a Mac allows you to not worry about viruses OR the virus checkers. By using a virus checker, its like keeping a part of the Windows world in your life.
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    USA
    #4
    I remember a time when there were a lot of Mac viruses. They didn't do much harm, but they certainly did no good. The spate of Mac viruses gave birth to the freeware Disinfectant and such commercial utilities as Symantec Antivirus for the Macintosh and Central Point Antivirus for the Macintosh. The Mac hardware design was a virtual guarantee that antiviral software on the Mac worked. Within a couple of years, viruses on the Mac were a thing of the past with fewer than one new Mac-exclusive virus per year. In the meantime, the hardware and OS design of MS-DOS/Intel and later Windows saw virus infections skyrocket in spite of antivirus software.

    That there are no MacOS X viruses is a tribute to its BSD base and its Unix permissions model. However, if anyone is ever smart enough to crack that model to produce a MacOS X virus, it will potentially more dangerous than the System 6 viruses of old. I confident that this will not happen, but I am by no means certain of it. Antivirus software maintains a vigil and is our first line of defense. Although there are no MacOS X viruses to defend against, it can still disinfect files from your less enlightened Windows-using friends. And something that people forget, some of us have files dating back to System 6 and System 7. Antivirus utilities will clean up any infections in them, as well.
     
  5. javabear90 macrumors 6502a

    javabear90

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    Houston, TX
    #5
    The problem is that even if there is a virus for OS X it would be very hard to spread. Only 3% of the population has a mac.... So the likelyhood of e-mail virus would be slim... I do not know any mac people that I regulary corispond with (except my Mom) however... Then Apple would probably come out with an update.
     
  6. stoid thread starter macrumors 601

    stoid

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
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    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #6
    Correction, only 3% of computers sold are Macs. A good deal of those non-Macs wind up in cubicles, checkout registers (especially the self-serve), and other non-consumer locations. The actual percentage of the population that has a Mac is reasonably higher, though maybe still not enough for the virus to successfully propagate via E-mail. Especially because the Windows viruses spread that way by infecting a mail server (such as my campuses, which on average is spending 1/3rd to 2/3rds of it's time bogged down with viruses), and few mail servers are Mac-based, I think.
     
  7. thequicksilver macrumors 6502a

    thequicksilver

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    Sep 19, 2004
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    Birmingham
    #7
    <spelling pedant>It's spelt masturbate</spelling pedant>
     
  8. stoid thread starter macrumors 601

    stoid

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
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    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #8
    egad! I never really thought about the word like that. Indeed, OS X built-in spell checker puts a little red line under masterbate, but leaves masturbate alone...


    *Goes to change sig*
     
  9. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
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    BrisVegas, Australia
    #9
    LOL. :D nice one stoid!! you've summed it up very well with that comment. 8)

    for people thiking that if they've got a anti-virus program, so they'll be safe when a virus for Mac does come along... i wasn't aware that anti-virus programs protect against a virus that hasn't even been written yet? :p your software is only as good as the updates that it's running. how often do you update your virus software (those of you who do use that unnecessary junk)? even if you do update it regularly, i doubt that updates will include defense against a new virus as it's just finished being written. :rolleyes:
     
  10. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
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    USA
    #10
    The marketshare argument was developed by Microsoft in 1999 as an excuse for its inability to stop the viruses that were replete on Windows at the time. Amazingly, the popular press and much of the general population accepted the argument without any supporting evidence. If we were so inclined, I am certain that most members of this forum can think of ways to spread viruses that do not require email. The key to spreading viruses is to exceed a certain density threshold of targets with while maintaining an insufficient level of security. These criteria are met for Windows within the general computer population. Even if your 3% figure for Macs in the general population were true, there are clearly other populations in which Macs represent nearly 100% of the computers used. Were it not for the Mac's superior design, an attack on such a population would knock it out.
     

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