Anti-virus program

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by gregd33, May 19, 2011.

  1. gregd33 macrumors member

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    #1
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    Being that this is my first Mac after 28 years of PCs, I cannot over the feelIng of impending doom without an AV program running on my Mac. Some folks go so far ad to say it's not required which, I think, is a disaster waiting to happen... But I digress.

    If anyone uses AV apps, what fo you folks recommend? On the PC side of things, I have used MS Essentials due to it's relatively low footprint and resource demands. Anything to suggest on the Mac side of the house?

    Any info is appreciated. I feel Nekkid (not a pretty sight I'm sure) without a good but low resource dependent AV program.

    Thanks.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

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    #2
    Maybe read this first, then think about it, then either use something, or don't (as the most here seem to do, as an AV thread seems to come up every now and then (third one today I guess, but the day is still going strong):
    Mac Virus/Malware Info by GGJstudios
    There are currently no viruses for Mac OS X in public circulation, only a handful of trojans and other malware, which have to be installed manually via entering the administrator password.
    The only anti-virus you need to protect your Mac is education and common sense.
     
  3. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #3
    You do not need virus software. Most of it is malware, at best.
     
  4. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #4
    You will actually be more vulnerable when using AV software on a Mac than if you weren't. Its not necessary, don't use it, and most certainly don't use Sophos.

    As for "impending doom", you need to get out of the Windows mindset. Windows gets so many pieces of malware because the OS is full of holes, mainly the registry. Mac OS is built upon Darwin Unix, which was an open source version of unix and is much more secure. For a malware to work on Mac you would need to give it permission to run by typing in your password. Not to mention, there are only two malwares known for the current Mac OS, and zero viruses. One malware is the one you get when downloading an illegal copy of iWork. The second is the one you see that people download and install thinking its an antivirus program. To contrast, there are roughly 170,000 known malwares for Windows.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #5
    There has never been a virus in the wild that affects Mac OS X since it was released 10 years ago. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some education and common sense and care in what software you install:
     
  6. dj-anon macrumors member

    dj-anon

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    #6
    Gregd33:

    Just install ClamXav and manually check executables and installers, no need for real time protection ala windows. Still, common sense and knowing a bit about your Mac is your best option.
     
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    Location:
    USA
    #7
    That's backward. Realtime virus protection is the only real virus protection. Manual scanning is only slightly better than worthless. Realtime virus protection stemmed the tide of Mac viruses during the System 6/System 7 era and reduced them to an occasional drip by the time that MacOS X was introduced.

    ClamXav, like every other AV utility worth the time it takes to download it, performs realtime virus protection. That said, there are no MacOS X viruses. So, the issue is moot.
     
  8. gregd33 thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
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    Looking at this from a virus writers POV. Why write a virus that targets 5% of the population as opposed to 90-ish%? the answer is more chaos if successful.

    That said, as osx becomes more popular as I am sure it will, I think the virii will appear.

    I think there is some truth to the windows mindset but I also believe that if the same number of malicious folks were looking at osx code for vulnerabilities, there will be some that get uncovered.
     
  9. dj-anon macrumors member

    dj-anon

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    #9
    Not even on Windows real time scanning is worth the cpu cycles.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #10
    The market share theory doesn't work. Over 10 years ago, Macs had a much smaller market share and much smaller installed base, yet there were viruses in the wild that targeted Macs. Today, Macs have a much larger market share and installed base than ever before, yet the number of viruses in the wild has diminished.... to zero. Also, there are only a handful of trojans, which can easily be thwarted by informed and careful users. With an installed base of over 50 million Mac OS X users and growing at the rate of about a million a month, there is plenty of market to justify the development of malware.
     
  11. jacksam101 macrumors member

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    Dec 27, 2006
    Location:
    Crewe (UK)
    #11
    IAntivirus from PC Tools is small, quick and free and doesn't slow anything down.

    I've installed it on my Macs as I share many files with PCs.

    http://www.iantivirus.com/
     
  12. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #12
    People have been saying this for years! and nothing has changed. Year after year everyone claims that Mac OS X will be attacked and forever changed, but year after year nothing happens.

    This site has a collection of such quotes over the past 8 years:
    http://daringfireball.net/2011/05/wolf
     
  13. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #13
    Eek, I have heard way too many horror stories of iAV to even go to the site. I wouldn't touch it.
     
  14. cerote macrumors 6502a

    cerote

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    #14
    I love when people bring this up too. OS9 was just as bad as windows with the amount of Viruses out there. Then look at that magically OSX was clean. Geez I wonder why lol.
     
  15. jcb10 macrumors regular

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    May 14, 2008
    #15
    May I ask why not Sophos? My university provides a license for free, and I use it mainly to scan files eventually going to my Parallels partition.
     
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #16
    I wouldn't trust or recommend iAntiVirus. They make bogus claims about threats just to justify their software. Read the link I posted in post #5.
    Sophos can actually increase your Mac's vulnerability. Read the link in post #5, specifically the section "What about sending files to Windows users?"
     
  17. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #17
    In 15 years of constant daily use I have never had a virus. Period. And that is after going to questionable sites and also downloading the occasional software/movies/music.

    The chance of getting a virus is pretty much nil. But if you are worried, the best protection you can do is to have a complete backup on another drive that you keep offline. If a virus were to magically appear, just wipe your drive and revert to the latest backup. You should have a backup anyway. You run a greater risk of losing data from a hardware failure than from a virus.
     
  18. Rowf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    #18
    I can empathise with this, being a recent Window's switcher.
    It would be so much easier if there were viruses for osx and the installation of antivirus was a necessity. Job done, I've got my antivirus, no need to worry;)

    The problem, for users migrating from Windows, is that there aren't any viruses and there are only a few trojans that you have to install yourself.
    Strangely enough, this over complicates things for an ex Windows user, you have to re-condition yourself to rely on yourself without relying on software.

    It's an odd learning curve.

    Read the link posted by GGJstudios, there is another link on that page that gives information on securing your mac.

    It's taken me five months to get my head 'round the same question that you have posted, I've only just removed the 'security' software that I was using after finding out that it actually posed a security risk :eek:

    The only advice that I would give is to learn the system that you are using and check out some of the security threads on the forum, they get a bit heated but you can pick up some useful info there.

    Use MRoogle to search: http://mroogle.*************/
     
  19. gregd33 thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
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    Thanks for all the replies folks.

    I don't WANT to install AV software if I don't have to.

    I love the Mac and osx so far. After do many years of PCs and it being the first or second app installed after loading/reloading, it feels odd to not have to load much of anything on the Mac in order to be up, running and actually productive.
     
  20. dwright1974 macrumors 6502

    dwright1974

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    Location:
    UK
    #20
    I have AV installed because ...

    ... I thought there was a risk that as a Mac user you could transfer a virus without it affecting your computer?

    As an example I thought that there could be the risk that you receive a Word document (other applications are available) that contained a virus payload; If you sent that file to a Windows user, that virus could infect their machine and you would be oblivious that it came from your attachment.

    Having AV on your Mac would stop the spread of the virus. (Sound familiar ;))

    Oh, and I use Sophos - never had a reason to complain about it. Sits there pretty transparently.

    HTH

    -D
     
  21. simsaladimbamba

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    #21
    Thus taking the responsibility off of the Windows user you would send such document I guess.

    And there is a section about Sophos in the malware faq which has been linked to a lot of times already. Sophos opens your Mac to more vulnerabilities.
     
  22. dwright1974 macrumors 6502

    dwright1974

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    #22
    Well if the whole world thought like that about everything we'd all be in trouble.

    - D
     
  23. simsaladimbamba

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    #23
    Aren't we already?
     
  24. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    Location:
    USA
    #24
    Completely and totally not true. The high tide of Mac viruses occurred during the reign of System 6 or System 7. During the reign of MacOS 9, there were one (1) or two (2) Mac-specific viruses. Most of the viruses affecting Macs after System 7 were actually VBA-based Office macroviruses that actually targeted Windows. My information is that the total number of Mac-specific viruses was 26. For DOS/Windows, that would have been a slow weekend.
     
  25. Airforcekid macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

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    Location:
    United States of America
    #25
    AV software will not stop the first Mac virus anyway no one knows how it will work or what it will do everyone that owns a mac will be in the same boat no matter what there running besides Apple would release a patch overnight if possible anyway.
     

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