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Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by zarley, May 26, 2008.
I'm a mac noob and was curious as to the need/not need for an antivirus software. Any help?
If you're running Windows via BootCamp or Parallels/VMWare, then you need it. In OS X, nope, not really.
NO ANIT-VIRUS NEEDED FOR Mac OSX, that is how Unix runs
But for a boot camp Windows partition you need an anti-virus
I have a Windows partition and IN that partition I have AVG antivirus. Is that OK? I mean, just b/c I have a partition doesnt mean I need to have antivirus for the OS X side too right?
That's absolutely right. You've got an AV for Windows, you don't need one for OS X.
There is no known viruses "in the wild" for Mac OS X. That doesn't mean there ever wont be. In fact, the dramatic increases in the market share of OS X means that we may become a target for malware sooner rather than later. However, the underlying security of the unix framework upon which OS X is build, combined with the low market share mentioned above, makes us a much more difficult and low value target.
So, for all intents and purposes, there is zero need for virus protection on OS X (same for spyware, etc.). However, it is possible to pass on files that contain viruses to other windows users. (i.e., if you receive an infected file on your system it is totally inert, but, if you send that to a Windows user on purpose - without ever knowing it was infected - it could infect them). So, for that reason, some companies require virus protection on their Macs as well. However, even then the usefulness is debatable.
Long story short, don't worry about virus or spyware protection. Crawl into the deepest, darkest parts of the Internet without a care in the world! (for now).
What if I remove the internet software from Windows and never access the internet through Windows?
thats the thing about windows, good luck finding everything that connects to the internet, in reality it will be very hard to severe all connections (unless of course you simply unplug)
Nice Post! However i do run anti-virus on my MBP out of a courtesy for windows users. it never gets in the way, and has actually found a couple of viruses in emails which i was able to destroy so (hopefully) i've never passed any malware on to any friends.
As an aside, i also scanned my dads mini which he's never ran any anti-virus on and found quite a few viruses that came through innocuous emails. it just goes to show you never know.
So you guys are saying that I can surf MySpace with my MAC and not get Spyware??
This article has some interesting perspectives and information on antivirus software for OS X systems:
Spyware is not the same as a virus. A Mac is still more immune to Spyware but anything is possible. Someone could write a cookie that spies on your habits.
The ratio of viruses for mac to windows is about 1:10000. And due to the Unix nature even those viruses are difficult to install without you typing in a password. Spyware, hardly any. Cookies, hardly any, OS X will just blast through like there not there (which they aren't to it).
In laymen's terms, its 99.9% invincible.
OP and tCdemon,
yep! if you do download malware from MySpace it will usually download as a .exe file in your downloads folder. if you have "Open "safe" files after downloading" set in Safari's preferences (by default) the .exe will open automatically but this type of file cant execute in OS X and so will not harm your Mac
however there HAS been a trojan targeted at OS X disguising itself as a video codec on a Porn site but it failed to infect the majority of the Mac community. to install the trojan you had to download it, open the installer, input your password and click install.
there has also been cases of flash ads disguising themselves as virus scanners in OS X browsers which have scared a few users http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=426084&highlight=virus, but these are fake scanners and if you click them a exe will download which would infect Windows but not OS X.
so if you be your own virus scanner, never provide your administrator password to an installer from a shady site and untick "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari's preferences you dont need antivirus for OS X (yet).
Actually, it's kinda difficult to list a ratio of what doesn't exist. There are no viruses for the Mac. There are about 2-3 trojans out there (what you were referring to), but as mentioned, you have to give it your username and password to install, and it can't either self-replicate or spread itself, so not even close to a virus. Spyware, none. Cookies are completely different, they're good overall, though misused. Cookies absolutely do download to your computer and provide useful functionality like remembering who you are when you visit sites. They can't harm your computer, and on OS X they're basically quarantined, and removed after a set timeframe.
I agree with your last statement, though.