Antivirus for Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by enrihes, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. enrihes macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2016
    Hi guys!!

    I wanted to ask you which antivirus may be better for my Mac... I'm not interested in scans all the time (I mean, automatic scans), but simply to make it scan specific locations whenever I ell it to do so.

    Besides, the most important functionality I wan to have is for it to automatically scan everything I download (like, I download a virus, and it automatically tells me that it's a virus).

    Do you know any good one??

    Thanks!! Cheers!!! :)
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    There are no good ones, as there are no viruses in the wild for OSX. They are all a waste of time and money, unless you exchange files with Windows buddies who are too lazy to use antivirus software themselves.
  3. PavelGubarev macrumors newbie


    Dec 3, 2015
    Recently I scanned my mac with Avast and it has found 6 infections, mostly in e-mail.
  4. ahunter3 macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2003
    So this continues to be the case? I used to be a regular on Info-Mac Digest, and then, after that era, on MacOSX Hints forums (also dead and gone), and figured that if there ever were a MacOS X virus (aside from proof-of-concept stuff, i.e., real ones to worry about), I'd hear about it. Now I've drifted away... don't really have a Mac forum I regard as home. So, anyway... aside from viruses, what's the current state of affairs with regards to MacOSX malware in general, including known Trojans and whatnot, what to check for / watch out for, etc?
  5. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    Malware found in your mail are not OS X viruses.
  6. thatanonymoususer macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2015
    In most cases, recent attacks come in the form of phishing schemes and internet-related hacks rather than viruses. These would be cases where someone gets your information through something like would be the actual website that you are accessing, and since you can download webpages and re-host them, fake webpages can be used for stealing web logins. These tend to be the simplest to execute, and phishing scams tend to be unfortunately extremely successful and more lucrative than anything else in the online scamming world.

    Most infections that get reported in cases like @PavelGubarev are Windows viruses that you could possibly transfer through your email. Windows tends to be extremely different from Macs in terms of back-wards compatibility due to their Enterprise status. A Windows XP program has no problems running on a Windows 10 computer. That means that every bug that needs to exist because some backwards compatibility requires it to persist will still be there. Macs tend to stay more secure by breaking backwards-compatability all the time. So while Windows has all that backwards-compatibility, there are some Apps that worked on Yosemite that I can't use on El Capitan unless the developer updates their app.

    Macs do have a bit of a built-in system with Protect (File Quarantine). Those Gatekeeper notifications that pop up before opening an app get a lot more to-the-point when you try to open up an app that matches a pre-defined set of apps in Apple's database.

    It's also somewhat helpful that El-Capitan uses rootless or System Integrity Protection as well. While it's profoundly frustrating for those of us who like to tinker with the lower-level parts of OS X, it's a very good thing to protect the lower levels of the system. Where before every time you entered your password into those install packages, the program could access everything down to your OS files, System Integrity Protection prevents even the administrator from changing those files without disabling SIP.

    That said, we do still live in a world where a large majority of people use Windows computers. It's a bit harder to spread those viruses on a Mac computer as many batch scripts an .exe files won't run. In most cases, you would need to forward those messages before they could do anything malicious.

    There is plenty out there in terms of antivirus software that works and that aren't scams, but in most cases they are eliminating viruses for the sake of herd-immunity rather than for the sake of keeping your computer safe.

    I personally don't bother with antivirus except to do a random scan every once in a while with Bitdefender's app in the App Store (it's a small free app), but if you don't feel comfortable without it (you really should feel comfortable - you'll be fine) Sophos, ClamXav, Bitdefender and some others make decent (but really unnecessary) pieces of software.

    Make sure that you set the infected items action to Take no action in the preferences before scanning for the first time to check if it has any false positives. I had a false positive that it just deleted off the cuff without doing a quarantine or asking me about it first. This is one case where I would say Anti-Virus can actually be more detrimental on a mac than useful.

    If you're more curious about this (I'm weird like that, so maybe you haven't even read this far), you can check out the pages on places like av-test for an independent security firm's take on OS X antivirus.
  7. sliceoftoast macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2012
    In a Toaster
    Use Webroot or Eset Cyber Security for the Mac
  8. BenTrovato macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2012
    I use eset too mainly because I don't notice a drop in system performance and its unobtrusive. But as others have said, I'm not finding much use for a virus scanner. I do a malware bytes scan every so often..
  9. Evren Carven macrumors regular

    Evren Carven

    Dec 16, 2014
    Almost every antivirus software can scan automatically. The feature name is "on-access" scan or scanner. You just need to turn it on.

    Besides, you can set up what to scan or exclude something you don't want to scan.
  10. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001

    There's some, and definitely more than 5 years ago, but with just a little bit of thinking you are pretty safe. Stick to software from major App stores and developers sites, and you are good. Then there's a few pieces of software which is considered malware, all software which promises to clean your Mac and keep it safe and rescue unicorns, but a quick google in every case should see you safe. You may run into some javascript malware on certain bad sites, but a reset of Safaris history fixes it.
  11. beachmusic macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2013
    St. George Island
    I started with Webroot but seemed a bit intrusive (to me). It ran out so I tried eset and like BenTrovato stated it not intrusive at all. But i settled on Avira for Mac for it's overall rating. OBTW it's free.
  12. j2048b, Jan 21, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016

    j2048b macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2009
    i use clamXav, and like it a lot, scans everything from usb drives to dmg files that show up as drives etc... it has found 2 items, and deleted them...

    ill also check out the others mentioned....

    also a site i use:

    can do a few things for most...
  13. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68030


    Nov 8, 2014
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    I share the view that there is no need to have anti-virus software on a Mac. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side sometimes I use two on-demand apps: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac and ClamXav.
  14. JGRE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2011
    Dutch Mountains
    Yes, but the so-called virus wil be not be able to affect OSX, next to this "they" want you to believe their software is doing a good thing for you so you will pay them. As said above, there are no viruses for OSX. There is adware and other things, but that is a different story.

Share This Page