antivirus for macs? worth it

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by CB1234, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. CB1234 macrumors 6502a

    CB1234

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    #1
    Hi Guys/Girls,

    Is it worth having antivirus software installed for OSX?

    I am running ProtectMac Antivirus, but I am not sure if it is doing anything to protect me.

    I recently found out from some Power Users on MR, that using CleanmyMac and other cleaning apps, was not useful and in some cases deleted system files, making the computers very slow and buggy…

    I wonder if the Antivirus softwares are also, in any way useless and/or cause damage to the OSX.

    Your thoughts and advise is appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Mr-Kerrse macrumors 6502

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  3. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Location:
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    #3
    There has never been any virus on OS X in the wild. Anti-virus software is not needed.
     
  4. bdrake47 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    #4
    No real "need" for it, but if you just want it for peace of mind, have a look at ClamXav.

    Throw the Dev a donation if you like it too!

    It's never found anything on my system, but I do use the "scan on insert" function and it has flagged a few files on my Windows buddies thumb drives from time to time. Nothing that would've infected my Mac, but still good as a way to let them know too.
     
  5. benwiggy macrumors 68020

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    #5
    Anti-Malware software by its very nature run at a low-level, has wide-ranging access to your system, and inspects every file against a list of known malware.

    Those features make it use up significant CPU resources and bring about likely system conflicts or cause other problems as it ferrets around.

    Also, it is only as good as the list of malware it has. Many third-party AM software products will miss the introduction of new malware until it has propagated enough to be recognised.

    Furthermore: you already have some anti-malware protection built-in to OS X. There is a list of known malware for Macs on your machine, which are prevented from executing. The list is updated by Apple in the background.
     
  6. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #6
    Since there is no virus' in the wild for OSX, it is a giant waste of resources to run anti-virus programs.

    Though, if you exchange files with Windows users, you can be a carrier of Windows virus' - So if you run a business, it is worth it, just to be sure. It really is their problem for running unprotected systems, but is it really worth your hassle if a costumer comes back and cries because they didn't do what they were supposed to?
     
  7. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #7
    For over a decade I hardly ever had to clean a Mac up but it's started to happen more and more often over the past 3 years. So I will go against the grain here and say you may need it if:

    You have Java installed and you 100% need it enabled in your browser.

    You have apps which are not auto updating such as Adobe CS, Acrobat.

    You go 'off piste' on the internet looking at 'grown up' websites :D

    Viruses aren't the problem and haven't been for a long time on any platform. It's Trojans and particularly their nasty advanced variants the 'rootkit' that are the real problem and there are variants out there in the wild which can infect OSX. Most get in via Java exploits and a much lesser amount via Adobe Acrobat so like Java you could give the malware a foothold to infect your Mac. Usually it starts off with browser and search hijackers.

    I have ClamXav installed on all my macs, the resource footprint even for the sentry is very small compared to a fully blown AV program and that's what I would use if I were you at the very least.
     
  8. CB1234 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CB1234

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    Dubai, UAE
    #8

    Thanks for ALL your replies.

    Not long ago, I have converted from being Windows user to Mac, so I have carried over some of the bad habits….

    I do use my Mac for business and I think I will keep some sort of protection going, as I do have couple of Windows user on my network…

    I do use Java and also use Adobe CS quite a lot. Fortunately, I do not need to go "off piste' as I am well serviced for my 'grown up' needs and pleasures, at home, I may add.

    If the antivirus program is indeed eating up too much of my resources, then I may as well go for ClamXav as has been kindly suggested….

    Also I see the sense in "benwiggy's" suggestion that a AV is only as good as the malware list it has. If the AV has to wait for a new virus to propagate enough to be on its database, then I am sure Apple would be just as quick at updating their list as well..

    THANKS ONCE AGAIN TO ALL OF YOU… YOUR ADVISE/SUGGESTIONS ARE MUCH APPRECIATED….
     
  9. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

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    #9
    What adult websites are you going to that are giving your mac cyber aids?
     
  10. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #10
    Lol - I just pick up the pieces from customers afterwards! I tell them in future to use a standard account if they need to frequent those places again or better still use their iPad :D
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #11
    Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 12 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). 3rd party antivirus apps are not necessary to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as a user practices safe computing, as described in the following link.
    Read the What security steps should I take? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for tips on practicing safe computing.
     
  12. nbnbxdnb macrumors regular

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    Sep 1, 2010
    #12
    I think it happened to many windows migrators. When I first adopted mac, I scratched my head for many things too, including no serious AV existed for mac. Now, years later, I know for myself there is no need for AV. Turning off Java in Safari and updating adobe apps in time should give more than enough protection for most regular users.
     
  13. CB1234 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    CB1234

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    #13
    Thanks for your advise…. I am learning slowly...
     
  14. whoknows87 macrumors 6502a

    whoknows87

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    #14
    I have clean my Mac installed... I had no idea it deletes system files that can cause your computer to run slow....
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #15
    Yep. At best, it's an unnecessary app. At worst, it can cause problems on your Mac. I highly recommend you uninstall it. I would not recommend using CleanMyMac or any of its variants, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. Here's a recent example. While you may not have experienced problems yet, enough people have that it's wise to avoid it, especially since there are free alternatives that have better reputations, such as Onyx.
    You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process. These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. In fact, deleting some caches can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt. Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.
    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.
     
  16. 3282868 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #16
    I've used a few over the years, but I've never had an issue with "CleanMyMac" on any of my Mac's (and version 2 is a great update).

    The issue is understanding what these applications do and to make certain you are using them properly. Many remove PPC code in third party apps believing applications will run faster, or removing unnecessary languages. The benefit is saving disk space, and with ultra notebooks and general consumers using SSD's, disk space can be a priority.

    Most of us are OS X savvy, so we know when uninstalling apps (dragging to trash) plists's (preference lists files) for the apps (and other files, ex ~/Library/Application Support, Caches, containers, etc) can linger. While most files are small and harmless, some can help if reinstalling an application as saved settings for the app will remain. However, some files for certain programs can take up space and/or interfere if installing a previously improperly installed application or upgrade. It's usually best to trash the plist files as they may cause application issues in these instances. "CleanMyMac" allows full manual control over what is removed, by checking everything before committing to the "clean", you're ensuring your system will be fine.

    In the end, the applications are not to blame. The end user should have a good understanding of how OS X app's operates. Removing unnecessary code from third party app's may save needed space on smaller SSD. Clearing caches, unused plist files, etc can help in diagnosing system errors as well. It also recommends removing applications that haven't been used in various amounts of time as well as any lingering application files that can be manually checked and removed. Just like anything that modifies system operation, always make sure you know what you're doing cause 99%, it's "PEBKAC".
     
  17. Manic Harmonic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    #17
    Despite the fact that there have been... A few (VERY few) viruses for Mac, although as others have stated they've never been "in the wild," antivirus is pointless IMO because all of the viruses are for PC's anyway and wouldn't end an execute in OSX. The only reason you might need one in OS X is if you are using boot camp, but I'm pretty sure none of them would be able to execute from an HFS+ volume anyway.
     
  18. Suffa macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    #18
    When i worked Windows, I regularly ran Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to detect any threats. Is any software similar to that necessary to run at all? (if there even are any)
     
  19. slide023 macrumors member

    slide023

    #19
    The only consideration for AV on OSX would be if you perhaps use yours for work where you may receive a lot of MS docs which will not affect your machine, but if that file is infected and you pass it on to a co-worker using MS it might infect his/her machine. Would be like a Typhoid Mary situation.

    But generally speaking everyone here is correct; no viruses for OSX. Malware needs you to click on something, or open a legit looking file. If you want peace of mind as someone mentioned ClamXav is a great choice.

    Just my 2 cents ......

    Slide
     
  20. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #21
    Nope.
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #23
    Not at all. Read post #11 and the links.
     
  22. Suffa macrumors member

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    May 11, 2013
    #24
    What about crap cleaning softwares? Necessary at all?
     
  23. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    New York City, NY
    #25
    Nope.
     

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