Antivirus Software Necessary?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by adyf, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. adyf macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    #1
    I read an article today where antivirus software wasn't considered necessary on a mac, is this the general consensus of opinion amongst mac users?

    Just ordered a MacBook Pro by the way and I'm also planning to run windows via Parallel, so presumably I need an antivirus program on there just like you would in windows?
     
  2. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #2

    You do not need an anti-virus for OS X. There are not now, nor have there ever been, any viruses in the wild that effect OS X.

    OS X is not immune to viruses, but thus far there have been none in the wild that have been a problem or infected Macs. There are other forms of malware that can effect Macs, but the best way to avoid them is safe computing.

    If you really want to, you can get ClamX, which will scan for nasties and quarantine them. I use it once a month and it cleans out a bunch of harmless (probably Windows) junk which has no impact anyway. The nice thing about ClamX is it doesn't run in the background, and so it doesn't use any resources until you open it for a scan.

    Mac Virus/Malware FAQ

    http://guides.macrumors.com/Mac_Virus/Malware_FAQ
     
  3. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    Mar 26, 2008
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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #4
    Antivirus - never.

    You do need to practice smart computing; watch out for the phishing e-mails telling you, for example, that your debit card has been suspended and you need to re-activate by clicking on this link....

    Don't download/install anything from developers you don't trust.

    Don't lend your computer to friends.
     
  5. DaveTheRave macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    #5
    Agreed, I wouldn't bother with antivirus on a Mac. But I would recommend keeping your software up-to-date.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #6
    Perhaps the day will come where it will be needed but that day has not arrived. Anti-virus software on OSX only slows things down and does not help you.
     
  7. rosecottage macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    #7
    Not been using a Mac very long and have come from a background of other compute platforms.

    However, without going into too many details I used to work in a security organisation where I had to assess security of various compute platforms.

    And though there are fewer Mac malware attacks the platform is not immune. There are a number of subversions available via Safari for-example.

    Personally, I do run Clam on my Mac because I believe something is better than nothing. Mind you I have only just started using the platform and so I may well improve on Clam when I understand more about my risk profile.

    I don't bank online and try not to leave any personal information in cookies etc that can lead to significant personal exploit.

    You should enjoy your Mac as it is a beautiful thing. Apple and security are a little frustrating, for-example, they have some good approaches and some poor ones (they have a great crypto hardware design in the iPhone but they don't fully utilise it for security).

    I'm not into comparative rants about different platforms having varying levels of security as all platforms have their weaknesses.

    I would just say take a look at the kind of activities you intend to use the machine for (honestly assess whether your or a partner's behaviour may merit additional protection), the environment your using it in (at home, in an office with shared wi-fi, in Cafe environments, etc) and then make your own decision.

    All the best,
    Sam.
     
  8. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    Aug 24, 2009
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    UK
    #8
    Ftfy. :p

    Nowadays, true viruses are rare on any platform. Use common sense and don't install or click on anything stupid, you will be fine.
     
  9. maflynn, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014

    maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #9
    They're still out there for windows and they're not as rare as you think. For my job I support servers and some desktops in my organization. Its not unusual for me to see a desktop that got infected with a virus or the anti-virus software flag something. People are still producing them, though windows and anti-virus software has made it harder but they're still out there and I'd not run a windows box without anti-virus software - recipe for disaster.
     
  10. borostef macrumors 6502

    borostef

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  11. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    Aug 24, 2009
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    UK
    #11
    True. Maybe I should have explained myself better.

    OS X = no.
    Windows 8 (since it has an antivirus bundled with the OS) = no.
    Older Windows = yes.

    From what I've seen, I think most infections of trojans and viruses are due to the user either installing something thinking it was something else or being scared into thinking they already have a virus and then installing the infection. Nine times out of ten, this can be avoided with being educated on what is legit and what is not. Common Sense 2014 can do a lot for any platform with little system impact. :)
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    My organization is not on windows 8, we just finished rolling out windows 7 in 2013. I doubt very much we'll be going to win8 anytime soon, it was a long, expensive and painful process.
     
  13. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    "Between the Hedges"
    #13
    Yes, this is more accurate and perhaps I should explained myself more in my earlier post, but I went for simplicity and brevity :)

    Windows 8 does have the AV bundled, so no MSE is available for installation (good move on the part of MS)
    Still not a fan of Windows 8.1 tho ;)

    Had a coworker get locked down with the CryptoLocker virus... nasty business
    But he was on Windows 7
     
  14. wordsworth macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    I"d recommend ClamXav. I run it occasionally, for peace of mind. It's identified one suspicious file (a spam message that I'd placed in my Mail trash folder and neglected to delete). Probably aimed at Windows users but still, peace of mind is a good thing.

    I recently updated a friend's OS on his Core2Duo iMac, to Snow Leopard. I installed ClamXav on his hard drive and it located a trojan. My friend had been visiting some 'somewhat dubious' websites. ClamXav identified the file (described by ClamXav as a trojan) and I deleted it. While it may well have been designed for exploiting a Windows machine, I still think it's good that it isn't lurking on my friend's Mac.

    I don't know whether there would have been a cause for more serious concern had my friend been running Windows via Parallel, as you plan to do. Maybe someone else can enlighten us?
     

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