Antivirus Software

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by 06Honda, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. 06Honda macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    #1
    Just switched over from windows and would like some advice on a antivirus program for my new MacPro Laptop. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    You don't need any antivirus software to protect Mac OS X from malware. No viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any, since it was released 10 years ago. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install:
     
  3. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #3
    None are needed. There are no viruses in the world that hit OSx.
    That's one of the nice things about OSx; don't worry about viruses.
    You still need to use common sense and not install "codecs" from shady sites, but you still need to enter your admin password to allow installs.
     
  4. thebignewt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    #4
    But people will sure sell you antivirus software. Bestbuy was all over my s*#t to buy it.
     
  5. 06Honda thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 25, 2011
  6. RobertsonCrusoe macrumors member

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #6
    lol at people that don't get AV for there new $1000+ mac. i would recommend clamxav (free) or if you want to pay get virus barrier.

    It's simple. People say you mac's don't get viruses. But if you buy a million dollar watch that people say is unbreakable, would you through it at the ground continuously? of coarse not. It is better to get an anti virus like virus barrier or if you don't want to pay clamxav and run it. If it doesn't pick up viruses Good. it is better then having none altogether.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #7
    That's because none exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X.
    A Mac is neither worth a million dollars, nor is it a watch, nor is running a Mac without AV analogous to throwing it on the ground.
    Not really. Antivirus apps use system resources and cannot protect you from a Mac virus, since they don't know what to look for.

    All you need to protect your Mac from malware is one rule: only install known software that you intended to install from trusted, reputable sites. That's it.
     
  8. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

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    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    #8
    Macs do have destructive programs...I've run into a non-replicating virus wrapped in a legit program that does a great job wiping your hard drive. Took me all day to recover, and lost about half the stuff. It's not a virus in the sense that it is not designed to replicate, but it will do heavy damage. After this incident, I did a little research and found another that does an excellent job conducting a low level format of your hard drive to reduce the hard drive size to almost nothing in size. It was based on an early 1990's debug code that was used for virus definition training on windows.

    So yes, there are viruses for osx, but they are few and far between and in the two cases I found, you enter your admin password to run...just make sure you're running a legit program. If the company is hacked...in my first case...then only AV can protect you.

    As far as antivirus, I think that every reseller pretty much takes advantage of the buyers by providing a product that they never update (for OSX viruses) or bloat with windows definitions, which bogs down your system. This is why the Mac Defender virus was such a problem.

    I would personally check your cable provider's website to see if they offer a free virus option...they did in my case.
     
  9. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

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    Jun 3, 2008
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    Okinawa, Japan
    #9
    I've tried virus barrier...horrible product. It does provide decent defs, but it was constantly crashing my computer and after so much time, it would randomly corrupt some critical files.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #10
    If it's non-replicating, it's not a virus.
    That's a trojan, not a virus.
    No Mac OS X malware has that behavior. None will wipe the hard drive.
    Again, no Mac OS X malware has that behavior. What you're describing does not exist for Mac OS X.
    No, there aren't. Name one.
    If you have to enter your admin password to run it, it's not a virus.
    Antivirus software doesn't protect against hacking. Antivirus can't protect you from a Mac OS X virus, since none exist. They can't protect against a future virus, since they don't know what to look for.
    MacDefender wasn't a virus. Read the Mac Virus/Malware Info link I posted earlier, to learn the differences between viruses, trojans and other forms of malware.
     
  11. Big Bad D macrumors regular

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    Jan 3, 2007
    Location:
    France
    #11
    I don't have any links with Intego, but my experience is the total opposite of Trebuin's: VirusBarrier has worked almost perfectly on a range of Macs and once set up is invisible. Their customer support is very good (for an upgrade/renewal problem) - what did they say about the claimed file corruptions?
     
  12. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    Oct 30, 2008
    #12
    Sophos has a good free anti-malware utility, but you really don't need it. I tried it and found it bogged my system a la Windows anti-malware utilities. And it's not needed. Not needed. Really. Not needed.

    The only concern for OS X is idiocy by the user in downloading and willingly installing something dodgy, perhaps as the result of a webpage pop-up that scares them into installing something unfortunate, or perhaps because they greedily downloaded and installed hacked software from a wares site. OS X has a built-in scanner which mitigates many such threats, but NO system is any more secure than the wetware sitting at the keyboard.

    Don't be stupid, and you'll be fine.

    If you really want to do it right, create a non-Administrator account and use that for your everyday computing. It puts an extra layer of privilege in place. Unlike non-Admin user accounts on Windows, they're fully functional on the Mac and not at all annoying to live with.
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Sophos is not recommended, as it can actually increase your Mac's vulnerability.
    It won't make any meaningful security difference whether you run as an admin or standard user.
     
  14. Epic Xbox Revie macrumors 6502a

    Epic Xbox Revie

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    Jun 15, 2010
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    Washington, D.C.
    #14
    Love your proving this guy wrong. Mac OS X is amazing in every way, especially in that it stays clean from the moment you buy it til the moment you trade in for your next model!:D
     
  15. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #15
    Was this a targeted and/or prank style attack?

    I suspect that the malicious app was simply a front end to a shell script, such as "Sudo rm -rf /".

    I believe this type of malicious app is fairly easy to make in Automator.

    If the AV software does not have a definition for the malware, the only protection is not running and password authenticating the untrusted app in the first place.

    BTW, Mac OS X SL and Lion include by default a simple malware scanner to detect known trojans. But, this does not negate the need for users to implement safe computing practices.
     
  16. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #16
    You can instead install nothing, which works at least as well, needs no support, costs nothing, and will cause you no problems.

    To date, the amount of cost and damage caused by anti-virus and anti-malware software on the Mac has far outweighed any cost and damage caused by viruses and malware.

    And the most important rule: If a website claims they have found viruses or malware on your computer (or if you get a phone call making that claim), they are lying. (Applies to Windows as well), and whatever they try to make you install on your computer to fix the problem is at best useless, but possibly harmful.
     
  17. Big Bad D macrumors regular

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    Jan 3, 2007
    Location:
    France
    #17
    I agree that there is no current virus risk on Macs and am not saying that other Mac users should install anti-virus software. But as I end up distributing many documents between PC using customers, I don't want to be responsible for inadvertently forwarding a PC virus. They won't affect my Mac, but will affect my business. That's why I choose to use anti-virus software and for me Virus Barrier does the job, at a not too unreasonable price. But each to their own views and decision depending on their needs.
     
  18. DoctorWho Suspended

    DoctorWho

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania
    #18
    I've never used antivirus software on any of the Macs I've owned, and I've never had a problem.

    Seriously, as long as you don't visit any dodgy websites (you know the ones I mean ;)) and only install software from reputable websites, you should be fine.
     
  19. maril1111 macrumors 68000

    maril1111

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    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #19
    Simply stay on the Watch, don't download software illegally and in case of super paramonia use firefox with adblocker,noscript and you are fine
     
  20. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #20
    And even if you do all those things, you'll still be fine.
     
  21. benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

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    Mar 8, 2010
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #22
    Yes, ClamXav is a better choice than Sophos, since it doesn't increase your Mac's vulnerability by running with elevated privileges, as Sophos does. The link I posted in post #2 will give more details.
     
  23. benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

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    Mar 8, 2010
    #23
    Thanks for the explanation.
     
  24. benhollberg macrumors 68020

    benhollberg

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    Mar 8, 2010
    #24
    I have been using Sophos for a long time, since the Mac version went free that is. Sophos had a feature called On-access scanning which basically scanned your computer all the time. I turned that off because I didn't want to waste CPU and battery, I just scan about once a week now and do the entire hard drive.

    So after people recommend ClamXav I downloaded it from their website. It has a similar feature called Sentry that scans files all the time, I think. Anyway I don't want it scan files all the time. What I want to do is just scan the entire hard drive about once a week. At all other times I would the application to be closed and not running using CPU and battery. So if someone could please help me out and explain to me, or clarify, that when nothing is in the Sentry list then ClamxAV is just simply not running.

    Thanks.
     
  25. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #25
    Yes, that feature is off, by default. From: http://www.clamxav.com/docs_sentry.php
    You can also verify that no ClamXav processes are running by launching Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes".
     

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