Antivirus

xtempo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 2, 2014
352
29
I've done some research but I would like some more help on the matter of antivirus and checking the registry and whatever else to keep my mac clean and safe while using the web. I am currently using Norton and it expires in 19 days so I am not sure if there is a better solution or just renew it.
 

revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,740
1,445
USA
I've done some research but I would like some more help on the matter of antivirus and checking the registry and whatever else to keep my mac clean and safe while using the web. I am currently using Norton and it expires in 19 days so I am not sure if there is a better solution or just renew it.
As far as I can tell there aren't any active viruses in the wild for current Macs with updated software. You are more susceptible to social engineering than an actual virus. I moved over to Apple platforms a few years ago and have never used anti-virus apps.. and I've never had any problems.
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,824
4,503
"Between the Hedges"
If you do a search on this site, you will find numerous threads addressing this, with a variety of opinions
The most common thought however is that you don't need any AV on your Mac and that in fact an AV may open your Mac to more vulnerabilities

Running the free Malwarebytes occasionally is sufficient for most to check their Mac
Practicing safe computing will keep you free from most, if not all, malware
  • Don't visit shady sites (porn, etc)
  • Know why you are clicking buttons
  • Pay attention when installing software not from the Mac App store to avoid installing web browser changes, etc.
  • Avoid pirated software and torrents that aren't legitimate (Linux distros, etc.)
  • Know why you are entering your Admin password

There are no true viruses for the macOS and there is limited malware and trojans that can easily be avoided by safe computing
The built in protections in the macOS are updated frequently by Apple and address most, if not all threats

There will be those along shortly who will contradict all of this and tell you otherwise, but these are my convictions
 

Spoon!

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2018
256
389
If you want to use an anti-bad-things software for Mac, I highly recommend Malwarebytes. They have a very good reputation on Windows ... and a while ago they purchased Adware Medic for Mac, which also had a very good reputation on Macs. From my experience, MB has the lowest footprint of any of the anti-virus software that I've tried. Most seem to noticeably slow down the computer, but MB does not.

Although Macs don't really get too many bad things if you use your computer with some common sense, there is always a chance something can slip through. I helped my cousin with her infested MacBook .. and she literally had hundreds of malware on her computer. She clicks on literally every ad that pops up and installs every single thing the internet tells her to install and doesn't use an ad blocker ... all while using the same exact password for every single account she has ever had. It was a hacker's dream come true. She had her identity stolen several times and it was just ridiculous. I've never seen anything like it. If her Mac was a wounded animal, I probably would have shot it to put it out of its misery. She also hadn't updated the OS in 4 years. I ended up reformatting the entire thing because it wasn't worth the time trying to hunt down all the damage. I also got her a password manager and gave her a bunch of unique passwords as well as 2FA. Also made her ditch her Android for an iPhone ... because her Android phone was actually worse than her Mac. The point is ... don't be my cousin. :D

MB does have a free version, you just have to opt out of the trial for the premium version once it's expired ... or you can subscribe to it. Either way works.
 

xtempo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 2, 2014
352
29
thank you all.
[doublepost=1546712189][/doublepost]
And, as a side note: on Macs there is no Registry. Not exactly a disadvantage imo
Hence no requirement to "scan" or "repair" it
I meant a repair utility. Some reason I was thinking about windows though I do have Win10 through parallels so would there be a registry for that then?
 

Loki.Mephisto

macrumors 6502a
thank you all.
[doublepost=1546712189][/doublepost]

I meant a repair utility. Some reason I was thinking about windows though I do have Win10 through parallels so would there be a registry for that then?
Yes, there is. But that registry is Windows only, so you couldn't scan or repair that from within macOS anyway. Now, if using Windows 10 and you do not install and deinstall applications very frequently there is no need for any sort of registry cleaner.

Just be sure Windows Defender is active and keep your awareness up. If unsure (e.g. if an app asks for permission to install anything without you actively started an installer) just ask (e.g. here in the forums).

All those "cleaners" or "tune up" apps are little more than snake oil. And that is even true for
Windows as well.

Interestingly, while reading this very thread I got displayed an ad for "MacRepair". This is exactly what I am talking about: keep away from apps like this. No need whatsoever for "MacRepair", "MacCleaner", "CleanMyMac", etc. Some of these apps are regarded as adware themselves.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Ulenspiegel

Spoon!

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2018
256
389
thank you all.
[doublepost=1546712189][/doublepost]

I meant a repair utility. Some reason I was thinking about windows though I do have Win10 through parallels so would there be a registry for that then?
Onyx is a good free tool to repair Mac issues like that as it’s just using the Mac’s own built-in repair functions. As for Windows in Parallels, yes ... it still has a registry.
 

mrex

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
3,321
1,394
europe
there was a time (2011-2014) whene there were 600 000 infected macs running a botnet and it lasted for years - because ”we were safe”. same backdoor variant came even back and was found again 2016 or 2017.

if you follow any security news you see that attacking against macos by malware, exploits or pup is increased exponentially during last years. last year there was a trojan which was able to bypass the protection (gatekeeper). fruitfly was able to run years from 2014-17? until it was discovered and blocket by xprotect.

even if your mac is safe for viruses (but not safe from malware in general) your mac can pass those infected files via email for example to your friend who is using a windows computer and the file contains win-malware/virus. if your mac had had a running antivirus program it would have recognized the potentional threat.

malwarebytes wrote this earlier on this year https://blog.malwarebytes.com/101/2018/03/the-state-of-mac-malware/

this is a good example that even working in sandboxed there is a chance that unwanted codes can be run: https://blog.malwarebytes.com/threat-analysis/2018/12/flurry-new-mac-malware-drops-december/

macos malware


macos PUP/PUA’
 
Last edited:

Bending Pixels

macrumors 65816
Jul 22, 2010
1,273
333
This forum is filled with numerous threads on the subject.

Just my 2 cents - unless you look at naughty stuff or visit the dark web, don't waste your $$$
 

960design

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2012
2,965
924
Destin, FL
I've done some research but I would like some more help on the matter of antivirus and checking the registry and whatever else to keep my mac clean and safe while using the web. I am currently using Norton and it expires in 19 days so I am not sure if there is a better solution or just renew it.
Antivirus increases your Mac's chance of infection:
http://fortune.com/2016/06/29/symantec-norton-vulnerability/

Symantec and other major antivirus vendors have whitelisted the Magic Lantern trojan, rendering their antivirus products, including Norton AntiVirus, incapable of detecting it.
Please do some more research!

There certainly is malware exploits via browsers. These typically require user interaction, so several 'Yes' clicks required. The language can easily confuse or take advantage of human conditioning to get the malware installed covertly.
 
Last edited:

xtempo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 2, 2014
352
29
would malware do this or is this a different problem all together?
 

xtempo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 2, 2014
352
29
atm it doesn't seem to work but I am going to restart the MacBook and then see.

EDIT: still broken and now there is a paper icon and not the original icon for the mac HD
 
Last edited:

xtempo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 2, 2014
352
29
the first aid didn't work but the other comment did so thanks very much for sharing the link.
 

mrex

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
3,321
1,394
europe
did you try it which was mark as ”helpful” - not that ”apple recommended”.
 

SoCalReviews

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2012
582
202
The idea that Macs can't or don't get viruses is a total myth. They can and do get malware and are prime targets for ransomware which can come through from browsing shady web sites, downloading infected files or email.

I know two Mac users who were friends of mine who are advanced system administrators with decades of experience in network security who did get bad viruses/malware on their new Macs in recent years. Neither one was using an AV on their Macs at the time. Just using an untrusted public Wifi hotspot or accessing a compromised network can put you at risk.

1) Turn on your MacOS firewall (under System Preferences) which is disabled by default.
2) Consider using a third party browser such as Firefox for Mac instead of Safari.
3) Consider using good antivirus software for Mac (free or paid).

Avast Security for Mac (free version) is pretty good and it doesn't seem to use system resources that much. Note that if you want to keep the free version installed make sure you refuse the offers for the "full security suite" that pop up from time to time to upgrade you to a trial for the full paid version. Also make sure you uncheck the automatic Chrome browser and other added software installation boxes if you don't want that installed as well.

There are other antivirus for Macs you can use including some very good paid AVs for Mac. Whatever you decide I would recommend one that includes email and web browser protection which the Avast free version for Mac does.
 
Last edited:

revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,740
1,445
USA
The idea that Macs can't or don't get viruses is a total myth.
Please list current viruses (not other malware) that are currently in the wild for which there are current known infections. If you know people who have been recently infected with Mac viruses then this information should be easy to obtain. I would like to learn about current Mac viruses, not other malware.. just viruses.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Loki.Mephisto

SoCalReviews

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2012
582
202
Please list current viruses (not other malware) that are currently in the wild for which there are current known infections. If you know people who have been recently infected with Mac viruses then this information should be easy to obtain.
I don't keep up on that information because I don't need to. Every Mac that I myself have set up follows the recommendations I described above and none of them have experienced malware infections but many potential infections have been blocked... from malicious web links to infected file attachments that were all successfully blocked by the Mac's antivirus software (which includes Windows file malware protection to help block the transfer of viruses to Windows PCs and MS Office applications.)

Actually I have friends who have been Mac users for more than twenty five years who started using Mac antivirus software recently as well in response to their concerns about security. You can choose to believe what you want. All I can do is give my real world advice.
 
Last edited:

revmacian

macrumors 68000
Oct 20, 2018
1,740
1,445
USA
I don't keep up on that information because I don't need to.
So your statement that "The idea that Macs can't or don't get viruses is a total myth." was based on... what? I learn best from facts, but you haven't included any.

All I can do is give my best advice.
Advice carries more weight when it is based on facts.

I'm not saying that Macs are immune. But, if you're going to call it a myth then I would like some facts to teach me why you're calling it a myth. Not hearsay, not misunderstanding.. but facts.
 
Last edited:

SoCalReviews

macrumors 6502a
Dec 31, 2012
582
202
So your statement that "The idea that Macs can't or don't get viruses is a total myth." was based on... what? I learn best from facts, but you haven't included any.



Advice carries more weight when it is based on facts.

I'm not saying that Macs are immune. But, if you're going to call it a myth then I would like some facts to teach me why you're calling it a myth. Not hearsay, not misunderstanding.. but facts.
Read my first post above again. It is based on the FACT that two of my friends who are computer administrators got malware infections on their Macs. One required a complete reinstall of Mac OS and the other used a Mac Antivirus to remove the infection.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.