Are Macs still immune to viruses and malware?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by scorpio187, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. scorpio187 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2013
    #1
    How many of you guys here use antivirus/malware software on your laptops? I keep hearing that you don't need one. I wonder whether than notion still holds true.
     
  2. Gudi macrumors 68030

    Gudi

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    May 3, 2013
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    Berlin, Berlin
  3. dallegre macrumors member

    dallegre

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    Feb 25, 2016
    #4
    Macs are not immune, but you'll probably be okay without anti-virus/anti-malware software. I personally, don't use it.
     
  4. scorpio187 thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 22, 2013
    #5
    That's what I mean. It seems like there is no consensus when it comes to this topic.
     
  5. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a

    jackoatmon

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    Sep 15, 2011
    #6
    antivirus software is so much worse than malware
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

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    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #7
    hmm... Yes, and No are both correct.
    Macs have NEVER been 'immune' to viruses and malware. But, most anything that you might encounter are not much more than minor annoyances.

    There's nothing wrong with having AV software installed, although you do have to balance the noticeable performance deterioration, compared to the actual threat that you might experience, and some companies or schools may REQUIRE you to install an AV app, even if you don't agree with the idea :D
    I run Malwarebytes once or twice a month (it's not installed, just an app that quickly scans your files, only takes a few seconds), which rarely (once or twice a year) actually hits on some malware. It gives you the choice to remove malware, and that's pretty much it...
     
  7. Ma2k5 macrumors 68010

    Ma2k5

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    Dec 21, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #8
    I never used anti virus or anti malware on my windows machines. Over 10 years no virus or malware.

    As for Apple computers, I don't believe anything is immune.
     
  8. EnderBeta macrumors 6502

    EnderBeta

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    #9
    The Mac can be infected with malware however generally speaking to get infected you have to fall for social engineering ploys. Use common sense and most likely you will be alright.

    The typical malware out there is targeting Windows and in that regard mac is immune.
     
  9. scorpio187 thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 22, 2013
    #10
    Ha! ''Probably'' doesn't sound too reassuring.
     
  10. dallegre macrumors member

    dallegre

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    Feb 25, 2016
    #11
    It's a fact that macs are not immune. That's not debatable. Whether you need to run AV software or not is really up to you and your use. Most people are fine without it.
     
  11. scorpio187 thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 22, 2013
    #12
    Do you use any anti malware/spyware software at all?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 3, 2016 ---
    Care to elaborate?
     
  12. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #13
    No computer is immune to malware. However malware is different to a virus; it can't install itself in the background without the users' permission (without the password prompt on OS X). So really avoiding malware boils down to safe browsing habits and basic knowledge about installing things.

    There are also limited points of infection on OS X. That's why MalwareBytes for Mac takes seconds to scan.

    With regards to viruses: if we're going on the description that a virus is a self-duplicating application, which runs without the users' consent or knowledge, then as of the time of writing there has been no virus, ever, on OS X.

    Now there are many articles about exploits using applications through as Flash Player and Java (yet another reason you should avoid installing them), and other bugs/workarounds that may cause applications to gain root privilege, but as of yet there has not been a full-blooded documented virus on OS X. This does not mean you should be complacent, though you can be reassured.
     
  13. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #14
    I will use my own experience to interpret that post #6:
    The use of installed (active scanning) AV software affects the performance of your Mac, more than the protection against perceived threats is worth.
     
  14. TheBuffather macrumors 6502

    TheBuffather

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #15
    Most Mac owners do not use virus/maleware/spyware software. In the years and years I've been using Macs, and on the ultra-rare occurrence I download an app to scan my computer, the only thing that has ever been found is a forwarded email from a Windows user with a compromised file or link. Posed no threat to my Mac.
     
  15. manhattanboy macrumors 6502a

    manhattanboy

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    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    In ur GF's bed, Oh no he didn't!
    #16
    You do need something, but catching a virus after infection is really too late. The best kind of antivirus is the kind that will real-scan all downloads, etc. before you open them.

    Personally, I recommend to everyone have something like little snitch to prevent outbound flow.
    In regards to getting rid of malware, just re-write the disk image every month from an external back-up and that should take care of anything that sneaks in there.
     
  16. BlargKing macrumors 6502

    BlargKing

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    Apr 17, 2014
    Location:
    NewBrunswick, Canada
    #17
    Immune? No. Just Macs make up such a small percentage of devices that its typically not worthwhile for a malicious coder to take the time to write malware for a Mac, but there have been a couple notable cases of malware on Macs over the past couple years.

    As for antivirus/antimalware, there are decent ones out there even some of the free ones. I don't know if they make a Mac version, but I use Avast on all my PC's and its been great. Its very unobtrusive and doesn't hog background resources.
     
  17. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a

    jackoatmon

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    #18
    The options are:

    Pay nothing and have Russian botnets use 1% of your resources and steal personal data.
    Pay money and have antivirus company use 10% of your resources and steal personal data.
     
  18. lobo1978 macrumors 6502

    lobo1978

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    #19
    Never used antivirus software since switching from crappy windows. No problems what so ever.

    However if you click on spearfishing email you will be screwed no matter what system you are using - that's how you pay to be naive in web nowadays.
     
  19. EnderBeta macrumors 6502

    EnderBeta

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    #20
    No

    My gaming machine is protected by a hardware firewall. It has no pirated content on it. I have outlook set to not download attachments until I tell it to. People like the person above bashing Windows because it gets malware are forgetting that the platform gets Malware because it is a large profile target. The Windows platform isn't bad.

    My iMac doesn't have antivirus either. A program can download onto the machine all day long but until I right click it and tell macOS to run it the program is not going to do anything.

    I practice safety by also avoiding questionable web sites.
     
  20. rick3000 macrumors 6502a

    rick3000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    West Coast
    #21
    You don't really need it unless you are downloading a lot of sketchy stuff.
    I run Malwarebytes once a month, just to be safe.
     

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