Do I need Anti virus for my Mac?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kinkokoro, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Kinkokoro macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #1
    New Mac user here, I'll be soon getting a Macbook when I save up enough. I'm use to Windows, where Nortan is as common as I.E. Do I need Antivirus, or hacker protection on my MB?

    thanks.

    Josh
     
  2. stealthninja macrumors member

    stealthninja

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    MI
    #2
    nope and please search the forums before posting
    (Eidorian i beat you for once:D)
     
  3. italiano40 macrumors 65816

    italiano40

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    NY
    #4
    that is the wonderful thing about Mac NO VIRIUS
     
  4. penter macrumors 6502a

    penter

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #5
    "More chances of winning the lotto than getting a virus on your mac"

    I use the quotation marks because this was told to me by an applecare representative.

    Always trust the applecare representative lol :D
     
  5. Kinkokoro thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #6
    That's pretty amazing guys, thanks.
     
  6. penter macrumors 6502a

    penter

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #7
    You're very welcome.
    This is what Macrumors is all about :)
    Welcome to the world of a Mac owner, btw.
     
  7. btallada9870 macrumors member

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    Jul 16, 2007
    #8
    while we are on the topic, why exactly are there no virus's for the mac?
     
  8. stealthninja macrumors member

    stealthninja

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    #9
    and please search the forums before posting. please people!
     
  9. TheStu macrumors 65816

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    Aug 20, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, PA
    #10
    There are any number of theories, the most quoted of which is that it is because OS X has such a small marketshare, and if it was as big as Windows, it would have as many viruses.

    A strong argument against that is this. Let's say for sake of argument, that there are only 2 choices, Windows and OS X. OS X has 10% of the market share, and Windows has 90%. Now, let's say that last year there were 90 unique viruses found that infect Windows machines. You know how many OS X viruses there were? 0. Let's increase that number to 114,000 for Windows (I am fairly certain that is the actual number for last year). OS X... 0.

    So one would think that even with their reduced market share, they would at least get some viruses right?

    The actual reason has quite a bit to do with how OS X handles things as compared to Windows, and the steps built into the OS for security and the like.

    Generally speaking, if you actually use common sense you can avoid all viruses and 99% of the spyware out there. Sure, sometimes you might get unlucky, but for the most part, just keep your head about you.
     
  10. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #11
    I'm not sure if you were intending "were" to be your operative word... This is from a year-and-a-half ago. http://www.macrumors.com/2006/02/16/the-first-mac-os-x-virus-a-new-os-x-trojan/

    Still, I think A.V. is pretty senseless on OS X at this point. Just follow good practices while on the internet (downloading, clicking, etc.)
    And as stupid as this sounds, AntiVirus and a Firewall are two completely different concepts; You NEED a firewall. Period. It's amazing how many people are confused that there is a difference.
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #12
  12. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    There isn't much need for virus software, but that's no reason to be complacent. Some of your files may be infected with Windows viruses and if you send them to friends or family with Windows machines they can become infected because of you. I run ClamXAV as my virus software. I don't run it often, but it's there just in case.
     
  13. TheStu macrumors 65816

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    Aug 20, 2006
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    Carlisle, PA
    #14
    Well you are right, I had forgotten all about the trojan on OS X (which i don't think is in the wild anymore) that required the user to authenticate, and then spreads itself to all your AIM contacts so that it can then (if they are on OS X) spread itself to all their AIM contacts.... if they authenticate.

    Windows: 114,000
    OS X: 1ish
     
  14. skwij macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Location:
    Belleville, ON, Canada
    #15
    Another vote for ClamXav just so I don't send something on to a Windows user.

    Our Macs may be invulnerable to viri, but our poor Windows buddies' computers aren't.

    I just scan anything I send to Windows people with ClamXav before sending.
     
  15. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

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    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    #16
    The latest issue of Mac Format has an article titled, Mac users face virus onslaught.
    I think that as the Mac becomes more popular it is going to attract more and more people who create viruses and other problems.
    Porting Safari to the PC was probably not a good idea. And consider that some disgruntled iPhone customer, angry about the recent pricing fiasco and having the knowledge to attack the Mac platform, might decide to try his hand at attacking the Mac OS. Heck, the very sight of so many Mac users acting so complacent about the invulnerability of the Mac OS could be seen as a challenge by some intrepid virus writer.
    I wouldn't be so sure that Mac users have nothing to worry about on the virus attacks front anymore.
     
  16. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Location:
    Ireland
    #17
    Nearly everyone says none is needed, but if you feel happier install one .. :)

    p.s.
    Norton tends to slow your system down a tad .. :(
     
  17. landis macrumors regular

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    Apr 9, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto/Kingston Canada
    #18
    i dont want to scan my files for windows viruses because if they do get sent to a windows computer, all the more reason for them to get a mac.

    on an old windows computer i had a few years back, we had someone come in to clean it and it had like 20000 viruses!! the most the tech guy had ever seen
     
  18. Dybbuk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    #19
    Yes, the reason Macs have zero viruses is because they are so unpopular. Nobody knows what a Mac is, and I know for a fact that no techie Windows users have violent vendettas against Apple.
     
  19. alljunks macrumors regular

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    Apr 8, 2007
  20. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2007
    #21
    Touche! ;)

    It's my (unprofessional) opinion that systems derived on Unix (BSD in particular) are inherently more immune to viruses, at least compared to OS 9 and before and especially Windows.

    But magazine articles titled "Mac users probably won't get as many viruses" just doesn't sell now does it? We've been hearing the "onslaught" will be coming for years, and as TheStu pointed out, it's questionable if they even can be classified as a virus to begin with.
     
  21. NoOneButMe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    #22
    Do you need it for your mac? Not at this time. But it might be useful to scan email for coworkers before passing it along - never know when something like that'll happen ;)

    Though all AV's for mac do more harm then good at the moment so they're best to be avoided (AFAIK a least)
     
  22. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #23
    There is a major flaw with the theory that as Macs get more popular, they will become more prone to viruses. As we know, OS X is built upon the Berkley Software Distribution (Free BSD for some), and that has been around since the late 70's. There is NO known security break on that OS since it came about.

    Furthermore, if it was that simple- that no one cares enough to make a virus for the Mac, there still would be someone that wants to be the first. Think about it- would you rather be the hacker that made the 114,983th virus to infiltrate XP, or would you rather be the one guy that managed to bring OS X down? Seriously- it has a lot to do with permissions, admin vs root privilidges, and the way programs are handled.
     
  23. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    sunny los angeles
    #24
  24. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #25
    I think you mean NetBSD, not OpenBSD. And even they have had a few, albeit a small number, of vulnerabilities. There is no such thing as a perfect secure OS, only varying degrees of acceptably secure. OS X is on the higher end of the spectrum...

    But remote vulnerabilities and viruses are different beasts...

    At the risk of going way OT, I think virus makers look for "maximum damage" and their best bet is going with the 90% marketshare platform, not the 8%. But I disagree that this is the reason we don't see more OS X viruses; like you say, it has a lot to do with security and privileges.

    Of course no one will find out unless the malware crowd tears us a new one like they did with Windows... Even MS has done a good PR job with "It's not us, it's those damn hackers!" They even seem to have spun their security flaws of the past as a way to sell Vista... Sorry, but why would I ever trust you again, Microsoft?
     

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