Do you use antivirus software?

Do you use anti-virus software on your Mac desktop/laptop?


  • Total voters
    255

donawalt

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 10, 2015
436
183
I have never used it on a Mac, it seems more people do now. So I am wondering how many people use antivirus software (like Malwarebytes) now? Please vote, thanks!
 

macdos

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2017
274
353
My Mac is unbreakable. I am also immortal, mind you.

If you do dirty laundry, you might get pwned if you are not careful. Otherwise, you just need to keep an external backup to be safe from both malware and computer meltdown. You really need to do that.

I feel these antivirus wares 1) are very intrusive, trying to establish themselves as an operating system within the operating system, cluttering the system with ”notifications” (I never ever want a computer to ”talk” to me); 2) adds a lot of overhead and affects performance; 3) prevents quite legit operations and disowns me as the controller of the computer; 4) are in fact a sort of malware themselves, leaving their kexts running even after removing the packages; 5) are useless against fresh exploits.

Most normal users have nothing to fear. Really nasty cryptolock malware is not feasible on a SIP enabled Mac, but is ubiquitous on WIN-DOS machines. Apple's own malware removal system will clean up major garbage if it infects a larger user base.
 

MSastre

macrumors 6502a
Aug 18, 2014
591
261
Free version of Malewarebytes i good to use as a check every now and then.
 

Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
1,084
243
Basel, Switzerland
I have never used it on a Mac, it seems more people do now. So I am wondering how many people use antivirus software (like Malwarebytes) now? Please vote, thanks!
I was also convinced not to need it but after having received a very nasty letter from my internet provider (caused by an old Windows notebook I was trying to bring to life and must have received an infection during my procedures) I decided to be more cautious.
True, virus are usually made for Windows OS but you may send (not being aware) an infected file to someone running Windows... or a malware can leave your mac and enter the provider's network :eek:
"Adware Zap" did found and removed some minor non-dangerous nuisances (adwares) in my mac. A good small app.
However if you run a dual OS system including a Windows partition (as I do) and often move data from one OS to the other, to install a true antivirus application working in your MacOS like Eset or Symantec is IMHO not a very bad idea, although you can no doubt live without it if you are careful enough.
Curiously a well updated current Windows 10 does not necessarily need any longer additional antivirus applications as long as you leave the built-in "Defender" always in ON position, update it very often... and you do not visit dangerous web sites or download warez. Microsoft has done a good work to improve the fight with malware in their newest Windows 10 issues.
That an antivirus should make your mac run slower is often said but (without running -of course- any comparative speed workbench!) I have never noticed any such negative effect, so, if it happens, it must hardly be noticeable in normal mac environments.
Of course some antivirus applications have the bad habit to pop up at starting the mac :( and nobody likes pop ups, but otherwise I can live with an antivirus... and am not afraid I could not entirely remove it one day if I wish to do so.
As mentioned, I have learned in a very unpleasant way that internet access puts the user under the authority of the web provider who can put him/her offline if the user is not careful enough. :oops:
However in my painful story with my provider I have no doubt that Windows(-Virus) was the cause of my sin, not MacOS!
Ed
 

RootBeerMan

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2016
1,448
5,213
I have been using Macs since our old 6100/66 and never needed an anti-virus, even when Micro$oft Word files were being used from other machine. It's unnecessary and can slow your machine down and eat up resources better used by other programs. Feel free to run Malwarebytes, as others have suggested, it does catch something every now and again. But don't waste your money on anti-virus software.
 
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Panthera Tigris Altaica

macrumors member
Nov 29, 2018
77
64
In the Frozen North, of course.
I was also convinced not to need it but after having received a very nasty letter from my internet provider (caused by an old Windows notebook I was trying to bring to life and must have received an infection during my procedures) I decided to be more cautious.
True, virus are usually made for Windows OS but you may send (not being aware) an infected file to someone running Windows... or a malware can leave your mac and enter the provider's network :eek:
"Adware Zap" did found and removed some minor non-dangerous nuisances (adwares) in my mac. A good small app.
However if you run a dual OS system including a Windows partition (as I do) and often move data from one OS to the other, to install a true antivirus application working in your MacOS like Eset or Symantec is IMHO not a very bad idea, although you can no doubt live without it if you are careful enough.
Curiously a well updated current Windows 10 does not necessarily need any longer additional antivirus applications as long as you leave the built-in "Defender" always in ON position, update it very often... and you do not visit dangerous web sites or download warez. Microsoft has done a good work to improve the fight with malware in their newest Windows 10 issues.
That an antivirus should make your mac run slower is often said but (without running -of course- any comparative speed workbench!) I have never noticed any such negative effect, so, if it happens, it must hardly be noticeable in normal mac environments.
Of course some antivirus applications have the bad habit to pop up at starting the mac :( and nobody likes pop ups, but otherwise I can live with an antivirus... and am not afraid I could not entirely remove it one day if I wish to do so.
As mentioned, I have learned in a very unpleasant way that internet access puts the user under the authority of the web provider who can put him/her offline if the user is not careful enough. :oops:
However in my painful story with my provider I have no doubt that Windows(-Virus) was the cause of my sin, not MacOS!
Ed
I usually run Windows. I'm typing this on a Win 10 system. I ensure that there is working, properly set up, antimalware software running on this, and all other, Windows systems I access. I do not _care_ if malware gets sent from a Mac or a Linux machine due to the people running those machines not having antimalware running. _They_ are not responsible for the operation of my Windows machines, _I_ am. The 'protect the Windows people' mindset is one I find particularly stupid.

Note that Windows Defender is, at best, minimal protection. I use Kaspersky on my Windows systems. YMMV.

I used to have Mac antimalware. I used John Norstrad's 'Disinfectant' for years, but that was when there actually was a serious malware threat on Macs. There is no longer such a threat, and there hasn't been such a threat for literal decades. The last serious threats were SevenDust and the AutoStart Worm, neither of which made it into 1999 before being squashed. Disinfectant was discontinued after it became clear that there was, simply, no significant threat any more.

For a while Apple included Virex in their .Mac subscription. I stopped using Virex (now, I believe, McAfee for Mac) after a beta version ate some of my email. Virex is actually more dangerous than McAfee for Windows, which is difficult to do.

I tried out Sophos; it slows the machine down, it takes a long time to scan external drives, and it places parts of itself in places where I, at least, don't think it should go. I have removed Sophos.

I tried out ClamXAV. It was slower than Sophos. The new version is no longer that slow, but it is also no longer free. I don't think enough of it to pay for it. I have removed it.

I tried out Norton. I removed it before the first day was over. It was more dangerous than many of the malware systems it was supposed to stop. Once again, the Mac version of Norton was more dangerous than the Windows version of Norton, and I nuke Norton from orbit on sight on Windows machines.

I looked at Intego. At that time they claimed to 'protect' against malware which had been dead for years, including SevenDust and nVIR, neither of which can run on OS X in the first place. I declined to allow their product anywhere near any of my Macs and haven't gone near them since. YMMV.

The vast majority of Mac malware are trojans. If you're careful what you do and where you go, you can't get hurt by a trojan. (Hint: no, that 'codec' really won't let you see that Really Great P0rn, it's a trojan and will give your Mac computer AIDS if you run it. Yes, that file really does contain naked pictures of [famous female tennis player]. It also contains malware and will infect your machine while you're busy looking at cute tennis play behinds.) There are also phishing emails. Don't click here. There are emails with web bugs embeded. Turn HTML off in your mail client and do NOT use webmail. There are adware and spyware to support adware. Use an adblocker. Certain sites (Forbes is one) hate you if you use an adblocker. I'll stop using an adblocker when they stop hosting ads which can attack my machines. As they take no responsibility whatsoever for the ads on their site, I keep using my adblockers.

The firewall built into OS X is fairly good, but can be improved if you install Little Snitch. Note that the first few weeks that you have Little Snitch installed you will be very busy approving or not approving network connections, but after that you'll have blocked most possible spyware and such.
 
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Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
1,084
243
Basel, Switzerland
I usually run Windows. I'm typing this on a Win 10 system. I ensure that there is working, properly set up, antimalware software running on this, and all other, Windows systems I access. I do not _care_ if malware gets sent from a Mac or a Linux machine due to the people running those machines not having antimalware running. _They_ are not responsible for the operation of my Windows machines, _I_ am. The 'protect the Windows people' mindset is one I find particularly stupid.

Note that Windows Defender is, at best, minimal protection. I use Kaspersky on my Windows systems. YMMV.
I am of course no expert in cyber security.
However the German computer magazin "c't" which is considered to be the best and most reliable source in Europe considers that the PRESENT Windows Defender in comparative tests they run in their security lab with malware of every kind, in part generated by themselves, compares favourably to any present commercial antivirus software application money can buy.
Therefore in THEIR opinion a well updated Defender is enough to protect any well updated Windows 10 system.
Of course whoever goes to dubious sites looking for porn or warez or the stupid people who click on attachments in phishing mails are no doubt looking for trouble.
Otherwise the present Windows Defender is as reliable as the Kasperky you mention or any other antivirus one must pay for.
It is not my humble opinion but the one of people who know what they write and publish and are truly respected in security matters all over Europe (provided of course that the reader is fluent in German).

By the way to run a clean and well protected Windows system is, of course, the responsibility of the person in charge of it.
However I do not see at all as "stupid" to be very careful as a MacOS user with files and data one sends to persons one is in touch with and who run a more exposed OS, even if in our MacOS envyronment those files might not be dangerous at all.
The online present world is a common responsibility of everyone and we should look further than just taking care of one's own system. That is common sense online solidarity as I see it.
Ed
 
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brdeveloper

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2010
2,541
194
Brasil
If macOS needs an antivirus someday, we'll probably move to Windows. One of the main attractions to get a Mac is discharge us from the concern about viruses.
 

Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
1,084
243
Basel, Switzerland
If macOS needs an antivirus someday, we'll probably move to Windows. One of the main attractions to get a Mac is discharge us from the concern about viruses.
I very much doubt that people who buy a Mac and use in it some flavour of MacOS, do it just not to care too much about virus problems.:rolleyes:
If that would be the only reason there are plenty of free of charge Linux OS one can choose, perfectly matching the hardware of any computer, even an old and cheap one.
You can download excellent free Office applications, free Gimp image manipulation and almost everything most non pros need for free.
Linux is usually as free of virus problems as MacOS usually is.
Still many people invest in Apple Macs and enjoy using them.
Therefore there must be other reasons besides the virus factor which explain that joy many computer users feel with Apple hard and software.o_O
Ed
 
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brdeveloper

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2010
2,541
194
Brasil
I very much doubt that people who buy a Mac and use in it some flavour of MacOS, do it just not to care too much about virus problems.:rolleyes:
If that would be the only reason there are plenty of free of charge Linux OS one can choose, perfectly matching the hardware of any computer, even an old and cheap one.
You can download excellent free Office applications, free Gimp image manipulation and almost everything most non pros need for free.
Linux is usually as free of virus problems as MacOS usually is.
Still many people invest in Apple Macs and enjoy using them.
Therefore there must be other reasons besides the virus factor which explain that joy many computer users feel with Apple hard and software.o_O
Ed
Linux is in general safe, but it's not as convenient as macOS, which has better hardware integration and a more polished GUI compared to most Linux window managers. But I was comparing to Windows ecosystem, which is Apple's main competitor.

I think there are mainly two factors that make people prefer macOS over Windows: a) it's virus free and we trust that Apple will fix security issues ASAP to keep its reputation unblemished. MacOS is not safe "for free"; it's safe because Apple deliberately is cautious in this area. b) Apple knows that macOS must perform decently with its own hardware, even with HDD-equipped Macs, since there are iMacs, Macbooks and Minis with modest specs still on sale and they need keeping a loyal retailer base.
 
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Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
1,084
243
Basel, Switzerland
Anti-virus software makes your computer more susceptible to hackers. It’s is riddled with bugs for the bad guys to steal all your money.
A very interesting point of view that many many thousands of computer users all over the world, mostly running some Windows OS, ignore but YOU KNOW.
Spread the Good Word to mankind please :p
 
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IdentityCrisis

Suspended
Sep 9, 2018
685
345
Anyone who thinks MACs are immune to Virus's/Malware, needs a reality check.

In 2016, McAfee Labs reported (PDF) that virus attacks on Macs had risen by 744 percent that year.

https://www.comparitech.com/blog/vpn-privacy/mac-security-privacy/

"Although many people think of all unwanted, damaging, and invasive programs as “viruses” the definition of these attacking programs has become refined into several different categories and the umbrella term for these damaging programs is “malware.” Malware types include viruses, worms, Trojans, remote access Trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware, ransomware and botware."

https://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/mac-software/can-macs-get-viruses-3454926/

Can Macs Get Viruses & Do Macs Need Antivirus Software?

Wondering whether you need antivirus software to protect your Mac? macOS is more secure than Windows, but you'd be wise to look carefully at your security options because Macs can get viruses. We explain why you (probably) need antivirus software for your Mac and what to do if you think you have a virus
 
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NastyNatex

macrumors member
Sep 24, 2018
38
42
Of course, I'm running Eset Cybersecurity Pro. I use to not have a Mac Antivirus but since I connect to corporate networks and etc... Not using an antivirus puts me liability for damages that I can't afford to pay. Backups can get Infected with viruses too so I just can't afford to take the chance/risk of not using an antivirus based on since I haven't had a Virus in so-so x-Months/Years and my information is valuable I'll cry if I get ransomware on my Mac.
 

webbga

macrumors member
Feb 22, 2014
72
62
Cincinnati, Ohio
I run the free copy of Malwarebytes. I downloaded it after an online site I use to play SCRABBLE sent about 100 downloads to my download folder trying to get me to install Flash. I had used this site for 3 years with no problem. I did not install anything, but Malwarebytes did scan, find, and quarantine several infected files. I had the same issue when for some reason I wound up with Mackeeper all over my system. Malwarebytes successfully isolated the files and i was able to delete them. Vigilance andcommon sense are the best anti virus tools, but a little help never hurts.
 
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smirking

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,626
2,284
Silicon Valley
Yup, I have Clam XAV sentry running and occasionally will let the free version of Malwarebytes take a spin.

I've never had a Mac Virus before, but I did accidentally install Adware that was really hard to remove one time. I was trying to download a legit font package, but the site was serving ads and one of the ads intentionally resembled the software download button and I installed the wrong package.

The precursor to Malwarebytes (Adware Medic) got rid of it. For that reason alone, I keep a copy of Malwarebytes around. Also, all of my Windows machines have Malwarebytes installed.

Clam XAV is useful to help me detect Windows and Linux malware that I don't want to be passing along. I work with Web servers and through the years, I've grabbed archives of online directories and found malware on them, which tips me off that I either have a security problem I need to resolve, a rogue user, or a unsuspecting user who's getting pwned.
 
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