Does anyone here actually use antivirus for their MacBook Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by NewbieToMacs, Aug 17, 2013.

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Do you use antivirus for your MacBook Air?

  1. Yes

    12 vote(s)
    12.6%
  2. No

    83 vote(s)
    87.4%
  1. NewbieToMacs, Aug 17, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013

    NewbieToMacs macrumors newbie

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    Aug 11, 2013
    #1
    Does anyone here actually use antivirus for their MacBook Air?

    I know at the Apple store the sales reps are taught to say "macs don't need antivirus", but is that really true? I figure that the low marketshare (compared to PCs) is the main reason people say there isn't much motivation for hackers to write Mac exploits but given the rising popularity of the platform and growing user base I would assume that there are more and more instances of Mac exploits either here or on the way?

    If you do use antivirus, please say which one and if it negatively affects your Macbook Airs performance or battery life.

    Thank you.
     
  2. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 17, 2013
    #2
    You should but I don't since I've got Firefox with NoScript and no java installed those three alone makes mac os x immune to online browser hijacks. For phishing sites, I use WebOfTrust to check. :)
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #3
    Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 12 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). 3rd party antivirus apps are not necessary to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as a user practices safe computing, as described in the following link.
    Read the What security steps should I take? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for tips on practicing safe computing
    The marketshare myth has been debunked many times. The fact is, there were viruses and much more malware in the wild that affected OS 9 and earlier versions, when Macs had a much smaller market share and installed base. Now that the market share has grown significantly, the number of viruses has decreased to zero, and the only malware in the wild is a handful of Trojans, which are easily avoided.
     
  4. NewbieToMacs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 11, 2013
    #4
    Thank you for the guide and your knowledge GGJstudios :)

    Your answer makes me feel much more at ease. Coming from a lifetime of PCs it's hard to shake old habits of fear ;)

    So glad I ended up going Mac!
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #5
    This may be useful:
     
  6. NewbieToMacs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 11, 2013
    #6
    Yes, it definitely will be! I was looking for a comprehensive Mac info page just like that.

    Time to get out the candle and start reading :)

    Thanks again.
     
  7. Mrbobb macrumors 601

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    Aug 27, 2012
    #7
    No antivirus nor software firewall here. I run my Mac unemcumbent by any lead weight. I do have a hardware firewall at home.
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    OS X has a built-in firewall that doesn't impede performance. It's a good idea to enable it, especially if you use your Mac on public Wi-Fi networks.
     
  9. M0V3M3N7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2013
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9

    @GGJ - I've always run mine enabled, because I assumed it made sense - but do you know why they ship macs with it disabled? There must be some reasoning?
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #10
    I've never seen any official statement from Apple, but I would guess they want to make sure that a user's first experience isn't hindered at all, or that they don't get pop-up messages from the firewall when they first launch apps. It doesn't make sense to me, but that would be my guess.
     
  11. M0V3M3N7 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 10, 2013
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    London, UK
    #11
    Ok, thanks
     
  12. mattferg macrumors 6502

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    May 27, 2013
    #12
    My attitude is that although OS X is less likely to encounter a virus than Windows is, Viruses for Mac are still out there, and OS X has been shown time and time again to be 10000000000x more vulnerable to viruses than Windows is (if there were the same number for both platforms).

    As such I run an antivirus and the firewall. Best be safe than sorry :)
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #13
    That's not true. There has never been a single OS X virus in the wild. There are Trojans, which can easily be avoided by practicing safe computing, but no viruses.
     
  14. GSPice macrumors 68000

    GSPice

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    Nov 24, 2008
  15. mattferg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #15
    Yes, it is. The difference between a trojan and a virus is that trojans do not replicate themselves. There have been a few replicating viruses for OS X in the past few years, Google it dear :)
     
  16. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

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    May 13, 2013
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    'merica
    #16
    I've been running OS X as my primary OS for well over 10 years now (since 10.2) and have never installed any sort of anti-virus. No problems whatsoever.

    Same goes for my professional environment where I admin roughly 150 Macs. None are running anti-virus and we've had no issues related to malware of any sort.
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #17
    That's not the only criteria for determining a virus. Read the link I posted earlier to educate yourself on the difference. Name one OS X virus.
     
  18. mattferg macrumors 6502

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    May 27, 2013
    #18
    MachoMan.
    http://www.technewsdaily.com/18269-mac-osx-virus.html
    Funny thing about this one too is that the exploit is 7 years old and still isn't patched.

    I can't believe Mac owners are still this naive about viruses and vulnerabilities in OS X after all this time. Macs don't get viruses because they have such a small marketshare. It has nothing to do with OS X being more secure or safer than Windows, and is entirely down to hackers devoting time and energy into coding viruses which work on the largest common factor: Windows.

    An anti-virus software package doesn't just block/deal with viruses, it blocks malware and trojans too, and as such is a great thing to have. More and more malware is being discovered for Mac (which is ironic as their marketshare is decreasing).

    Time and time again we've seen at hackathons Macs get 'broken' far, far faster than Windows or Ubuntu does. Macs aren't secure at all, they're just far less targeted. Be safe and use an anti-virus package, to do otherwise is just ignorant and arrogant.

    Or do Mac users not remember THIS:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/03/29/ubuntu_left_standing/
    Beaten by Vista.
     
  19. hindmost macrumors regular

    hindmost

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #19
     
  20. GGJstudios, Aug 19, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #20
    You should read the articles you link to. As clearly stated in that article, that exploit has never appeared in the wild, so it presents zero threat to Mac users.
    The marketshare myth has been debunked more times than I can count. It has nothing to do with market share. There were viruses and much more malware in the wild that affected OS 9 and earlier, when the market share and installed base were much smaller. As the market share has grown substantially, the number of viruses has dwindled to zero and the only OS X malware that remains in the wild is a handful of trojans, all of which are easily avoided without the need for 3rd party antivirus apps, simply by practicing safe computing.
    100% of all OS X malware that exists in the wild can be successfully avoided by practicing safe computing, which has proven to be more effective than running any antivirus app.
    Hacking and malware are different animals. No antivirus app protects against hacking.
    You can use an antivirus app if you want. You can even use Sophos if you want, even though it could make your Mac more vulnerable. However, it is foolish to think that any antivirus app will protect you from all malware. It has already been proven that safe computing will protect Mac users, even when antivirus apps fail to do so, as has happened in the past.
    iAntiVirus has a bogus malware definitions list, making their detection accuracy untrustworthy. They also make inaccurate claims about the existence of Mac malware, in order to hype the need for their product.
     
  21. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    Phoenix, AZ
  22. rochow macrumors member

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    Aug 20, 2013
    #22
    I don't right now, I used to though. Not so much for me, but to prevent anything that comes through me going to someone else's computer (I get sent lots of files that I send to other people).
     
  23. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    Oct 9, 2007
    #23
    Now if you're going to run Windows in bootcamp or in a virtual machine then a Windows anti-virus app is in order. In my experience Microsoft's free anti-virus app is all you need. It's free and lightweight and doesn't go in for fearmongerinrrg.
     
  24. mattferg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #24
    So much misinformation here it's unreal.

    OS9 and earlier had virus issues that aren't currently present in OS X for 2 reasons: a) a complete reboot of the OS and b) a switch to an entirely new processor architecture. OS9 had been an evolution of an OS that was nearing 20 years old, and as such virus coders had a solid base to code a virus that wouldn't change. For the most part, any software that ran on XP can still just about run on Windows 8. No piece of software coded in 2001 will run on a 2013 Mac.

    It's all about marketshare, and the Mac one is tiny. Don't act like it's been 'debunked' because that's nonsense and you're misleading people.

    Secondly, how is a wide open security exploit no threat to users? Especially if it's publicised on the web and has never been patched? Seriously, just because the virus that can use this exploit hasn't been found in the while, doesn't mean that having this security exploit isn't a threat. Windows would've patched this YEARS ago.

    Yes, malware can be avoided by practicing safe computing. You know what also counts as safe computing? Using a firewall and an antivirus. It isn't going to make your computer more vulnerable/less safe like the nonsense you're spewing is.
     
  25. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #25
    There was no processor shift from OS 9 to OS X. On top of that, the processor has nothing to do with whether a piece of software (or an OS) is architecturally secure. OS X is secure by design (like banks are more secure than homes by design), whereas Windows was not. It's not a marketshare thing at all.
     

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