Does Mac OS X really need any protection

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Kentczu10, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. Kentczu10 macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2005

    I have a quite old Mac iBook (2001) and a bit younger eMac (2003). Both running fine (Mac OS X 10.3.9). I bought many years ago Norton Systemworks 2.0 and used that until that went out of the date. Since then I have used only shareware or even free utilies (such as Optimizer which I have found to be the best, at least for me).

    I went to have a look on Symantec web site and found out that it is impossible to upgrade Systemworks 2.0 to the newest version and they (all their stuff actually) are really quite expensive (from about 80 euros up to 130 euros or so).

    So, my question is: Does Mac OS X really need their stuff (Systemworks, Firewalls, Internet Security etc.)? At least so far I have managed without them, but who knows what can happen in the future.

    All answers will be much appreciated! Thanks folks!
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    I have two Macs running naked through the internet - sans antivirus.

    They have both been fine for a combined online time of about three years. There is currently nothing malicious that you could possibly get on your Mac assuming you have even a modest understanding of downloads, which it sounds like you probably do.

    I wouldn't worry about it. Antivirus will merely slow down your Mac. :)
  3. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
  4. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    my macs been acting up recently but i put that down to bugs in 10.4.2. Firewall, stealth mode, Safari... no probs thus far :D

    unlike my mate who just got broadband. his PC had 95 separate viruses after just 1 day online. i mean... how the hell do you get that many! he was at work or out with me most of the time!
  5. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    You absolutely need a firewall. OS X comes with one (two?)
    I don't know about the new stuff, but for ipfw, I did a basic configuration with BrickHouse and after that I make modifications in advanced mode (just a text editor for the ipfw configuration file). I do use the monitor and log viewer.
  6. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    At the moment, there are no known virii or trojans in the wild that'll affect a Mac.

    There is always a lag between a virus appearing and the anti-virus software companies responding by updating their software (and with everyone online 24/7 with broadband, virii are spreading even faster these days). This probably means, even if you have Mac anti-virus software, you'll probably catch the first Mac virus before the anti-viral companies respond anyway.

    I would definitely recommend turning your firewall on though, it may help and it costs you little.
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Norton SystemWorks 3.0 is the last version of the utility suite for the Mac. Symantec dropped development of the Utilities components of the suite because they are not needed; they caused more harm than good; and the market for them died. The Unix utilities that are part of Darwin will keep your Mac humming along nicely and will fix 99.9% of problems it may encounter. Symantec continues to develop Norton Antivirus which serves to rid your Mac of those nasty Windows viruses and those Mac viruses still infecting your old System 6 files.
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    A quick not-so-funny story. I recently called my ISP (a relatively small operation) about some problems I was having with connection speeds. One of the tech guy's first trouble-shooting suggestions was to ask me about my virus protection software. When I told him I wasn't running any, I could tell by his tone of voice that he was appalled. I'm running Macs, no viruses, I told him. "Everybody needs to run virus protection software," he said to me, like I was some sort of rube who doesn't comprehend such complicated technical matters. I'd also thrown him off his script, which you don't want to do to with tech support people. They get disoriented so easily.

    Anyway, I patiently explained that, no, in fact, Macs don't have any viruses, at least for now, and I would install virus protection software if and when I needed it, but not before. He clearly remained unconvinced, and I'm sure when he hung up the phone he told everybody within earshot about the dumb Mac owner he just talked to who doesn't think he needs any virus protection.

    Turn on the software firewall built into OSX. That's all you really need. ;)
  9. ohcrap macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2005
    So true. If they put as much effort into learning their field as they do trying to stay on "script" as you put it, they might actually be quite helpful.
  10. yippy macrumors 68020


    Mar 14, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    I resent some of those comments about Tech support as I am one. :rolleyes:

    No one in my office has any really scripted response, we do have troubleshooting procedures for different problems written up that we can use if we want. But if I client says a step doesn't apply to them (like don't have AV software) you just skip it and move on, no biggie. I don't understand why tech people get so flustered unless you are asking something completely unreasonable (like how to use someone else's service or how to hack linux or something like that).

    Anyway, I work at for a university help desk and we provide free AV software for Mac and Windows. My bosses fully approve of the solution "uninstall it and don't worry about it" when trying to fix Mac AV software problems. So just turn on the built in firewall and you are good.
  11. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    As said above, it's to stop Windows viruses from accidently being passed along. Macs are currently immune. If you don't feel safe, there are some really good free alternatives out there. There's a thread about it somewhere here.
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Sorry, no intent to offend anyone in particular. I've run into a few good tech support people, and I'm sure you're one of those. ;)

    The majority though -- and in my experience the vast majority -- are poorly trained and unimaginative. They tend to "know" only what they see on the screen in front of them. Anything off the well-beaten path tends to throw them for a loop.
  13. makeme macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2005
    The awesome thing about Mac OS X is how secure it is without you having to do anything. By default all of the ports, which network traffic goes through are closed. When a port is closed, it will respond to traffic, but will not allow it through. When a port is stealthed, it will not respond to traffic and will not allow it through. You can stealth your ports by following these easy steps.

    1. Go into System Preferences and click on Sharing.

    2. Under Services, uncheck all the services you are not using.

    3. Under Firewall, click on Advanced and check all of the options and then click on Start.

    4. Under Internet, ensure Internet Sharing is off, if you are not using it.

    I have one more tip that applies to all computers and operating systems. Never underestimate the security of a system whose user is sufficiently paranoid about what he exposes his system to.
  14. MUCKYFINGERS macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    I've had my mac running naked for 2 months now and it's still fine.
  15. Josh2022 macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2005
    Sounds like your friend is surfing a little too much xxx ;)
  16. yenko macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2005
    Just go to "Software Update" and make sure all of the security updates are installed. You don't need all that other "Norton Crap" ! :rolleyes:
  17. yippy macrumors 68020


    Mar 14, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    No offense taken, I know how bad most tech support is as I have had to deal with them myself from the client side. My help desk is just a little bit of an exception, partly because we work for a university and so don't have as large of a client base. We freely talk to our supervisors if we don't know the answer off hand and it is our policy that if we can't help, to find someone who does and get the client in touch with them.
  18. ashama macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2011

    I recently start using a mac after using windows for years. my first worry was "i dont have a internet security software on my computer" and i still dont and i got no viruses. thats the beauty of it!!!:D
    i kinda keep a few windows trojans on my Mac to jst prank my friends:rolleyes: funny how their computers get infected whenever they connect to my mac!! :D;):apple::apple::apple:
  19. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    You replied to a 5+ year old thread to brag about pranking your "friends" by infecting their computers? I would certainly hate to be one of your friends.

    Perhaps at some point in life you will consider becoming an adult.

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