Free Mac Virus Protection

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by JoeRito, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. JoeRito macrumors 6502a

    JoeRito

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #1
    Given the likelihood of more malware being targeted toward OS X, I've just started using the free program SOPHOS. Anybody having success protecting their mac with this? Pros / Cons ?
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    Sophos should be avoided, as it could actually increase your Mac's vulnerability, as described here and here.
    Use ClamXAV and common sense instead:
    Currently there are zero viruses affecting Mac OS X in public circulation, but there are other kinds of malware existing, that can infect your Mac.
    But as long as you don't install software from unknown and untrusted sources, you are safe, as malware needs administrative permissions to run successfully, which means, you need to install the malware yourself, it can't install itself (one of the reasons, why a Mac OS X virus hasn't appeared yet).
    To learn more about malware in Mac OS X and what steps can be taken to protect yourself, read the following F.A.Q.:
    Mac Virus/Malware Info by GGJstudios
    The above F.A.Q. includes the following topics:
    • Malware terminology - What is the difference between viruses, worms, and Trojans?
    • Antivirus apps
    • What security steps should I take?
    • What about sending files to Windows users?
    • Why am I being redirected to other sites?
    • Recent threats in the news

     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    As simsaladimbamba stated, I recommend you avoid Sophos.

    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 10 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). Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
    1. Make sure your built-in Mac firewall is enabled in System Preferences > Security > Firewall

    2. Uncheck "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari > Preferences > General

    3. Uncheck "Enable Java" in Safari > Preferences > Security. This will completely protect you from the Flashback malware. Leave this unchecked until you visit a trusted site that requires Java, then re-enable only for your visit to that site. (This is not to be confused with JavaScript, which you should leave enabled.)

    4. Change your DNS servers to OpenDNS servers by reading this.

    5. Be careful to only install software from trusted, reputable sites. Never install pirated software. If you're not sure about an app, ask in this forum before installing.

    6. Never let someone else have access to install anything on your Mac.

    7. Don't open files that you receive from unknown or untrusted sources.

    8. Make sure all network, email, financial and other important passwords are long and complex, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

    9. Always keep your Mac and application software updated. Use Software Update for your Mac software. For other software, it's safer to get updates from the developer's site or from the menu item "Check for updates", rather than installing from any notification window that pops up while you're surfing the web.
    That's all you need to do to keep your Mac completely free of any virus, trojan, spyware, keylogger, or other malware. You don't need any 3rd party software to keep your Mac secure.

    If you still want to run antivirus, ClamXav is one of the best choices, since it isn't a resource hog, detects both Mac and Windows malware and doesn't run with elevated privileges. You can run scans when you choose, rather than leaving it running all the time, slowing your system. ClamXav has a Sentry feature which, if enabled, will use significant system resources to constantly scan. Disable the Sentry feature. You don't need it. Also, when you first install ClamXav, as with many antivirus apps, it may perform an initial full system scan, which will consume resources. Once the initial scan is complete, periodic on-demand scans will have much lower demands on resources.
     
  4. JoeRito thread starter macrumors 6502a

    JoeRito

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #4
    Very helpful, thank you folks for your comprehensive replies... I've just made these changes.:cool:
     

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