Free OS X Antivirus software

Discussion in 'macOS' started by JAYGEE, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. JAYGEE macrumors member

    JAYGEE

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Is there a decent free anti virus/malware software out there, for the Mac?

    I know there is ClamXav, but as far as I know, it only scans the Mac when you click scan. It doesn't monitor the Mac in the back ground.

    I also know about iAntiVirus, but it is in beta, so we will probably have to pay, when the full version is out, and it also only scans for Mac malware. I'd like the antivirus software to scan for Windows malware, as well.

    Any ideas?

    Hope there are people around here, and not all on the iPhone page :p
     
  2. myuserid08 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    #2
    You dont need anti virus software for macs, its a waste of time as there are no known viruses.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    There are no viruses that affect Macs. The only "Mal-ware" you could have is something you actively install, using your password, so you have total control of that. Antivirus software is wasted space and system resources on a Mac. Any Windows PC that you share files with should be running antivirus software already.
     
  4. Alan Taylor macrumors 6502

    Alan Taylor

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Mississauga
    #4
    ++

    You also don't need to reformat and re-install every so often, run a defrag program once a week, or throw your mac out of the window and buy a new one every four months!
     
  5. merc669 macrumors 6502

    merc669

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    Southern MD, USA
    #5
    Agree with all. Don't waste your time on it. Save your disk space and computing power for better things. Other than some malware you get from some porn sites (which you knowingly have to download) there is really no reason at this time to put wasteful apps like a virus checker on your mac. Maybe sometime in the future I can see it but not now. My opinion of course.

    Bill....:apple:
     
  6. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    AV/AM really is pretty pointless for OS X right now, don't bother.

    Absolutely AV your Windows though, I'm a Symantec Antivirus Corporate 10 fan-boy myself.
     
  7. markgamber macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Redneck, PA
    #7
    In 20 years of computing, I've never used an AV app and I've never had a virus or otherwise on any platform I've ever used from DOS to Vista to OS/2 to OS X. A little common sense is far cheaper and easier on system resources.
     
  8. JAYGEE thread starter macrumors member

    JAYGEE

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    That's why I wont pay for it. We may need it one day in the future. OS X can't be virus free for ever. It wont be as bad as Windows, but there must one day be a couple of viruses around, for the Mac.
     
  9. ddoonie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    #9
    If you must...

    http://www.clamxav.com/
     
  10. Duff-Man macrumors 68030

    Duff-Man

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    #10

    Duff-Man says....ClamXav can be set to watch/scan folders of your choice, such as your downloads folder - perhaps that will give you the free option you are looking for if you feel it's necessary to run something.....oh yeah!
     
  11. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #11
    No. It's not like Windows. OS X is UNIX. You can't just go by marketshare and say, "Oh, well if it were reversed, OS X would be the one with viruses." because that's not true.

    The only real threats for OS X will be the ones that you have to install on your own. No anti-virus will prevent user stupidity.
     
  12. JAYGEE thread starter macrumors member

    JAYGEE

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Unix is secure, but no software is perfect. They will have some security holes in the software.
     
  13. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #13
    Yes, unix does have security holes, the are called zero-day exploits, which no AV can protect you from anyway because no one knows about them yet.
     
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #14
    The best oversimplified explanation I've heard regarding UNIX vs Windows is this:

    Windows starts with everything "unlocked" and gives you the option to lock it.​

    UNIX starts with everything locked and you have to specifically unlock something.​

    How technically accurate this is is up for discussion, but it seemed to have some basis in truth.
     
  15. SDDave2007 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #15
    I realize that there are no virus for OSX.....

    So then... what does ClamVX do? I mean if there is nothing to look for... whats the use? And more specifically, if there are no virus.... how would it know if it found one?
     
  16. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #16
    Exactly. UNIX exploits are Zero-Day exploits. Nothing can protect you from security holes because they don't exist yet.

    OS X anti-virus is designed to stop you from spreading Windows viruses to Windows users. This is exactly why it is useless. Apart from that, the anti-virus software becomes a virus; sapping CPU power and RAM from your use.
     
  17. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #17
    It finds Windows viruses that come in via pop mail, internet browsing, instant messaging and flash drives.

    I run ClamXav because I have a mixed OS environment at my house and also often email friends and business partners who use Windows. I can't afford the time and money toast my Windows using partners.

    I can't believe what a dead horse this is.

    I normally don't resort to violence unless diplomatic efforts have failed. However, if any of the pudding heads from this forum show up on my doorstep with a virus laden Mac and ask for network access I will promptly punch them as hard as I can in the gut.
    :D
    I may even confiscate their equipment, if nobody is looking.
    :rolleyes:
     
  18. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    Hopefully, all the Windows PCs at your house or owned by your friends and business partners are running AV already. If they're not, they have bigger worries than getting a virus-infected file from your Mac!

    What a mature, intellectual approach! :rolleyes:
     
  19. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #19
    That was a joke. Perhaps I should stick with simple sentences and monosyllabic words.

    As far as others running AV, if others should run AV then why shouldn't we? I have always felt everyone should be responsible for themselves. Just a thought.
     
  20. donmei macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    #20
    Jaygee,

    The mac is pretyt much imune to viruses, however it is not immune to all other forms of malware. For example, socially engineered trojans can affect Macs just like PCs. A socially engineered piece of malware may be an email with a file that says "kids pictures" or something like that. You (or your wife, or your kid) clicks it and you have just installed a piece of software that can track your keystrokes, for example.

    The difference between this and viruses is that you actually installed the software by clicking on the file.

    You can protect yourself from stuff like this by running all users (including yourself) as limited users. Then using a full administrative account only to administer the machine.

    ClamX seems to be the perfect solution as far as its intrusiveness. Because viruses cant just infect a Mac, realtime scanning isnt necessary. So you arent being slowed down by this kind of s/w operating in the background.

    Just run a system scan at the end of the day once a week and you will be all set.

    Hope this helps. I am really tired of the "its impossible to get a virus" chorus. These people take this stuff as dogma. They repeat it, but dont know why or if it is so. Increasingly viruses are the least of our problems. Trojans can circumvent the best technology by tricking the user into installing them.

    Don
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #21
    Malware, trojans and viruses are different things. The fact is, there ARE no viruses in the wild that affect Macs as of the present day. Good sense says "never say never", but for a Mac to be infected with a virus, someone would have to invent one first. If you understand how UNIX and the Mac OS X works, you understand why. Saying that a Mac is "immune" to viruses is as inaccurate as claiming that any antivirus program gives you 100% security.

    Malware and trojans that you have to install yourself are another matter. Just clicking on a link or photo isn't going to install a trojan on your system. To install a program, you have to enter your password to allow the installation to proceed. That is, of course, unless you have your system configured improperly.

    Ultimately, the best defense is between the user's ears. THINK before you act/click/download/install and you can avoid a host of problems.

    Regarding the thought that "if others are running AV, why shouldn't we?", well, "others" (meaning Windows users) NEED to run AV, whereas Mac users MAY run AV, but they certainly don't NEED to. The only real purpose of AV software on a Mac is to keep from passing a virus-infested file to a Windows PC, since the virus would have no effect on the Mac. If the Windows user is acting responsibly, they are already running AV, to protect them from all virus sources. Therefore, running AV on the Mac is redundant.

    By all means, if you want to run AV on a Mac, that's your call. But it's not a requirement for responsible computing.
     
  22. superman193 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    #22
    Ummm my favorite would have to be........

    NONE!! :eek::D


    ~Super
     
  23. wyatt23 macrumors 6502a

    wyatt23

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Forest Hills, NY
    #23
    then you wouldn't know if you had a virus ever if you never used antivirus. BUNK!

    i went away one weekend and left only AIM running, with a firewall turned on, on my xp machine. Before i left, i had a clean machine, when i came back, i had a virus alert from mcafee enterprise. i use plenty of common sense and the computer was behind a locked dorm room.

    all windows computers have had viruses no matter how good a computer user anyone is.


    for the thread, skip out on the antivirus unless you have to have it.. i.e. joining a campus wide network or protecting other windows users from viruses.

    other than that, read dialogs that require your password carefully and you should be a.o.k.
     
  24. AndyMoore macrumors 6502

    AndyMoore

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #24
    Does ClamXav pick up trojans and Malware too or just windows viruses?
     
  25. Neil321 macrumors 68040

    Neil321

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    #25
    It's a Mac AV so why wouldn't it ??? have you installed a trojan then ??,if not don't bother with it
     

Share This Page