Good Article on Mac AV Software

Brawdy14

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 1, 2018
44
3
Devon, England
Hi :)

A good article here on whether or not one needs anti-virus software on an Apple Mac nowadays:-

https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/m...ontent=165511223:768909860&hubRefSrc=facebook

In the comments area, after the article, David Brooks comments and poses these questions:-

Btw, ClamXAV is *NOT* free!

Tell me, how can one be sure that if one downloads the "free trial" and installs the software, one isn't, in fact, loading malware ON to one's Apple computer?

Who checks to make sure that this doesn't happen?

The user of the computer might well remain totally unaware that anything may be amiss.


Something to think about!
 
Last edited:

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,169
8,822
California
IMO the macOS built in malware protection is adequate as long as you are careful where you download and install apps from. The exception would be if you often exchange files with Windows users and want to run an AV app on your Mac to prevent the spread of Windows viruses.
 

Brawdy14

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 1, 2018
44
3
Devon, England
IMO the macOS built in malware protection is adequate as long as you are careful where you download and install apps from. The exception would be if you often exchange files with Windows users and want to run an AV app on your Mac to prevent the spread of Windows viruses.
Ah! We are singing from the same hymn sheet! I've just bought a replacement iMac for the one I've used since 2009 and which I've used to experiment with all manner of things. I have NOT installed any AV on my pristine new machine!

I had downloaded the ClamXAV software as a 'trial' on that old machine - then subsequently paid for the software. Some of the results of scans and responses from the 'support' staff made me feel a little uncomfortable - so I uninstalled ClamXAV and reinstalled the OS X operating system. There's absolutely no way of knowing what such software may actually DO once it's installed - or is there?!!

I'd revisited all the marketing blurb at www.clamxav.com and decided that if something seems 'too good to be true' - then it most probably is! :rolleyes:
 
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techwarrior

macrumors 65816
Jul 30, 2009
1,110
395
Colorado
Been using Avast for years, it is supposed to be one of the better, and least impacting AV apps for the Mac. I don't really notice any performance hits, and rarely get notices of it finding anything, meaning my habits must be good, and the OS is doing it's job. Agreed with keeping up to date on everything, probably the best defense right there.
 

organicCPU

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
636
166
Basically ClamXav is just a macOS GUI frontend for the open source antivirus engine ClamAV. ClamXav has been free software for many years until the developer decided to get some income. If you'd like to know what is going on exactly, you could compile ClamAV from source without the GUI and study the code.
 

Brawdy14

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 1, 2018
44
3
Devon, England
Been using Avast for years, it is supposed to be one of the better, and least impacting AV apps for the Mac. I don't really notice any performance hits, and rarely get notices of it finding anything, meaning my habits must be good, and the OS is doing it's job. Agreed with keeping up to date on everything, probably the best defense right there.
I too have run Avast on my old iMac and didn't really notice degradation in performance. Right now I'm 'playing' with AVG (free) on my old machine.

Are you aware of any way to check that nothing untoward is being loaded ON to a computer by the software?

I wasn't at all concerned when ClamXav was available through the Apple App Store but now one is effectively making a direct link to the developer's server and I suspect that he COULD abuse that position if he chose to do so. How would a user of the facility ever know?
[doublepost=1517558529][/doublepost]
Basically ClamXav is just a macOS GUI frontend for the open source antivirus engine ClamAV. ClamXav has been free software for many years until the developer decided to get some income. If you'd like to know what is going on exactly, you could compile ClamAV from source without the GUI and study the code.
I have every confidence in the open source ClamAV software and I was happy to use the ClamXav when it was, effectively, being monitored by Apple (who provided it in their App Store).

I have neither the skill nor experience to determine if anything untoward might happen by connecting directly to the developer's server.
 

organicCPU

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
636
166
If you're asking, if there is some data transferred from your Mac by using ClamXav, the answer is yes.
From the EULA linked at https://www.clamxav.com/terms-and-conditons/
10. DATA PROTECTION AND PRIVACY
By using the Software, you consent to us collecting and processing certain information about you and the computer on which the Software is installed for the purposes of administering licences, improving the Software and providing support to users of the Software. Such information may be transferred by us to other countries which may have less protective data protection laws than the country in which you are situated.
Most existing software is transferring certain data to some servers around the world. You can protect yourself or at least have a little more control over the servers you're connecting to, by using some kind of IP firewall in addition to your built-in GUI APP firewall.

If you're asking, if one can trust a certain third-party developer, the answer is more difficult. There are always black sheep around and errors or security breaches that are out of control might always happen, even to Apple. IMHO you can trust most third-party developers and download apps directly from their sites. In general they want to earn some money and not to harm or spy out your personal data. ClamXav has been around for a while, is well known and I guess it would have been recognised by some user, if the developer server would compromise your Mac.
I know that the Mac App Store gives some extra layer of good feeling, because you are downloading directly from Apple. IMO, as long as you're downloading directly from third party developer's, the risk is almost the same. If there is something wrong with the server or the files on it, it will get reported quite soon on places like MR. Just don't download from unknown sources, like links of download portals that you might find during your searches.
As a final word, there is no 100% security in IT. Always make backups, keep them offline, encrypt your sensitive data or never save them electronically and you should be on the save side.
 

Brawdy14

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 1, 2018
44
3
Devon, England
If you're asking, if there is some data transferred from your Mac by using ClamXav, the answer is yes.
From the EULA linked at https://www.clamxav.com/terms-and-conditons/

Most existing software is transferring certain data to some servers around the world. You can protect yourself or at least have a little more control over the servers you're connecting to, by using some kind of IP firewall in addition to your built-in GUI APP firewall.

If you're asking, if one can trust a certain third-party developer, the answer is more difficult. There are always black sheep around and errors or security breaches that are out of control might always happen, even to Apple. IMHO you can trust most third-party developers and download apps directly from their sites. In general they want to earn some money and not to harm or spy out your personal data. ClamXav has been around for a while, is well known and I guess it would have been recognised by some user, if the developer server would compromise your Mac.
I know that the Mac App Store gives some extra layer of good feeling, because you are downloading directly from Apple. IMO, as long as you're downloading directly from third party developer's, the risk is almost the same. If there is something wrong with the server or the files on it, it will get reported quite soon on places like MR. Just don't download from unknown sources, like links of download portals that you might find during your searches.
As a final word, there is no 100% security in IT. Always make backups, keep them offline, encrypt your sensitive data or never save them electronically and you should be on the save side.
Thank you so much for your further response, 'organicCPU'.

I will reflect upon what you have said.
 

mearsjohn

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2015
3
0
Basingstoke
Thanks to all who responded.
I am running 'ElCapitan' 10.11.6 on a mid 2009 MBP machine. 2.53GHz
With 8GB memory 1067MHz DD3
512 GB SSD
I have had for ages Avast AV + Malwarebytes and they both seem to work OK with very occasional warnings.
Hopefully then, I am covered OK?
Thanks again
John