HELP! Scanning for viruses concern

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Sakusha, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Sakusha macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2013
    Sorry this may be a long read,

    I have a Macbook Pro with the latest software available, I want to download a virus scanning program from the App Store but the thing is, I don't know if that'll be a safe thing to do because when I had my Windows XP desktop I ran McAfee's virus scanning program it did find a few viruses but unfortunately it found this one that completely fried my computer I mean wiped it clean... All those files, baby photos etc. gone. So I am concerned that if it I did scan my Mac for any viruses that it might more or less share the same fate as my Windows XP.

    I did almost attempted to scan my Mac for viruses but my father-in-law (who has been using Apple products and computers for years) told me not to because it could potentially make things worse... basically I shouldn't do that.

    I personally don't think my Mac has any sort of viruses because it doesn't act funny or weird and it still is pretty fast when it comes to loading programs. For instance: When I am not running anything on my Mac (besides Finder) the memory is 2 GB+ of free space (because I am on Safari right now it's at 1.65 GB of free space) but I am a bit scared right now because I downloaded a 'foreign' map from Steam in-game, I deleted it I think.

    So overall Will it be safe to scan my Mac for viruses Also I know you probably see this a lot but is it possible for Mac OS to become infected with spyware, malware, etc.? Do such things exist?

    P.S. If it is completely safe to do so, what're some good virus scanning programs? Also, I am not the type to download or visit whatever I make sure that the sites I visit are safe and that the files I download are from a trustworthy source, heck I haven't even downloaded any music from any site other than iTunes lol.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    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.

    If anyone insists on running antivirus for some reason, ClamXav (which is free) 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.
  3. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    1. It is a poor anti-virus software that is not "safe" to run.

    2. Make sure you have a backup of any files that you value, so that they will survive being deleted, either maliciously or accidentally.
  4. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    As posted by GGJ, clamav will not:

    A) Run in real time and hog your RAM

    B) Delete any files on your machine unless you SPECIFICALLY tell it to do so.

    Personally, I don't run an AV package of any kind, and never have.
  5. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Since I moved to the Mac in 2005 I've never installed any kind of anti-virus and have never encountered a problem. We have several Macs in use and practice safe computing, which is far more important than anti-virus.
  6. Sakusha thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2013
    Yeah, since I've had my Mac I haven't installed any third party anti-virus, virus-scanning software. I was just a bit concerned because Steam downloaded a file without my consent.

Share This Page