IMac OS Question

Discussion in 'iMac' started by stockcerts, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. stockcerts macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I am the happy new owner of a 20" IMac. I'm also new to the Mac world and I have a question. This may belong in another forum, but I've been hanging out here, so here goes.

    With PC's it's a given that you run virus software and software to remove spyware. Is this necessary on my Mac? Thanks!
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
  3. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    swiftaw is correct, however there are anti-virus apps for Macs; they scan your files for viruses so you don't pass infected files on to unprotected Windows PCs. If you want one of these, I have no recommendation except to stay away from Norton :)
  4. deasine macrumors member


    Mar 19, 2007
    There are sooo few cases in the world that a Mac has been attacked by viruses and bugs, etc. It is not necessary. It's almost like you have a 0.0000001% chance you will get attacked. PC's complete different story... HAHA. A mac does not need protection, it protects itself. ;)

    If you still want protection, look at this:
    I don't know if it works tho...
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    The only case where anti-Virus software is necessary is if you have a PC somewhere and you don't want to spread a virus by passing an infected file from the Mac. If you run Windows on your Mac, either via bootcamp or through Parallels/VMware Fusion, you will need anti-virus on that.
  6. AlexisV macrumors 68000


    Mar 12, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    To be honest, most viruses install themselves on your PC when you visit certain websites.

    Few viruses are standalone files and even then you'd have to make the effort to send it across, and have to have a pretty silly friend on the other end to open it.
  7. stuff99 macrumors 6502

    May 11, 2007
    just a curious question...why are macs immune to spyware and viruses?
  8. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    The OS is much more securely coded, and as there are less macs than Windows computers, there is more incentive to make a Windows virus :)
  9. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    In that case, it's better to have antivirus software on the PC ... you're far more likely to get a virus from some other source than from some file on a Mac.
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Also, again the logic here is that files entering a Windows PC from a Mac are like files entering a Windows PC from anywhere else. Either the PC will successfully detect and stop them or it won't. If your ecosystem is bringing in PC viruses that PC AV cannot stop, then you aren't solving this problem just by trying to find them on your Macs (which probably also won't be able to stop them), because a user on a PC could just as easily bring the same virus in doing the same thing you're doing. There's no differential safety in doing AV for PC viruses on your Mac.

    Not to mention that really, the only way for transmission to begin with is if you download an infected file and then give it to a PC user. Your Word documents or the PDFs or whatever you generate can't get viruses on them because none of the viruses replicate on a Mac and they're newly created files.

    I keep ClamXAV (anti-virus) on my computer because it's free and it's always there if I need it. But I rarely use it. It's not bad, though, and it's frequently updated, and if it gives you peace of mind, by all means, use it. It's good at least in terms of principled support for the OSS community. :)

    I keep MacScan (supposed anti-spyware) on my computer because I installed it on a whim when we were curious to see what it might detect, and I only keep it on my computer because I'm too lazy to get rid of its worthless carcass.
  11. stuff99 macrumors 6502

    May 11, 2007
    isn't it safe to say that if apple continues to grow in popularity viruses will be coded to attack the mac os as well?
  12. crees! macrumors 68000


    Jun 14, 2003
    So far, no, not really. Most all attempts have failed (those being hacker expos) to write a virus.
  13. Osarkon macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2006
    The likelihood of it happening will increase, yes. Only time will tell.
  14. vanmacguy macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2007
    Not where you live.
    It is safe to say that yes. Eventually we will be targets. The Mac being built on a Unix core is less prone to viruses than non-Unix based machines but to say that there will never be a Mac virus is silly.

    They will come eventually but for now and the foreseeable future, you're very safe with no A-V on your Mac.

    Welcome to our wonderful world and congratulation on your Mac purchase.

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