Resolved Is Antivirus a must?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by gobikerider, May 1, 2016.

  1. gobikerider macrumors 65816

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #1
    I am new to Mac and was wondering wether I need to be concerned about antivirus. I browse the web often and hear about reputable sites that have there ads injected with malicious code by hackers. Will safari prevent a malicious ad from injecting code into my Mac or should I install a antivirus solution. I do not use Adobe Flash but I do use Java, does that put me at a increased risk for infection.
     
  2. beebarb, May 1, 2016
    Last edited: May 1, 2016

    beebarb macrumors 6502

    beebarb

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    #2
    It's not a necessity to have a full antivirus, unless you're sharing files a lot with Windows and Linux users.
    Most AV products detect malware for those platforms as well, it's a good idea to make sure you're not unintentionally passing on a nasty to a friend or relative...

    The built in XProtect system of OS X, combined with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware as a just-in-case is sufficient for most people.

    Malwarebytes' mac version only goes after mac specific threats that are an actual problem, and it's a good idea to have it just in case you actually need to cleanup a threat, and aren't sure how to do it manually.

    That said, if you have need for a full featured anti-virus, best to go for one with a good history on macs.
    Like Intego Virusbarrier, or Sophos Anti-Virus.

    Avira and Avast! have improved in the recent versions, so they should be fine too.
     
  3. gobikerider thread starter macrumors 65816

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #3
    Thanks I will install Malware-Bytes
     
  4. beebarb macrumors 6502

    beebarb

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2015
    #4
    Glad I could be of some help.

    Since you use Java, I do recommend at least disabling the Java web plugin when you don't need to use it.
     
  5. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #5
    There is not that much infectious malware available. OS X has its own protection mechanisms and will recognise common known malware. You just have to make sure that you keep your Mac up to date as much as possible and enable automatic updates in System Preferences > App Store. Under System Preferences > Security you should only allow apps from the App Store or identified developers (this is the default). OS X will stop you from opening any other applications and you should take notice of such warnings. Adobe Flash and Oracle Java are risky as well, so it is important that you keep them up to date too. If you are using Safari, then you should set the Java plugin to 'Ask' or 'Block', under Safari preferences > Security > Internet plug-ins (you can override it when you need it).

    You seem to be concerned about adware predominately and unfortunately there is no reliable technical protection against those. The best strategy there is to avoid generic download websites like MacUpdate or Softtonic and get your applications from the App Store or the official website of the developer (do a web search to ascertain this). This should minimise that risk significantly.

    Other good security tips are: use Time Machine or another software to back up your drive; do not enter your system password without thought when you are installing or using a third-party program and just have a bit of skeptical attitude with respect to software.

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a good program for finding and removing infections, but it is no (preventive) protection. I personally find that anti-malware software gives users a false sense of security and makes some of them reckless. If you are exchanging documents with other people often, then it may be a good idea to use a light-weight anti-malware program that only scans such documents. ClamXav used to be a good tool for this (I have not checked in a while). In my opinion, Sophos or Intego venture too deep into the system and need all sorts of access. I do not recommend them, personally.
     
  6. gobikerider thread starter macrumors 65816

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #6
    Yes I uninstalled it entirely not worth the risk
    --- Post Merged, May 1, 2016 ---
    Thank you for the tips, I do not share files much if at all, so that is not a worry for me. As for the adware I have never trusted CNET or shady third party download sites. I have always gotten software straight from the developer or company website ex. downloading Firefox from Firefox.com. I think with my precautions and knowledge I will be safe online with Safari. Lets just hope there aren't any major ransomware or trojan outbreaks, they have become more common in the past year on Mac.
     
  7. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #7
    Not last year, the occurrence of new malware (vs adware) was actually lower than in the years before. There was one piece of ransomware so far and no anti-malware program or precaution would have helped. Making backups, preferably on multiple drives or DVDs, is something to consider too. But usually, the only cases in which I contracted malware or adware (many years ago) were caused by my own negligence.
     

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