Mac and firewalls/anti-virus/anti-spyware

blueicedj

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 11, 2007
271
1
I'm currently a PC user, so naturally I have all of these...zone alarm firewall, avast! antivirus, spybot-search and destroy, and ad-aware.
I was wondering, with a mac, am I going to need all these?...I'm assuming at the least I'll need a good firewall, can't imagine that I wouldn't.
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
19,797
4
OS X's built in firewall does the job well enough.
As for anti virus etc, you would only really need it to prevent you passing nasties on to PC users. They wouldn't affect the Mac.
 

CANEHDN

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2005
855
0
Eagle Mountain, UT
There are things that can hurt the mac but they are few and far between. Just don't be stupid. As long as you can do that you will have no problems.
 

blueicedj

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 11, 2007
271
1
thats almost unbelievable to me...No firewall, antivirus, or antispyware...If a PC didn't have all of that it'd be destroyed...I've had many of my friends come to me with a PC computer problem...their computers about to die...I find that they have just the windows default firewall on *always a mistake*, I install ad aware and run it to find hundreds of spyware files...I install a anti-virus program to find many virus's, including trogans...
I don't understand how a mac could avoid all these issues without an extra program...
 

WillJS

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2007
1,069
0
thats almost unbelievable to me...No firewall, antivirus, or antispyware...If a PC didn't have all of that it'd be destroyed...I've had many of my friends come to me with a PC computer problem...their computers about to die...I find that they have just the windows default firewall on *always a mistake*, I install ad aware and run it to find hundreds of spyware files...I install a anti-virus program to find many virus's, including trogans...
I don't understand how a mac could avoid all these issues without an extra program...
Aliens. ;)


Trust us, just turn on the Mac firewall and you're good.
 

Gandhi

macrumors regular
Jun 27, 2007
160
0
TX
I don't understand how a mac could avoid all these issues without an extra program...
Because it's a Mac, that's why! Seriously, I do not run any anti spyware (does anyone even make such apps for Mac?) or anti virus on my Mac. If you want piece of mind, ClamXAv is a free anti virus apps for Mac OS X. But the only benefit it really provides is to detect viruses that you may accidently send to other PC users. Viruses do not affect OS X.
 

bennyboi

macrumors regular
Jun 1, 2006
133
0
West Coast
Because...

thats almost unbelievable to me...No firewall, antivirus, or antispyware...If a PC didn't have all of that it'd be destroyed...I've had many of my friends come to me with a PC computer problem...their computers about to die...I find that they have just the windows default firewall on *always a mistake*, I install ad aware and run it to find hundreds of spyware files...I install a anti-virus program to find many virus's, including trogans...
I don't understand how a mac could avoid all these issues without an extra program...
Most viruses/worms/trojans/spywares are built to work on pc's, and won't work on macs simply because of the different os.
My common sense tells me- the market share is sooooo heavily saturated with PC and Windows, that malicious code writers are going to write their spyware and viruses for PC users to get more bang for their buck. As mac's share (and popularity) grows, we're starting to see successful worms and hacks for the mac. And don't be fooled- OSX is not some beacon of security. And if tomorrow we wake up and Apple's share is equal to that of PC- unplug your ethernet cables, because the code will be coming.

Search "security" on mac rumors search and dig down a little- you'll see articles- sometimes involving Secunia, a security firm that believes OS X is fairly insecure and posts flaws occasionally, and can read about it.

My final comment: OS X markets itself to be veeeerrry secure, and I fear that might motivate code writers to make viruses just for the "arrogance" of mac marketing their "wonderful" security. Maybe I'm paranoid though?

Edit- But I do love mac, and I do feel rather secure... for now.
 

AutumnSkyline

macrumors regular
Oct 5, 2006
219
0
thats almost unbelievable to me...No firewall, antivirus, or antispyware...If a PC didn't have all of that it'd be destroyed...I've had many of my friends come to me with a PC computer problem...their computers about to die...I find that they have just the windows default firewall on *always a mistake*, I install ad aware and run it to find hundreds of spyware files...I install a anti-virus program to find many virus's, including trogans...
I don't understand how a mac could avoid all these issues without an extra program...
There are two factors:

MarketShare and Unix.

Unix is a Linux core and is darn near impossible to breach with any Malware, Apple knew what they were doing when they decided what to build OS X on, they chose a rugged and powerful core and layered the OS on top of it in neat little stacks.

The fact that there are only 5.6% of people using Macs out of 100% <Windows+ a very small percent of people using Linux means that no one will want to strike a Mac, over a PC, more people are using PC's you want to hit with the most impact, but like the posters before said, turn on the Firewall and you should be good as gold.

Edit: To reply to the post above me, I don't think OS X once it gets more marketshare will ever reach the amount of Malware, Spyware and Viruses available on PC's. It is a Linux core...there are almost literally no viruses for Linux, not to say that it is impenetrable, because we have seen otherwise.
 

Gandhi

macrumors regular
Jun 27, 2007
160
0
TX
...
Unix is a Linux core ...

...
It is a Linux core...there are almost literally no viruses for Linux, not to say that it is impenetrable, because we have seen otherwise.
Actually, Linux is based on Unix, not the other way around. Unix has been around for a long time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix), and Linux and Mac OS X (based on BSD) are defined as Unix-like, but do not have full Unix certification. Unix certified OSes are used in the heavy-duty big iron serves used by corporations and financial institutions. While Tiger does not have Unix certification, Leopard will be fully Unix certified (http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/technology/unix.html)

Unix has been around a long time. And while no piece of software is impenetrable, even with Mac's rising market share, it will be lot difficult to break into OS X than it would be Windows (at least XP on down, can't speak for Vista). Read up on more security on Leopard to see how they are planning to make a great OS even better - http://www.apple.com/macosx/leopard/technology/security.html
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,610
408
Redondo Beach, California
I'm currently a PC user, so naturally I have all of these...zone alarm firewall, avast! antivirus, spybot-search and destroy, and ad-aware.
I was wondering, with a mac, am I going to need all these?...I'm assuming at the least I'll need a good firewall, can't imagine that I wouldn't.
You are not going to need any of that stuff.

What kind of firewall depends on how you have built your network. Most people today use routers and the router will have a fire wall built-in. But if your new Mac is plugged directly into the DSL/Cable modem then mac OS X itself will act as a firewall. It self adjusts by opening ports when you enable a servce, so it is kind of automatic.

But you should not need to buy anything extra

Originally Posted by blueicedj
I don't understand how a mac could avoid all these issues without an extra program...
You sound like the guy who has been living in a wood house asking the guy who lives in the brick house how he keep termites away and just can't understand why he does not use bug spray. I guess it must be that there are so few brick houses that termite just don't bother with eating bricks. Ya, must be market share.

EDIT: I just noticed the date on this thread. How did it get resurrected?