Mac Need Antivirus Protection or Not

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by alexwillsion, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. alexwillsion macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    #1
    Hello all,
    Does Mac Need Antivirus Protection or Not?
     
  2. dangerfish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #2
    No. Search the forums. There are plenty of discussions. I've been using Mac for over 10 years and have never ran anti virus software. No issues.
     
  3. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #3
    Windows has a huge historical problem: older versions of Windows gave the default user full Admin privileges and the ability to write anywhere on disc or change any system setting. Consequently, lots of legitimate Windows software assumes these privileges and has to be installed and run as an "Admin" user. Newer versions of Windows have tried to improve security - but are hampered by all the old software that needs Admin right: the choice is either to leave things as they are, block the software (which is unpopular - especially with corporates who depend on ancient software), or pester the user with 'cry wolf' warnings which they rapidly learn to ignore.

    Macs had the advantage of starting with a clean slate with OS X, which has always required the user to type a password before changing critical system files - because it was always that way, most legitimate software was written to run as a regular user, so you're not bombarded with "enter your password" messages.

    Plus, there just aren't so many Macs out there to tempt virus writers.

    So, while Macs aren't magically immune to viruses, worms and malware, viruses are less common, and the majority Mac malware is in the form of "trojan horses" that have to trick you into entering a password. Also, by default, the Mac "Gatekeeper" system won't let you double-click to run applications that weren't produced from a known publisher and downloaded from the App Store.

    So, if you're sensible and aren't in the habit of opening dodgy email attachments, visiting iffy websites or disengaging "Gatekeeper" without first engaging brain, keep the firewall on when connecting to the internet and keep up to date on software updates, then the main effect of antivirus on Mac is that it can help prevent you passing on viruses in email attachments etc. to PC users - and you can probably do without.
     
  4. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #4
    Never used any antivirus software on my Mac.
    Never had an issue.
     
  5. Paulk macrumors 6502

    Paulk

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #7
    I had no problem with viruses for many years even using gmail. But lately, despite always being careful, I had a number of issues, all via gmail. Some of these can come via gmail, of course. I now use the free antivirus program for mac - 'avast'.
     
  6. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #8
    Mac user for 20 years.... Don't use anti-virus programmes on my Macs at all.


    However ... been repairing software on PC's for same length of time - and re: virus protectors - I still wouldn't bother with them these days. Malware on the other hand ... yes. Malwarebytes sorted. But anti-virus specifically ? I would say has become the far lesser threat even on PC compared to Malware. And the amount of times I have had to remove tons of malware from devices with Norton / McAfee / Bulldog / Avast / AVG installed - tells me they are next to useless in todays workplace.
     
  7. Paulk macrumors 6502

    Paulk

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #9
    I'm long retired, but have never had a problem on my mac, though the use of gmail now makes me cautious, perhaps overly so...
     
  8. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #10
    No AV for my Macs
    Some AV programs are almost as bad as a virus IMO
     
  9. Paulk macrumors 6502

    Paulk

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #11
    Down the decade or so I have gmail, it has been compromised at least 4 times, all while also using apple computers, but there is no email program by apple and for mac computers as far as I know. Is there? I have a gigabyte of gmails to consider. Gmail has its own excellent spam sorter. I have checked for an apple email and can't find one. Mostly a list of mail clients, all of which have to be joined with an annual subscription fee. A mail client is not what I need.
     
  10. ApolloBoy macrumors 6502a

    ApolloBoy

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #12
    Uhhhh Apple has a program called Mail which has been included on every single Mac for years now...
     
  11. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a

    tomnavratil

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Location:
    Litovel, Czech Republic
    #13
    Apple's native Mail.app, Airmail, Mailbox, Thunderbird, Postbox, Inky - there's plenty to choose from! And none of these are on an annual subscription fee.

    If your Gmail has been compromised, you should enable two-step verification and use a password manager so you can have a strong password - at least 20 characters including capital letters / symbols / numbers.

    You're saying that email client is not what you need. Are you looking for an email provider then? You can create an @icloud email account if you want, that's Apple's, for free.
     
  12. patent10021 macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #14
    Fact: OS X malware exist. If you use extremely public sites where nefarious people lurk such as Rapidgator, KickAssTorrents, porn etc there is a moderate-high risk of getting infected. Usually browser high-jacks etc. They can render browsing and other things useless so it's best to be prevent the infection rather than trying to get rid of it.

    If you don't visit those kinds of places and use Safari extensions that block Flash and ads etc then you're fine.

    Apps like BitDefender are free anyway so you might as well just install it because if you do get infected and are unable to download the app its ok because you already have it.
     
  13. Paulk macrumors 6502

    Paulk

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #15
    I don't have a mobile phone, let lone two mobiles.

    And do they facilitate transfer of all my gmail posts for free?
     
  14. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a

    tomnavratil

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Location:
    Litovel, Czech Republic
    #16
    I see, that's not a problem at all, in that case you should choose a really strong password, which you don't use elsewhere.

    Absolutely, they download all your mail for free but considering your Inbox size, this might take a while. I assume Apple's Mail.app will be a good option for you as it works with Gmail relatively well now.

    One thing you need to consider if your account will be handled as POP / IMAP as both treat your emails and handling with them differently.
     
  15. Paulk macrumors 6502

    Paulk

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #17
    Thanks, tomnavratil. Last I used Apple's mail app some years back, it didn't have a spam filter. If that is one of the improvements to working with gmail it is worth trying again.
     
  16. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #18
    @Paulk

    Make sure in GMAIL in the browser you click on the cog under your name (top right) and choose settings. Go into Forwarding IMAP/Pop3 tab. In there make sure IMAP is enabled and tick bring in ALL email.

    That makes sure your account can be accessed via a third party tool like Apple Mail.

    Now open Apple Mail, if no account it should prompt you to add one. Put in your gmail name/address and password and you are sorted.

    Then when you go into
     
  17. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a

    tomnavratil

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Location:
    Litovel, Czech Republic
    #19
    No worries at all. It definitely improved, including Spam handling. You can set up the spam filter yourself or actually get Gmail to filter mail at the server and then also filter mail in Mail.app based on your requirements. Also don't forget to set up your Gmail account in the browser as @MRU has mentioned.
     
  18. blaster_boy macrumors 6502

    blaster_boy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Belgium
    #20
    I run Sophos Antivirus with little to no trouble. And I have found several windows viruses on downloads and mails I received. In these days and age, Macs are becoming more and more popular. So they become more targeted.
    If you work with both windows and mac machines and transfer files between them, at the very least for that reason install an antivirus so you don't send them an infected file.

    And if you download illegal software, be prepared for trojans and other ugly stuff. Check The Safe Mac site for more info on trojans and viruses.
     
  19. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #21
    Isn't Sophos the one that turned out to make your Mac more susceptible to threats?
     

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