MacKeeper - Safe?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by marty1990, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. marty1990 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Location:
    England
    #1
    Was looking for a specific wallpaper - a Back to the Future one - and I usually use AlphaCoders, but their website is down. So I went trawling through the internet and went through various sites, and eventually found the wallpaper I wanted and downloaded it.

    I closed that window, and behind it there was something called MacKeeper, like a pop up. It reminded me of one of those Windows XP cleaning sites, so I closed it. I then Googled the program to see if it was a virus or whatever, and it took me to http://mackeeper.zeobit.com/download2012 which is different to the popup. It automatically downloaded MacKeeper.2.1.2.pkg. I scanned it, came up clean, but I haven't installed it, because I don't want it. I deleted it, as I had intended to download it.

    Anyway, am wondering what it is. Is it malware, a virus? Or is it a legit program. I don't want it either way, but I don't want my Mac or any of my files infected with anything.

    Thanks.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    It is an application for "cleaning" your Mac, aimed at previous Windows users, who still think, that a computer needs to be cleaned with some software.
    But Mac OS X is pretty good at taking care of itself, and even if something goes awry, simpler methods exist to "clean" up some mess.
    Such software, MacKeeper and CleanMyMac, can also do more harm than good by actually damaging your OS and making it unusable.

    Five Mac maintenance myths
     
  3. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #3
    When googling it you should have noticed that the list included "scam" and "virus" on it.

    Legit apps don't download themselves and don't have "scam" near the top of their google results.

    The package itself is harmless. Just don't install it (and delete it, of course)
     
  4. marty1990 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Location:
    England
    #4
    Yeah it downloaded automatically because it took me straight to the download page.

    Yeah, I saw the 'scam' and 'virus' hence me starting this topic, but it is a legitimate program then?

    I put it in my trash can straight away, but accidentally put it back into my download folder cuz I pressed cmd and backspace, thinking it deleted it permanently from the trash can that way... when it just moved it back. Once I realised I scanned it (I use VirusBarrier, sorry) it came back clean, but I still went ahead and deleted it properly.

    Still, for peace of mind, how can I make sure my OS is intact? I know I didn't install it, but I can get a bit OCD in that respect, wanting my machine and OS to be perfect.

    Thanks.
     
  5. macbwizard macrumors 6502

    macbwizard

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    #5
    Your OS is intact. The program itself isn't a virus, it's just that the company that makes MacKeeper does some questionable things. It's very heavily advertised and as you found out it's downloaded automatically from some sites.
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Legitimate is sort of a strong word when used in reference to MacKeeper.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    It is not malware, but it is completely unnecessary. You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Some remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.

    These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. Some of these apps delete caches, which can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.

    Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.

     
  8. leiren7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    #8
    The thing is everywhere, it is advertised as free, but when you open it, it charges everything..
     
  9. homemakermac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    #9
    HELP - i downloaded and now i cannot delete! i have dragged it and it still appears in applications. what do i do?
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
     
  11. Bazzy, Jun 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012

    Bazzy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #11
    Hi All,

    Being technically challenged, I use "Clean My Mac" as it is so simple to use for noobs like me & it always frees up considerable disk space - I thought this was a well reviewed & recommended app so am now a little concerned to read that it can do harm & damage the OS - what exactly are the dangers & how comes all the reviews never mentioned this?

    Bazzy!
     
  12. gorskiegangsta, Jun 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012

    gorskiegangsta macrumors 65816

    gorskiegangsta

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #12
    CleanMyMac "frees up" space by emptying the trash, removing "unused" language files, removing unused application binaries (i.e. powerPC code) but it also removes what it deems "unnecessary" system and application caches. This last bit could actually do more harm than good. Caches are created for a reason, namely to launch apps quicker and reduce system load. Judging from my past experience, CleanMyMac cannot differentiate very well between obsolete caches and caches that are still used and needed by the system. This is evident by the fact that many of the cache files are recreated upon system reboot. The negative effect this could have is some apps losing settings and/or generating errors later on. All in all, the app really does not improve system performance. All it does is frees up a fraction of space on your hard drive.
    The reason people still get apps like that is mostly their mindset, as previous Windows users, who needed to constantly "clean" and defrag the registry to maintain performance, something OS X is not plagued by.

    I recommend reading the Five Mac maintenance myths that has been already posted above.
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Because the reviews are frequently written by employees of the company. I would not recommend CleanMyMac, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. While you may not have experienced problems yet, enough people have that it's wise to avoid it, especially since there are free alternatives that have better reputations, such as Onyx.

    You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.

    These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. In fact, deleting some caches can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.

    Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

    Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.
     
  14. Bazzy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #14
    Hi,

    Thanks to both gorskiegangsta & GJStudios & apologies to the OP it if appears that I am hijacking the thread! OK, It might be best if I get rid of "Clean My Mac" - it's just that it was so damed easy to use & reinforces ignorants like me when they see so much disk space being apparently recovered!!

    I have Onyx but have never used it as it seems a bit complicated & technical - I will try & find some online video user/help guides if at all possible - if you know of any. please kindly let me know!!

    On a another very important & related topic - I know that there are no "Virus" threats for Mac but is there any app/programmes that can protect one and /or warn from other forms of "Malware" or attacks like Phishing, Hacking, unauthorised installations etc? The reason I ask is that I read this post by someone who uses "Virus Barrier" & stated"

    "However, recently I've installed Intego VirusBarrierX6. This has paid dividends; that has alerted me to several phishing attacks on my Mac, plus attempts by third-parties to plant other maladies on my Mac - all of which have been successfully blocked."

    Post 3: http://www.avforums.com/forums/apple-mac/1635940-sophos-anti-virus-update.html

    Not trying to be contentious - but just trying to lean/understand & protect against non Virus Malware/Phishing etc!!

    Bazzy!
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15
    The problem is that it doesn't show you the negative performance impact of freeing up some of that disk space. I highly recommend you uninstall it.
    You don't need antivirus apps to protect your Mac from malware. 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 10 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). Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
    1. Make sure your built-in Mac firewall is enabled in System Preferences > Security > Firewall

    2. Uncheck "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari > Preferences > General

    3. Disable Java in your browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox). This will protect you from malware that exploits Java in your browser, including the recent Flashback trojan. Leave Java disabled until you visit a trusted site that requires it, then re-enable only for the duration of your visit to that site. (This is not to be confused with JavaScript, which you should leave enabled.)

    4. Change your DNS servers to OpenDNS servers by reading this.

    5. Be careful to only install software from trusted, reputable sites. Never install pirated software. If you're not sure about an app, ask in this forum before installing.

    6. Never let someone else have access to install anything on your Mac.

    7. Don't open files that you receive from unknown or untrusted sources.

    8. For added security, make sure all network, email, financial and other important passwords are long and complex, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

    9. Always keep your Mac and application software updated. Use Software Update for your Mac software. For other software, it's safer to get updates from the developer's site or from the menu item "Check for updates", rather than installing from any notification window that pops up while you're surfing the web.
    That's all you need to do to keep your Mac completely free of any Mac OS X malware that has ever been released into the wild. You don't need any 3rd party software to keep your Mac secure.

    I recommend that you avoid using Sophos, as it could actually increase your Mac's vulnerability, as described here and here.

    If you still want to run 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. You can run scans when you choose, rather than leaving it running all the time, slowing your system. ClamXav has a Sentry feature which, if enabled, will use significant system resources to constantly scan. Disable the Sentry feature. You don't need it. Also, when you first install ClamXav, as with many antivirus apps, it may perform an initial full system scan, which will consume resources. Once the initial scan is complete, periodic on-demand scans will have much lower demands on resources.
     
  16. Kbh macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #16
    Is MacKeeper a virus

    MacKeeper hides all critical questions on its facebook page.

    I have tried to get the following response from MacKeeper, but it is hidden from others at the facebook page.

    Have others experienced during commercials from MacKeeper on youtube. which asks "Slow Mac"? Then my Imac turns very slow I think it's MacKeeper makes my Imac slow. I've obviously tried to test other clips without MacKeeper advertising and there are no problems. Is this a known problem?

    I have also experienced MacKeeper claim implausible many viruses on my new Imac, I think it's to get me to buy MacKeeper. (1577 virus problems, to be precise, with red warning)

    I have now bought another virus program F-Secure and it found no virus on my new Imac

    I have searched on google for MacKeeper and viruses and I find others who are experiencing problems with MacKeeper.

    The last thing I saw before I uninstalled MacKeeper was it will be allowed to my personal information from my Imac account.

    I do not trust MacKeeper and I'm happy to delete MacKeeper.

    Is MacKeeper a virus it self??
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #17
    No, MacKeeper isn't a virus, but it's pretty much useless. Read my last post for virus/malware information.
     

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