Mail, iChat, AIM... SECURITY?!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Forbidden X, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Forbidden X macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2006
    Hi. Before I begin I just want to quickly mention that I used to own a power mac from the mid 1990's and for a few years I owned an iMac from the late 1990's. Then I was a Windows user the rest of the time after that. Now I own a MacBook Pro and I'm questioning a few things...

    When I was a Windows user, I got a trojan and as a result from foolishly opening it, 3 email accounts, 2 AIM accounts, a PhotoBucket account, and 2 Myspace accounts were compramised. So needless to say, I have suffered very badly. :(

    Now after this incident, I've become EXTREMELY paranoid.

    I purchased this MacBook Pro after being told that Mac's have outstanding security and power. I have Anti-virus protection and two firewalls running on my system. After getting exposed, Im taking NO CHANCES at all anymore.

    Here is my question: Is it safe to use the Mail, iChat, AIM and other password related programs on my laptop knowing that no one will be able to get into them via spyware/trojan?

    They look like excellent apps to use and I want to use them, but Im seriously nervous about releasing any Password related things to be stored or even entered in an application. I don't want a trojan or something to find out anything personal if it should ever happen a second time. :(

    How secure are these programs from worms/spyware/trojans/ect...?

    if I use the mail client, will anything such as an IP Address be released to the reciever like in Microsoft Outlook???

    Thanks for any help in advance....
  2. FragTek macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2006
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Considering Mac's hold such a low market share of all computers, people don't focus on making viruses/trojans/malware for Mac's. IIRC there are currently no trojans or Malware for Mac. There have a been a few cases of some lame viruses but nothing too serious.

    You're pretty darn safe on a Mac, people just don't code this sort of thing for them very often. And even when something does come about, it usually gets crushed FAST.
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    ...Also, OS X is UNIX based, meaning it is based on the oldest and most secure OS to date.

    I think there have been a total of 4 pieces of malware for OS X, and all of them were incredibly hard to catch, they infected very few computers (in the 100's), and they did very little damage.

    You can leave all of your Windows problems behind you now that you have a Mac. :)
  4. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005
    I might like to point out running 2 software firewalls on one computer is not a good idea. It is safer to run just 1 software firewall on the system. Reason being is they start having conflects and end up opening you up more the rest of the world though the conflects.

    Also just practic safe computing and you will be fine.

    1. dont download and open unfimilur files. OSX can be high just as easily as windows by trojans. The OS can not protect against user stupidity. OSX low market share protects it very well agaist tojans.
    2. Dont open strange attachments for same reason above. Trojans can easily by pass all the OS security because it requires the users opening them up and giving the permission to do stuff aka users stupidity.

    Right now OSX low market share really helps protects agaist trojans but trojans relay of users stupidity and no OS can proctect against that.
  5. Forbidden X thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2006
    So is it a good idea to use these programs without worry of anything happening (In praticular AIM and Mail)?
  6. Ross Henderson macrumors member

    Ross Henderson

    Apr 6, 2006
    Spyware is no problem. But if your connected to a network and sending unsecure (usually just not encrypted) information anyone can read what you are sending and recieving. Internet included.

    In my opinion this is more dangerous than a trojan.

    I'm sure you knew that already, but I'm the only person I know that uses encrypted e-mail (Mail supports SSL, but your ISP/e-mail provider needs to too) and you should know that all messages sent over the MSN network arn't either (I don't know about AIM and there are ways to encrypt, but it needs both individuals to have software installed).

    On a lighter note, have fun with your new computer.
  7. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    But they can't do much harm if your not running an admin account. Storing things in the keychain is only ever as secure as your login password, but then again so is every thing else in your home directory. Trojans can also lie in cache-type files, and can unwittingly be released. They can also be put into program code (why apps should go in /Applications). Use apple's firewall, and only enable services you need, stealth mode should be on as well, if you are concerned.
  8. Forbidden X thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2006

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