Malware Detection Software questions

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by frozencarbonite, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. frozencarbonite macrumors 6502


    Aug 3, 2006
    Notice I said malware, not virus. I understand that there are no known viruses for OS X, but there is malware.

    I've been a Mac owner since 2004. I have two separate user accounts on my Mac, and Admin account and a Standard account that I use. I have always used Intego Virusbarrier. It has always worked nicely. No problems. And I know as a Mac owner, I really don't need Virusbarrier, but as someone who cares enough not to want to pass Windows viruses/trojans on to friends and family who run Windows, I use it.

    I have read through these forums and I see that using Sophos is not recommended because it uses root privileges. My questions are: Do all the Antivirus (malware detection) software use root privileges except ClamXav and the stand alone version of Virusbarrier? Does Intego Virusbarrier X6 or eset Cybersecurity run at the root level?

    I was trying to decide if I should stay with Intego or try out eset Cybersecurity for Mac. I know that the PC version is really good. I didn't know if anyone had any experience with eset on the Mac.
  2. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    No, they do not all run with root privileges, but there are two key factors to keep in mind:

    1. No anti-virus software is needed to avoid the current Mac threats. Because they are trojans, simply being aware of what they are and how they are installed (a very short list of things to keep track of for now, and will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future) is more than enough to avoid them.

    2. If any virus or trojan was released in the future that you did not know how to avoid, the anti-virus software you have would not protect against it because it doesn't know what to look for.

    Basically, if you're just looking to avoid passing on viruses to Windows computers (which shouldn't be necessary, as those computers should have their own anti-virus programs), then use ClamXAV. It is the least obtrusive of the available products and is not known to cause any significant issues. All other anti-viruses are known to at the very least use fairly significant portions of the computer's resources, if not actually cause other problems in some cases.

  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You don't need any antivirus software to protect Mac OS X from malware. No viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any, since it was released 10 years ago. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install:

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