New to iMac... antivirus/malware?

Digeeedad

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2019
42
35
So. California
Received my daughter's new 27" iMac a few days ago. All of us are new to Macs. Newbie question... does she need antivirus/malware protection? On our PCs, for many years, we have used ESET Internet Security. I see that ESET has a program for Macs "Cyber Security/Cyber Security Pro". Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
* I just found this thread, which should help answer our questions.
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/do-you-use-antivirus-software.2157692/
 
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theapplehead

macrumors 6502
Dec 17, 2018
486
504
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Received my daughter's new 27" iMac a few days ago. All of us are new to Macs. Newbie question... does she need antivirus/malware protection? On our PCs, for many years, we have used ESET Internet Security. I see that ESET has a program for Macs "Cyber Security/Cyber Security Pro". Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
* I just found this thread, which should help answer our questions.
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/do-you-use-antivirus-software.2157692/
No you do not need any antivirus software for Mac. Macs have their own built-in security software that surpasses any third-party security software. This is a result of the tight integration of hardware and macOS. No need to ever install any security programs on a Mac.

Cheers
 

adamk77

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2008
510
149
It is possible to get viruses and malware on your Mac. Many companies install anti-virus software on their employees' Mac computers (all of the companies I've worked for did).

However, the Mac goes the extra mile trying to protect you from these threats. It will not let you run third party software that you downloaded from some corner of the internet. You will have to explicitly go into the security settings and give it permission, which must be further unlocked with your admin password.

As long as you follow some sensible rules, I think you should be fine without one.
  • Download third party software from the App Store (they are signed and reviewed, so should be safe)
  • Major well known software should be safe (Adobe, Microsoft, etc)
  • Keep your OS updated (they release security patches)
  • Use a non-admin user account

I don't use one. But I don't click on suspicious links and don't install suspicious programs. Anti-virus software slows down your computer considerably.

It wouldn't hurt to do a scan every now and then for a peace of mind. I just would not run it in a way that it scans every single file I try to access.
 
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Digeeedad

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2019
42
35
So. California
It is possible to get viruses and malware on your Mac. Many companies install anti-virus software on their employees' Mac computers (all of the companies I've worked for did).

However, the Mac goes the extra mile trying to protect you from these threats. It will not let you run third party software that you downloaded from some corner of the internet. You will have to explicitly go into the security settings and give it permission, which must be further unlocked with your admin password.

As long as you follow some sensible rules, I think you should be fine without one.
  • Download third party software from the App Store (they are signed and reviewed, so should be safe)
  • Major well known software should be safe (Adobe, Microsoft, etc)
  • Keep your OS updated (they release security patches)
  • Use a non-admin user account

I don't use one. But I don't click on suspicious links and don't install suspicious programs. Anti-virus software slows down your computer considerably.

It wouldn't hurt to do a scan every now and then for a peace of mind. I just would not run it in a way that it scans every single file I try to access.
Thanks for the reply and info!
 

nambuccaheadsau

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2007
1,750
409
Nambucca Heads Australia
They may have installed resource hogging AV software without understanding viruses cannot execute on the UNIX based Mac OS X. For sure use DetectX Swift to control malware and other problems. AV companies now for the last several years have started labvelling malware as a 'virus' to sell their software and scare Mac users.
 

Digeeedad

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2019
42
35
So. California
They may have installed resource hogging AV software without understanding viruses cannot execute on the UNIX based Mac OS X. For sure use DetectX Swift to control malware and other problems. AV companies now for the last several years have started labvelling malware as a 'virus' to sell their software and scare Mac users.
Thanks for the reply and info!
 

RootBeerMan

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2016
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5,016
I've never used anti-virus on any of my Macs for the last 25 years or more. I do keep Malwarebytes up and running. As others have mentioned, if you're going to be exchanging lots of files with Windows users, you might want to run a virus scan to kill any Windows viruses that may be in an attachment. Just to make it safer for the Windows users. Anti-virus for the Mac is just as waste of money, otherwise.
 

Crash Davis

macrumors member
Feb 23, 2008
75
18
Austin, Texas
I've never used anti-virus on any of my Macs for the last 25 years or more. I do keep Malwarebytes up and running. As others have mentioned, if you're going to be exchanging lots of files with Windows users, you might want to run a virus scan to kill any Windows viruses that may be in an attachment. Just to make it safer for the Windows users. Anti-virus for the Mac is just as waste of money, otherwise.
I've never run any anti-virus on a Mac but I also run Malwarebytes from time to time. I don't know how many years I've been doing that (several) but it's never found anything. :)
 
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adamk77

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2008
510
149
The term "virus" has changed to encompass a whole lot of things. It may be more difficult for a virus in the traditional sense to run on a modern MacOS, but there certainly is a host of other malware. Things like getting a keylogger installed on my Mac unbeknownst to me would be one of my worst nightmares.

OSX.Proton and OSX/MaMi are just two malware in recent years on the Mac. Look them up on Google.

The one that I *almost* fell for was the relatively recent XcodeGhost fiasco. It's where a tampered version of Xcode was uploaded to a server that many developers downloaded because downloading it officially from Apple was so painfully slow. If you made software using this version of Xcode, it would inject malware in the app that you are delivering. And anyone who downloaded that app would be screwed.

So while I do agree that it's not worth sweating, I *do* think it never hurts to exercise caution. I'm afraid if we perpetuate the mantra that "Macs can't get a virus", people may feel way too secure and not exercise better judgement
 
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Crash Davis

macrumors member
Feb 23, 2008
75
18
Austin, Texas
My favorite security related app is Little Snitch which is an advanced firewall that can monitor outbound connections. I've been using it for 10+ years and can't imagine not having it. It's the first thing I install on a new machine. Then 1Password. :)
 
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RootBeerMan

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2016
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I've never run any anti-virus on a Mac but I also run Malwarebytes from time to time. I don't know how many years I've been doing that (several) but it's never found anything. :)
Same here, where anti-virus is concerned. Malwarebytes did find one on mine a couple of years ago. Nothing really harmful, just some malware that downloaded along with something I had downloaded. After that, I just kept it running. Never have had anything else.
 

Steve121178

macrumors 601
Apr 13, 2010
4,975
4,027
Bedfordshire, UK
Received my daughter's new 27" iMac a few days ago. All of us are new to Macs. Newbie question... does she need antivirus/malware protection? On our PCs, for many years, we have used ESET Internet Security. I see that ESET has a program for Macs "Cyber Security/Cyber Security Pro". Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
* I just found this thread, which should help answer our questions.
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/do-you-use-antivirus-software.2157692/
Not required but goes without saying to advise your daughter to avoid porn/torrent sites as they are riddled with all sorts of issues than can deceive a user by asking them to install malicious apps riddled with malware etc.