Online Security Software Useful?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by RMD68, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. RMD68 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    #1
    Is online security software like Norton or Bitdefender useful? I know Macs are less prone to security issue, but that doesn't mean they aren't vulnerable either. I just don't know if these sort of programs help at all.

    Any recommendations? Thanks!
     
  2. Queen6, Sep 2, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015

    Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #2
    Very much dependent on your usage/workflow;

    As someone who relies on their Mac`s for a living absolutely yes I believe OS X does require protection above and beyond what Apple offers, I see the same question, same rhetoric, over and over;

    There are multiple reasons to run antivirus/malware detection on OS X especially if you are dealing with mixed environments. Passing on malicious code, even inadvertently will do you no favours in the professional world, let alone your family and friends. What does not hurt OS X may well bring a Windows based system to it`s knees. By far the vast majority of companies that you may potentially work with, or interact with will require a level of antivirus protection, regardless of platform.

    You do need to be careful on the choice of application; perviously I ran ClamXav (now a paid app) as the app is extremely light and only looks in realtime at what you specify, equally time has moved on and ClamXav has remained rather static. I now use Avast. Same scenario no impact to performance with a greater scope of realtime protection. Does anyone seriously still believe that running Avast or ClamXav on today`s modern hardware impacts performance? The paid packages I agree are unnecessary on OS X, as the free alternatives are currently perfectly adequate.

    Avast or ClamXav will have no impact on a modern Intel based Mac. To have a free, low headroom, accurate scanner and not utilise it, is somewhat stubborn at the very best. The retorts of AV being a resource hog, boils down to one thing, research; Avast or ClamXav will not bog your system down. If it does your system either has other inconsistencies that need addressing, or your hardware is so old it`s well and truly time to upgrade. On my Early 2008 2.4 MBP Avast is simply invisible, there is absolutely no degradation of performance, as for the 13" and 15" Retina`s and now the new 1.2 12" Retina MacBook Avast is transparent, same applies to the rest of the Mac`s we own, used both in the professional environment and at home.

    I have literally decades of work on my systems, and have no intention of losing any data, or suffering any downtime. Antivirus is but one tool in a multilayered security safety net. Lets face it, if and when OS X is compromised it will spread like wildfire, as many fundamentally believe that OS X is invulnerable, then it will "be all over, bar the shouting". I am not entirely sure posts that overly reinforce this false sense of security are remotely helpful to the average user. Even Apple recognises the security threat, however the updates are too slow to be considered a truly preventative measure. As of OS X 10.6 your Mac is running anti malware like it or not courtesy of Apple`s xProtect... Virus/Malware gains traction by exploiting vulnerabilities on unprotected systems. I don't believe for one second that any antivirus/malware detection application is the single security solution for OS X, it is however one of many effective barriers.

    I have never had a positive virus hit in all the years I have run drive scans with ClamXav and now Avast, equally I have observed malicious code blocked by Avast`s Web Shield, and removed malware from others systems. OS X is gaining ever more traction and it`s simply a matter of time before someone figures it out, thinking otherwise is simply naive. Avast costs me nothing monetarily, nor time in productivity. This is a safety net that costs little more than a few minutes of your time period.

    A significant aspect for those of us who rely on our Mac`s for income is downtime; spending hours tracking down malicious code is simply a negative financially to me, as ever prevention is far more effective than cure. In the field should my hardware fail to perform due to a software issue, it can cost me up to and above the price of the Notebook in use, for everyday it`s down, the math is simple.

    There are many compelling reasons to run Avast, ClamXav or similar, and few if any not too. Personal choices aside I fundamentally believe that suggesting that OS X is 100% safe to all and does not need such tools is very much a step in the wrong direction; not all are technically minded, neither do all users who may have access to systems follow safe computing rules and guidelines. The vast majority simply point and click to get to where or what they want, Avast or ClamXav simply serves as a barrier to protect those that are unaware, and some cases unconcerned, ultimately such safeguards protect the community as a whole.

    I would also recommend that people install Malwarebytes for Mac, as has been frequently stated malicious code is ever evolving and we as a community should equally be fluid.

    Latest update on same from Thomas Reed - https://blog.malwarebytes.org/2015/08/

    Install, don’t install it`s down to you...


    Q-6
     
  3. RMD68 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    #3
    Thank you for your response!

    I assumed that the "Macs do not get Viruses" mantra was a bit dated and naive, and now I am certain of those feelings. I also have the feeling that just being concerned about viruses is pretty myopic. There are many more advantages for rouge nasties, etc. to use all sorts of exploits, backdoors, malware, and so on. Simply worrying about digital vandalism due to a virus is "so 90s AOL" for lack of a better phrase.

    Anyway, I want to make my connection secure, so I will look into the apps you suggested. If you have any further advice, please PM me.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Enjoying Better Things
    #4
    Not so much virus`s, however OS X is clearly becoming more vulnerable to malicious code in general, the next iteration 10.11 will increase the OS security footprint to another level. Once again dependant on your usage a VPN solution is worth considering, as this will encrypt all your data over the internet. For the hardware enabling FileVault 2 and the Firmware password will also help to keep your system & data secure.

    FV2, Firmware password, Malwarebytes, Avast and good password management, add on a VPN your system will be very hard to penetrate, unless it`s specifically targeted. Beyond this it gets more serious and you need knowledge of the OS at a deeper level, security audits etc.

    Q-6
     
  5. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #5
    Macs do not currently face a threat from computer viruses.
     

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