should i still be worried about spyware, adware, and viruses?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bgeno, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. bgeno macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2006
    I just got my MacBook a week ago and I am about ready to get cooking and making it feel like home.

    I know a lot that I read and heard about Macs is that it's virtually impossible to get viruses and adware and spyware. I'm still not really convinced, and I would like to run anti-virus software. I want to run a free application. Can anyone suggest one?

    Also, and I'm not sure if this is allowed, it probably isn't, but just delete this if it isn't, does anyone know of a good free p2p program? I'm talking no spyware, no adware. Thanks. And I apologize if that isn't allowed.
  2. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    ClamXav is a free virus scanner.

    but you really don't need to worry about it.. I've had my Mac for over a year and there's been ZILCH. Nothing. Not even the slightest inkling of a problem related to virus, spyware, etc.

    Enjoy your mac!

    and you probably won't get much help on P2P here. Google it yourself.
  3. bgeno thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2006
    i actually downloaded the app you mentioned, but it says i should back my files and i really didn't feel like going through all that... maybe i'll give it a go without backing anything... it's not like i have anything other than my apps.

    and i kind of figured about the p2p... but thanks.
  4. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I'm not saying that you absolutely shouldn't use anti-virus software on your Mac, but at least in my (strongly held) opinion, there is no good reason to right now. Real, harmful viruses are non-existant for the Mac right now. Spyware and adware are also non-existant. There have been a couple well-publicised trojans, but they had infection numbers down in the low 10s of Macs, and even those numbers weren't really confirmed.
  5. bgeno thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2006
    if i'm running a p2p, would u suggest it then?
  6. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
  7. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I second that motion. P2P is dangerous for Windows users because malware is rampant. Surely Mac malware would also be (more) common on P2P networks if Mac malware existed. But it doesn't, so no need to worry. All that said, don't be stupid. Don't double click on suspicious files, don't give your password to apps/installers unless you know exactly what they are, etc.
  8. comictimes macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Berkeley, California
    not that I'd *ever* use them for illegal purposes, but for gnutella network type file sharing, acqlite works very well, and I personally like transmission for bittorrents
  9. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    That is a disclaimer, its highly unlikely to damage your files but if it did you would have no right to sue.
  10. frankblundt macrumors 65816


    Sep 19, 2005
    South of the border
    There are times you have to worry about viruses etc on a mac, but only if you are sending to and receiving stuff from Windows users.

    If you receive an infected file it won't do anything to your system, but if you forward it on to an unprotected Windows user, it will infect theirs. If the recipient is a client, then this is not a good thing.

    For that reason (and pretty much that reason alone), anti-virus software for mac can be handy to have.
  11. slackersonly macrumors 6502a


    Apr 13, 2006
    I would recommend using some kind of virus protection if you value your data (ie. work data, family photos, etc).

    I think its kinda odd that most mac users will happily spend $200+ for extra ram or an external hard drive for backups etc etc but wont drop $20-$50 for virus scanning programs.

    Sure there hasnt been any serious danger to Mac to date but I dont want to explain to my family that our photos are toast because I got hit by the first Mac virus.

    MacWorld's most recent issue had a good review on 3 options.
    MacWorld AntiVirus Article
  12. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    I have antivirus software installed. I recommend it to others. I do so for exactly one reason. That is to be a good citizen and to disinfect infected files received from Windows-using colleagues. This can be both noble and necessary. However, there is absolutely no danger to a Mac user's data from malware. Wishing will not make it so.
  13. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    There is not one virus that has been released for Macs yet. There have been two proof of concept trojans, one of which was released, but was improperly written and didn't work quite right, and required user stupidity to download.

    You're not going to get a virus. Don't worry. :)
  14. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    Your paranoia is well-founded but ill-placed. There are still no threats in the wild for OS X. Enable the built-in firewall and you're golden.

    If you plan to use BootCamp (or Parallels) to run Windows on the MacBook, though, be sure to put antivirus and firewall software on the Windows side. :)
  15. bgeno thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2006
    Firevault is the built it firewall, correct? I just got that up and running.

    Now, I see everyone is saying there is no reason to need a virus scanner, but to me, you never know when an "outbreak" may occur. So I'm going to hold onto my ClamXav.

    My question is where should I scan if I'm worried about my p2p? Should I scan in the folder that the p2p is in or the folder where the contents are going? Or is a complete system scan the only way to go?

    Thanks... i really appreciate all the help.
  16. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    No, you're probably getting confused with FileVault which is also built in. The built-in firewall doesn't have any particular name, but it is accessed in the Sharing section of System Preferences. FileVault on the other hand is a feature that encrypts your entire home folder. For some people it's a great way to protect sensitive information, but if you don't really need it, don't use it as it has some risks associated with it. If you forget the password, you've permanently lost your data. It also slows things down some.
  17. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Gotta love Mac OS X- no viruses for now.... :D
  18. dpaanlka macrumors 601


    Nov 16, 2004
    I'm surprised nobody explained why it is *difficult* for Macs to get a virus... as in, it's pretty hard (aka impossible) for Mac OS X to run Windows software... and that's what a virus is.

    A virus would have to be specifically written for Macintosh, which is not only a very small percentage of the market, but is accepted as being harder to do anyway.
  19. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    You know, if you got hit by the first Mac virus and it toasted your photos, anti-virus wouldn't help you because the anti-virus companies wouldn't have the signatures for the virus in their databases yet.

    I only see a use for anti-virus after there has been several virus outbreaks for the Mac, so that there actually are some useful signatures that the anti-virus can trigger on. The other use is to protect Windows users if you keep forwarding attachments that you receive to them, but I don't see why I should forward spam to anyone, so for me that's not an issue.

    Checking in on Mac news sites on occasion should be enough to protect you against viruses for the time being, in my opinion.
  20. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2004
    South Jersey
    Yeah, but AV software is reactionary by nature.. Having it now won't neccessarily protect you when the 1st real threat happens...

    I agree that having it for files you send to other people is important- but I wouldn't erroneously believe that just because you have it now you're somehow protected against a future attack that hasn't been created yet..

    EDIT: Darn GEKKO said the same thing while I was typing my reply- lol- Nevermind...

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