Staying Safe (and having fun) on the Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ionlygreat, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. ionlygreat macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    Hi guys, I got myself a Macbook Pro on Monday and it's going great!
    I'm looking to customize my laptop just like I used to with my Wintels. I've often heard it said that a Mac doesn't need any virus protection (in fact, Apple had posters announcing this all over my Univ. campus). I'm not sure if this is just slick over-the-top advertising, or entirely true...
    So I guess I don't need my usual anti-virus software - but what about anti-spyware? I'm assuming I do need these (like Spybot, AdAware, etc.)...and what other security software would you guys recommend for the mac?

    I've already got a few general apps like Skitch, but i'm also looking out for more...i'm thinking about quicksilver since i've heard so much about it, and i'm definitely getting vlc (i used it in windows too - and i don't think i'm going to pay to get quicktime pro)...any other app recommendations there?
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    All intruders for Windows do not affect OS X. Anti-virus (and related) software for a Mac is itself a virus.

    Get no security software (except maybe UnderCover for theft), get no defragging software; welcome to OS X.
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    You don't really need any antivirus/antispyware since there aren't really any threats in the wild.

    The only thing you really need to do is don't give your admin password to anything that you aren't sure about where it came from and what it's doing.

    The only threats out there are ones that try to trick people into installing them, and for that it needs the admin password.
  4. ionlygreat thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    thanks guys... well, i must say that i've got used to scanning all 'dubious' files that i've downloaded to make sure that they're safe...but according to this post ( , there are trojans on the mac
    also, are you guys sure that there is no spyware on the mac?
  5. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    Those trojans are just what I told you about, they require the admin password to install. User-preventable.

    And there is no known spyware for the mac. Although, when it does appear, I'm sure that it will require the user to install it the same way that the trojans do.

    Have fun.
  6. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    there is no 100% guarantee. Especially security is an evolving problem, not like you can grab a 2006 data and predict what the future would be.

    after all, apple itself recently advise OSX users to use AV and antispyware apps.
  7. ionlygreat thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    interesting...i did think that the Mac couldn't be entirely free from security lapses...
    so what kind of software is recommended? (preferably free - i used ZoneAlarm and AVG on Windows...i'm assuming the in-built firewall is good enough and so i don't need a firewall on the mac?)
  8. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    And by user-preventable et al meaning a scanner probably won't detect it as a trojan.

    Use common sense in these cases. If you don't know, don't install.

    If you feel you MUST have some sort of software, ClamXav, it's free.
  9. messedkid macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2007
    Oshawa, ON
    Welcome to the Mac community :D.

    I'm a big fan of apple apps, So with the use of codecs and plugins, I've tried to get the most out of integrated apps as possible without the need to install numerous third party applications.

    I do not have quicktime pro, but with the addition of Perian (the swiss army knife for quicktime) it lets you play numerous video formats just like VLC.

    Growl is a notification system that works with many different applications. Just pops up a simple (and customizable) message window on your screen when something happens.

    Adium is a great IM client. Supports many different clients (MSN, ICQ, AIM, MyspaceIM, etc...) Again, very customizable with themes, sound packs, icons etc. Very good pick since Microsofts Messenger for Mac is... well lets just say you spent tons of $$$ to get away from Microsoft, no need to let them creep back onto your new system, amirite? ;)

    Quicksilver. All purpose application launcher. Not using your mouse = more productivity, because you can do stuff and navigate so much faster (once you get used to it). But like I said, I like using apples products, so I recently switched to just using Spotlight as an app launcher. All the app launching stoof without the fancy shmancy zoom effect and itunes plugin.

    Transmission. Best/easy to use Torrent app. And alot of people will back me up on this one.

    If you use hotmail, you will see Safari have problems checking emails. Microsoft revenge on Safari users perhaps? Gmail is the way to go. Can be used with, iphoto plugin to Picasa(google) web album, etc... Just useful stuff.

    Edit: I know I just ranted about the "fun stoof" for mac. Figured everyone else was talking about the "safe" part of your post, that I would take it up a notch. BAM!
  10. Sorkvild macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2007
    I've had macs with no protection aside from the built in firewall for 10 years and have never had any viruses or spyware or whatever else is out there.
  11. ionlygreat thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    Yes, I usually take care of my computers - but I do tend to take a few 'calculated' risks at times, and just wanted to know what to do if something did go wrong. I guess I am a Mac n00b. Apparently, the regular security apps don't exist/work on the Mac?

    That's a great list - I've heard a lot of good things about those apps (though i've come across a few people with problems on transmission), so i'll definitely give them a try!
  12. tratclif macrumors newbie

    Jan 18, 2007
    Chillicothe, OH
    Actually, there are lots out there for the Mac. The problem is finding the good ones. I use clamxav as an antivirus, just in case, although it has a bad habit of maxing out my cpu when it scans. Leopard has two firewalls built in. I just turned on the firewall in the Security pane in System Preferences.

    See Keeping your Mac locked down: a Mac OS X security primer for a lengthier article. There's a .pdf on Leopard security at Apple (I'm at work, so I hope this is the correct link).
  13. ionlygreat thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    That's cool, I think I'll get that. My college also offers me Symantec Antivirus 10.2 for free - I used the equivalent for windows and didn't really like it. We also get Norton AntiVirus 9.0.3. Has anyone here tried it out, or is clamxav the best for macs?

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