Two Firewalls

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BoxerBoy, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. BoxerBoy macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    I have Intego Virus Barrier X6 installed on my MBP. I have heard all the pros and cons re having this installed, and do not wish to start the usual arguments.

    I have my MBP firewall switched on and also the Intego firewall.
    Is this sensible, harmful or doesn't it matter.

    Thanks for any advice
  2. Alaerian Guest


    Jan 6, 2005
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    You need neither of the software you have installed. Get rid of both of them.

    Sensible? Not in the least.
  3. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Two firewalls lol no. Infact you're probably doing more damage in terms of usability (secure systems should be easy enough to use so that people don't circumvent the security).

    Two firewalls however 1 at the network edge and then one on the host for internal threats is standard fare in the security world.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You don't need any 3rd party antivirus app to keep your Mac malware-free. Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 10 years ago. You cannot infect your Mac simply by visiting a website, unzipping a file, opening an email attachment or joining a network. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which cannot infect your Mac unless you actively install them, and they can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install. Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
    The built-in Mac OS X firewall is sufficient. You don't need any Intego products to keep your Mac safe.
  5. BoxerBoy thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    Thank you for your response GGJ, I understand your point of view, and appreciate that much or all of it is probably valid.

    As a relative novice however, I have to balance your comments against many equally eloquent claims made by people who believe an AV product is beneficial.

    Given that I have Intego installed, I really wanted to find out if running two firewalls, ie, the Mac one and the Intego one in tandem, will do any harm. Whilst I accept that you consider it unnecessary, could you please address my concern.

    Many thanks BB
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Most of those claiming AV is beneficial on a Mac are those trying to sell you an AV product or those who come from a Windows experience who aren't familiar with the malware environment as it relates to Mac OS X. Since no Mac OS X viruses exist and the handful of trojans that do exist are easily avoided by the user not installing them, the only benefit AV has on a Mac is to scan for Windows malware before sending files to a Windows user. Even then, that's not as effective as the Windows user running their own AV, to protect against threats from all sources; not just your Mac. Do yourself a favor and carefully read the link I posted, and you won't have to take my word for it. That post is filled with facts from reliable sources, not opinions.
    I wouldn't call it harm, but it can interfere with apps running properly and isn't recommended. Choosing one good firewall is more than sufficient.
  7. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Two firewalls is just asking for networking issues.
  8. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I run ESET Cybersecurity on my Mac (product is also sold in Apple stores) and even though it comes with AV, I just use it for peace of mind when I do things on the internet.
  9. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    2 Firewalls do no harm if there are no configuration problems. It is like putting two sheets of paper with holes on the very same places on top of each other. It makes no difference. Does little good. It is really quite pointless if they are both on the host.
    You might run into configuration problems so the apps that need their little holes don't get through. I'd turn one off.
  10. BoxerBoy thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    Thank you all for your replies, at least I am reassured that running 2 Firewalls does no harm. Seeing that my Mac is working great I shall leave things as they are for the moment..

    Below is a list of the claims made by Intego.
    GGJ, am I to take it that these claims are either irrelevant or already covered by the Mac. I ask simply to understand if I should dump intego or not.

    VirusBarrier X6 detects and eradicates:
    Mac viruses
    Windows viruses
    Unix viruses
    Microsoft Word and Excel macro viruses
    Trojan horses
    Hacking tools

    VirusBarrier X6 protects Macs from:
    Network intrusions
    Denial of service attacks
    Man-in-the-middle attacks
    Ping floods
    Port scans
    Cross-site scripting attacks
    Drive-by downloads
    Web pages with malicious JavaScript
    Malicious Java applets
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    As already stated, there ARE no Mac OS X viruses. The only Mac OS X malware that exists in the wild are a few trojans, which require the user to actively install them, usually requiring the user to enter the admin password to do so. Unless the user installs the trojans, they cannot infect your Mac. In addition, Snow Leopard and Lion have built-in detection for those trojans. There is no need for 3rd party antivirus/antimalware software to keep your Mac malware free.

    1. Make sure your built-in Mac firewall is enabled.
    2. Uncheck "Enable Java" in Safari > Preferences > Security.
    3. Uncheck "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari > Preferences > General
    4. Be careful to only install software from trusted, reputable sites. Never install pirated software. If you're not sure about an app, ask in this forum before installing.
    5. Never let someone else have physical access to install anything on your Mac.
    That's all you need to do to keep your Mac completely free of any virus, trojan, spyware, keylogger, or other malware. You don't need Intego software.
  12. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    All the things you listed can be easily avoided using simple common sense on the internet. Heck, when used intelligently, even Windows PC do not need virus protection.
  13. BoxerBoy thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2011
    Thankyou GGJ, Last questions.....Will unchecking Java affect my Mac's operation in any way. Also do I have to uncheck Javascript as well


    You should sell your idea of common sense and intelligence.

    There are millions of folk who would buy.

    Or the Computer Security Industry would make you an offer you couldn't refuse.
  14. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Leave JavaScript enabled, as many sites require it to function properly. There are relatively few sites that will fail to function properly with Java disabled. If you encounter a trusted site that requires it, enable it while you're on that site, then disable it when you leave. That shouldn't happen very often.
  15. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    There is stuff in place for most of the things on the list.

    VirusBarrier X6 detects and eradicates:
    Mac viruses // there aren't a many and they can do little harm unless you give them admin right yourself
    Windows viruses // Microsoft Securitiy Essentials MSE is quick & free and takes care of those very well
    Unix viruses // see Mac viruses
    Microsoft Word and Excel macro viruses //MSE or little no harm in OSX
    Trojan horses // MSE & admin rights
    Worms // MSE, firewall
    Spyware //common sense while installing stuff
    Adware //see spyware
    Hacking tools // Virusbarrier can do no more than the built in Firewall and MSE
    Dialers //see spyware
    Keyloggers //MSE & see spyware

    VirusBarrier X6 protects Macs from:
    Network intrusions // firewall
    Denial of service attacks //firewall or bad luck, who cares about a DoS attack on a notebook. wtf
    Man-in-the-middle attacks // use SSL or deal with it. VBX6 can do little about that
    Ping floods // firewall or bad luck, again who cares.
    Port scans // there is no harm in those per se
    Cross-site scripting attacks // browsers responsibility
    Drive-by downloads // browser
    Phishing// browser
    Clickjacking //browser
    Web pages with malicious JavaScript//browser
    Malicious Java applets // disable java on sites you don't trust
    Rootkits // use common sense while installing stuff.

    This list is a big pile of nonsense. Most of the stuff you don't need protection from because you are either already protected or it is just nothing to worry about.
    All you need to do to have a virus free is to be careful what and from where you download stuff and never give your password for an install unless you are sure what you mean to install and it is trusted software.
    On Windows just install MSE to be safe from the occasional virus infested flash drive of a friend. Some people catch viruses in work networks without knowing and spread them around on flash sticks, but that is really the only thing one needs MSE for.
    Browsers are safe enough with all the sandboxing unless you are stupid enough to install crap from untrustworthy pages. In Windows you can browse for years with no AntiVirus protection and not get a single virus if you just take a little care. Staying clear of random porn and illegal download sites is 95% of what is necessary to stay safe from malicious stuff.
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Correction: There are zero Mac OS X viruses.
    Zero harm to Mac OS X.
    None exist for Mac OS X.
    Keyloggers require someone with access to install. Cannot be installed without user giving express permission for someone to access.

    While these points needed to be clarified, I completely agree with your comments at the end of your post.
  17. iPeel macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2012
    Use separate Admin account

    Surprised no one recommended using a non-Admin account for normal use and "reserving" the Admin account for any deliberate install activity. Helps prevent "mindless" installations.
  18. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    Mac OS X has had an automatic built-in malware detection and removal system since Snow Leopard.

    This is by far the best piece of advice in this thread!
  19. bdodds1985 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2011
    not sure they could afford it :rolleyes:
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Not really. Runnning on a standard vs admin account has little or no effect on Mac security. If a user is careless enough to install questionable apps, they'll be equally careless in entering their admin password when prompted.

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