Virus/anti-spam software

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dbardwell, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. dbardwell macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Location:
    Lewiston, Idaho
    #1
    Hi! I received my refurbished 24" 2.8 GHz a few days ago and purchased separate RAM (4 GB) and installed it yesterday. Today I partitioned the hard drive so I can use a couple of MS programs using Windows XP SP2. So far so good. I purchased the Mac Extreme router and set up high-speed wireless today. After all that, I still feel uncomfortable without any virus/spyware protection. I've looked at Net Barrier X4 or X5 from Intego and also MacScan 2.5 and Avast! Mac Edition. Does anyone use any of these or have any recommendations?
    Thanks
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    My recommendation is to stop being a worrywart. There are no viruses. None. Welcome to freedom.

    No one uses virus protection on Macs because the software itself IS a virus. It slows down your system and only prevents you from passing viruses on to Windows users.
     
  3. BamaDMD macrumors member

    BamaDMD

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    Where its way too hot.
    #3

    Well said.
     
  4. AL2TEACH macrumors regular

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    Denver, CO.
  5. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #5
    Actually it can hurt--depending on your definition of hurt. Unneeded AV software is going to use clock cycles and RAM. It could slow down your Mac.
     
  6. rfruth macrumors regular

    rfruth

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    Texas
    #6
    And seat belts can wrinkle your cloths ... use an anti virus tool & tell everyone you do !
     
  7. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #7
    But seat belts actually protected against something. AV software on the Mac does not, so I will not spread false truths. There have been some worms back in classic and some trojans in OS X, but never an actual virus.
     
  8. rfruth macrumors regular

    rfruth

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  9. nando2323 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 15, 2007
    #9
    Speaking from a Windows user of 15+ years switched over to OS X. I have had my mac for almost a year now, no virus and spyware software installed, and nothing. I know it's hard to beleive it sometimes but it's true it's great and I love seeing the looks on my coworkers faces when I tell them this. Also I download crap from torrents all the time too and surf porn with no worries. I just put Safari on Private Browsing so the wife can't trace my steps :D I love it. Anyways I would not worry OS X rules.
     
  10. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #10
    I remember that. Its much closer to a trojan, rather than a virus. Either way, it used Bonjour and iChat to spread and could not travel over the internet. Once it reached a user, they had to manually open the tar and manually run the app. If you are not running as an admin (which you should not be), it then asked for an admin account and password, which you had to manually provide. Assuming all this happened, you could then finally get infected. Once infected the program tried to spread itself, but only could if you opened iChat and had Bonjour enabled in iChat, which its not by default and you had to manually enable. Yeah, I wouldn't worry about this one. I'm sticking with my original statement. There are no viruses for OS X.
     
  11. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 30, 2006
    #11
    I remember this too. I think it was tricking users that it was some new screenshots of Leopard back when Tiger had only been released for about 9 months or so.
     
  12. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a

    gixxerfool

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    Jun 7, 2008
    #12
    Quick Hijack here, Im new to Macs should you not be running as an admin by default? Or should you setup a separate account like in XP? Are there extra steps to run as an admin? Sorry for all the questions still learning these things.
     
  13. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #13
    Reports about virus threats from companies that want to sell you anti-virus software are not really convincing to me without independent confirmation of the threat from a source that has no stake in the sale of anti-virus software.
     
  14. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    #14
    Some might disagree with me, but you should not use an admin account for normal day-to-day activities. I have an admin account and a normal limited user account. It is much safer this way. By the way, the default account you create during install is an admin account. That is a big security hole as far as I'm concerned.
     
  15. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 30, 2006
    #15
    It's better not to run as an admin. There can be instances where viruses could make it into the system without you knowing. So far, nothing has really been released into the wild.

    You should have two accounts. One standard and one admin account. Just the standard account should be used on a daily basis. The only extra steps you will have to take, when in the standard account, is that you will have to "Authenticate" any major changes you make. For example, in the admin account - to install an app you download, open the file, and drag it into the Applications folder. In the standard account, the only extra step is that a dialog box will pop up and ask you for an admin username and password. After you enter the credentials, it will install the app. It's a bit more time consuming, about 3 seconds more, but it keeps apps from installing without your permission.

    Check this easy to read guide from Princeton that talks about OS X security. If you have any other questions, let us know.
     
  16. aki macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #16
    .....ok question!!!

    ...i use only admin account now :p so....if i want to be safe and have limited account for daily use is it easy to copy all settings from admin to the new one???or can i make a new admin account and turn the one with all my prefs etc etc into a limited account or what is the best way??
     
  17. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 30, 2006
    #17
    Easiest way to do it is by making a new admin account and turning the old admin account into a standard account. For those who don't know how or are new to OS X, here is a quick run through.

    Go to System Preferences>Accounts>hit the "+" sign and make a new account.

    Make this new account the "Admin" account. Now, log into the new account and go to the System Preferences>Accounts>locate your old account and change it to standard by removing the check mark next to "Allow user to administer this computer".
     
  18. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a

    gixxerfool

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    Jun 7, 2008
    #18
    Thank you for your help. One more question I swear, is there a way to have it auto login on start up to the standard account? Thanks again.
     
  19. PNW macrumors regular

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    Feb 7, 2007
    #19
    Running your Mac as a Standard rather than Admin account is definitely safer, but it is not as necessary as running Windows as a limited user.

    A Mac Admin account is not the same as a Windows Administrative User. The Windows Administrative user is comparable to the Mac root user, which is disabled by default. A Mac Admin account has the ability to function as root, but has to re-authenticate first. This is why viruses can quietly install themselves on Windows boxes where almost everyone is an Administrator, but would still need to get a password from even a Mac Admin account.

    To answer your original question.
    All you need to protect your Mac from viruses is Common Sense. Between the stock spam filter on my email's server and what's built into Mail I rarely get anything I don't want in my inbox.

    Edited to answer recent question.

    System Preferences: Accounts
    Click on "Login Options"
    Select the account you want to use from the "Automatic login:" drop down.

    If everything is grayed out click on the lock in the lower left hand corner and supply your Admin login
     
  20. aki macrumors 6502a

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  21. thomasp macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    I use ClamXav and don't notice any reduction in performance at all on my 1.5GHz G4 PowerBook (Tiger), apart from when it's scanning a recently-downloaded file when it maxes the processor out, but that process takes a very low priority.

    I'd rather be safe than sorry, but running a non-admin account is not an option since it would restrict my day-to-day use of the computer far too much.


    Mac OS X will get hit by viruses one day - the virus writers will find a way, and I pity all those who gloat about Macs not needing antivirus software when they see their computer getting infected. AV software isn't a big hassle. I've got the ClamXav Sentry running at the moment and it is tying up approximately 0.00% of my CPU and consuming a whopping 4.43Mb of memory - about 0.2% of my installed RAM. Not really much on this 3-year old machine.


    My advice: get antivirus software, one day you'll wish you had, and by then it'll be too late (yes I know there's time machine backups, but that all takes time to restore)
     
  22. macintosh tech macrumors member

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    Apr 28, 2008
    #22
    If anything does hit you would be in the same boat as it is more than likely your defintions would not be up to date enough to catch it. If anything major happens, all the AV makers are going to have to scramble around to stop it. They are just sitting and waiting on the Mac side. This quote from the ClamXav site: "Today, the number of viruses actively attacking OS X users is...NONE!"

    You are not being protected, the Windows users you send attachment to however are being protected. The AV software does no good outside of that. We can all sit around and wait for a strike, but I guarantee that the first big one that hits is gonna get you like it will everyone else.

    The best practice is smart computing habits. Don't download from shady sites, stay off Limewire and the likes. So IMO, no, AV software should not be used unless you often need to scan things for Windows viruses before passing them to a Windows user.

    P.S. Don't use fear tactics to justify your use of AV software.
     
  23. gixxerfool macrumors 6502a

    gixxerfool

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    Jun 7, 2008
    #23
    *begins writing virus...*

    Seriously, there is a lot to take into consideration in this subject, safe computing is obviously best. Just like sex, how to avoid STD's...don;t have sex, not the answer you want but its foolproof. What happens if you are running Boot Camp and you take on a virus in the Windows partition? Do you just blow out that partition or do you end infecting your entire HD?
     
  24. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #24
    If you get a virus in Windows in Boot Camp, you get a virus in Windows in Boot Camp. Since nothing written for Windows can also be executed as UNIX code, there is nothing that can happen to OS X.
     
  25. macintosh tech macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    #25
    You don't have to avoid sex to not get an STD, you just make smart choices. Don't do it with random people, use protection, and make sure the person gets tested before you go further. Anyway.

    If you are running Windows you NEED anti-virus. This however has nothing to do with the Mac side of the house. What could having anti-virus in Mac OS possibly do for you if you get a virus in Windows? Did you actually think about this before you posted it? I deployed our first dual-boot Mac on campus this week and we followed our standard procedure for the Windows build, install anti-virus. We also have anti-virus software for the Mac as well, but this is because the campus consists of mostly Dells, so the AV serves the purpose of scanning files before they are sent to Windows users. That is the only useful application of Mac AV today.
     

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