Virus app? really needed?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by macnfab, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. macnfab macrumors regular

    macnfab

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    NorthEast IN
    #1
    if you use one, can you please tell me which and why. All the chatter has me wondering. Lack of need for this crap was my number one reason for switching from windows. A few of you have mentioned it, and my curiosity was peaked. I have actually herd virus protection is bad for mac.
     
  2. electroshock macrumors 6502a

    electroshock

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #2
    That's a nice sentiment. :) But trojans are becoming more common -- especially cross-platform stuff. Another benefit is when they actively scan network activity to intercept trojans or things with nasty payload. Like, say, specially crafted image files that exploits a big security hole and takes over the machine.

    It isn't so much MacOS X that I'm worried about as it is to prevent needless propagation of received viruses/trojans to Windows-based family/friends/colleagues. I once hooked up a PS2 USB flash card and NAV? told me it found a known PSP trojan or virus (don't recall what it was now). I was thrilled to see that warning -- avoided infecting others because I quarantined it (and ultimately nuked it).

    So I think there's still value in running a decent AV app even on MacOS X. I don't scan all that often, though, because the AV utility usually catches naughty stuff while it's being downloaded or copied.
     
  3. devburke Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #3
    Although I wouldn’t state it as “NO WAY…I HAVE A MAC”, I don’t use AV software. It’s unnecessary and just slows things down. ESPECIALLY if it’s Norton or something. At my school, to use the dorm networks you have to check a box saying you’ve installed Norton (which they give us for free). I did at first, and my Mac was instantly slowed tremendously. So I got rid of it. Why use it when there’s aren’t Mac viruses? Sure, there are trojans and stuff, but I think I’m smart enough to avoid those (they’re really rare anyway). Plus, if a Mac virus does come out, it’ll be big news, and chances are I’ll hear about it before I ever encounter it.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    There are only a few hundred threads on this topic, with thousands of posts. If you search the forums, you'll find all the info you need on this.
     
  5. devburke Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    #5
    The biggest reason to run AV on a Mac is to protect the Windows users you network with.
     
  6. macnfab thread starter macrumors regular

    macnfab

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    NorthEast IN
  7. macnfab thread starter macrumors regular

    macnfab

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  8. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

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    Fetcham Surrey UK
  9. macnfab thread starter macrumors regular

    macnfab

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    #9
    Good question??
     
  10. McShizzel macrumors regular

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    Oct 29, 2008
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    Canada
    #10
  11. SmugMac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    #11
    Horrible product. Firstly it's detection of Windows Viruses was worse than McAfee. Then it's bloated. Five processes using ~40MB each - that's awful.

    What's with the price too? Seriously, $60? No way!
     
  12. Hypoon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    #13
    Virus ignorance

    I'll be the first to admit that I don't run any antivirus software on any of my machines, actually. My windows boxes are all virtual with clean states that I can very easily revert back to if anything goes wrong. Most of my mac and linux boxes are "physical" (regular, tangible machines), but I keep them secure enough that I'm not worried about anything. I keep daily use limited to a single machine, and that machine doesn't store any important data or credentials.

    That being said, I don't think most people realize how a lot of the more significant viruses work. Some of them spread to nearly every computer they can possibly infect before the news agencies hang up the phone call they got about them (Look up the Code Red and Code Red II viruses). Antivirus software most likely won't stop these, because it won't recognize their signature yet. By the time the antivirus agencies can get an update out for their software, most people already have it anyway.

    Another big kind of virus uses social engineering to trick the user into allowing it to spread. The virus will spread itself by e-mailing itself around (Look up Storm), but is relatively harmless until someone downloads and opens up the executable attachment. These are "slower" viruses, since they require user intervention, which means that a lot of antivirus software may pick them up. Unfortunately, when it asks them if they want to [insert brand-dependent phrase for bypassing the antivirus program's security], a lot of people will just click "Yes" anyway. That's what they have to do to get all their games and other leisure programs to work.

    That's just two kinds of viruses that I had at the top of my head. They're very significant, and had/have huge impacts on the information-technology world, but there are many other types out there. I suppose my real point is that antivirus software, by the very nature of it, provides very limited protection. A far better option is to read up on viruses and how they work. I don't mean your Wired or PC-Mag, I mean academic journals that are written for educated readers (if you're not a part of a college, university, or other research institution, you'll probably have to pay for access to them, or ask a friend to e-mail you some). Academic journals often have two columns per page, and come complete with an abstract, introduction, and references.

    Another thing that most people need to realize is that regular updates are VERY important. Viruses (usually) exploit security vulnerabilities. Patch the vulnerability, the virus can't spread. It's that simple. If you haven't updated anything for the past two months, you're vulnerable to any new virus in the past few months. The same thing goes for virus definition updates. This is (IMHO) where linux gets it's real strength over closed-source systems, immediate updates. As soon as they've been designed, you can get them. No need to wait for a whole bunch of patches to be bundled up into one big package, meanwhile you're left vulnerable.

    Third, be careful. If you're looking at a torrent for a DVD and all it contains is a 20MB executable file, it should throw up a red flag. If you're browsing around looking for songs to download, and some guy seems to have everything you could possibly search for, but they're all exactly 163.8 KB in size, that should throw a flag too.

    Finally, back up anything that's important to you. This really should go without saying, but I've made hundreds recovering data from failed hard drives. This is entirely operating system independent. You can be running perfect software, without even being connected to the internet, and yet without warning ALL OF YOUR DATA IS GONE. Sometimes you can get it back. Other times you can hire someone like me to get it back for you for a mild fee. And other times it might be beyond my abilities, and then your last resort is shelling out a few thousand dollars (at least) for someone to rebuild your hard drive in a clean room. It happens, accept it and backup your stuff! Other ways I've seen data disappear:
    - Laptop was stolen
    - Laptop was placed on top of your car and forgotten about. He was reminded when it fell off and got run over by traffic moving in the opposite direction. (Took it back as a box full of pieces)
    - Accidental deletion
    - Intention deletion (and then regretting it)
    - Misplacement (I've personally lose track of files all the time. And no, Spotlight can't find them either. The CLI "find" command is my best bet, if I'm going to find them.)
    - Overwriting (forgot to hit "Save as" instead of "Save")
    - and of course, hacking, viruses, and all other types of malware.

    To sum it all up, be smart about it. Education is your best protection. If you don't feel like reading all that, don't. It's two hours past midnight where I am, and I don't feel like proofreading any of it anyway. Let me know if anything's unclear.

    Hope this is somewhat enlightening

    EDIT: I haven't read all of those links, but from the looks of it it seems that Consultant might have beaten me to the punch on some of that stuff. He hadn't yet posted that when I started typing mine. :\
     
  13. Buzz Bumble Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #14
    Apart from, as others have said, about simply being a carrier link in the chain between Windows users, there is absolutely no need for silly anti-virus software on a Mac and never has been. All it does is eat some disk space and processor time.

    In far to many years to put a number on of using lots of different Macs, I have only ONCE had Norton Antivirus (under MacOS 9) complain about any problems and that was in a Word document on a floppy disc from a Windows user years ago.

    On the other side of the coin, this useless Windows XP PC I'm currently stuck with for Internet access complains almost daily about one nasty or another, and, dspite being regularly updated, the so-called "security" software doesn't even recognise half the garbage being installed and run, so I then have to remove them manually! :(
     
  14. HDOT macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    #15
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #16
    You most definitely don't need a virus app. Actually, you don't want virus apps. There are so many unwanted virus apps around for Windows that Windows users are forced to use anti-virus apps. Fortunately, there are no virus apps for the Macintosh (although strangely enough there seem to be anti-virus apps), so you don't have to worry about that.
     
  16. macnfab thread starter macrumors regular

    macnfab

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    NorthEast IN
    #17
    thanks everyone. You confirmed what I thought I already knew. thats why i bought this beautiful machine everything else is just icing on the cake!:apple::apple::apple:

    I have had it about 8 months.. no virus apps and no issues either!:D
     
  17. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #18
    Where's the "No, I know how to use the internet safely" option?

    I don't actually use virus scanners on my OS X or Windows PC's.
     

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