Virus protection For iMac ?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Robert4, Nov 2, 2018.

  1. Robert4 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    #1
    Hello,

    Have an iMac.
    Running High Sierra.

    I understand that part of the included software includes a virus protection program.
    True ?

    If so, where do i find it, and how do I activate it, please ?

    If not, what's a good effective one, hopefully free or relatively inexpensive ?

    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    There aren't any native viruses for macOS, as in self-propagating ones. The only infections known are malware or infections that utilise known vulnerabilities from Flash and Java.

    If you avoid installing Flash and Java, there's almost a 100% chance that any infection you get will be malware. Malware means you installed it yourself - such as clicked a popup and installed "MacKeeper" or something similar, or a legitimate app was bundled with a naughty program.

    As such I'd recommend using MalwareBytes. Don't worry about buying the Pro version. This can be downloaded here: https://www.malwarebytes.com/mac-download/

    AVs such as Avast will detect infections which Mac users have found, however these are only Windows viruses. There is no malicious Mac-specific app I know of which an AV will detect that MalwareBytes will not.
     
  3. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #3
    The least expensive is to follow keys' good advice.

    Do not be fooled by AV companies referring to malware as 'viruses'. Jusrt used gto try and persuade Mac users to buy their products., Also no cleaners are required.
     
  4. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #4
    Avira is good and free. Reviews talk about the malware it can't find without mentioning that Apple patched the OS going back to El Capitan.

    https://www.avira.com/en/free-antivirus-mac

    Although it works in the background, certain things can only be found by running a deep scan—which I do once a month or so. I like it.

    Oh hell yes. Avoid crap that wants to install anything else.
     
  5. Tigerman82 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #5
    There used to be a time when I hadn't educated myself on how this stuff works. Back then I always bought the latest Norton Antivirus. Then I started doing my homework and noticed that most OS do not need virus or malware protection whatsoever and the ones that do can survive with freeware. I would never install any antivirus or anti-malware app that works in the background as some of them can be battery and resource hogs. If you want to pay for virus protection then go ahead but I'd be willing to make a serious bet that you'd be just as safe with using nothing whatsoever (provided of course that you have the common sense to not click and download everything you come across).

    The best 'antivirus' is keeping your OS up-to-date, minding what you download and possible using browser addons that guide or even prevent you from not infecting your computer. That said, I do have Bitdefender and Malwarebytes scanners installed to my iMac and I run the scans usually once a month.
     
  6. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

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    Jun 18, 2017
  7. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
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    #7
    Works well at doing nothing. One downloads the latest anti-virus updates to do what? Scan your Mac for stuff that cannot exist in the Unix based operating system. They do of course use up resources. Back in Classic days Peter Norton's AV and Disk Doctor were absolute musts, but not since Unix and OS X.
     
  8. EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #8
    Responsible people don’t transfer viruses to other systems, even if those viruses can’t infect Macs.
     
  9. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

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    #9
    Irresponsible Windows users don't bother with AV period.
     
  10. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    Location:
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    #10
    True but sometimes easier said than done.

    The only virus that ever infected one of my Macs came on a disk I picked up from the Cupertino mothership when I was doing some consulting. Admittedly a long time ago when it was faster to sneakernet a large file than to FTP it over.

    Yea... I once received a contract from University of California via email. As I was downloading it, my AV app opened, cleaned the problem file out and closed. I was so intrigued that I kept opening the original file to watch it gain.

    I have a job where I have to receive email and attachments and must access web sites that pop up warnings. The most likely source of this crap is the email I receive from colleagues since there are ways to forward a message to everyone@... Of course it comes from a trusted source.

    True, nearly none of it can infect my machine bit there’s always the chance it could be spread to others. This is the reason I run a scan monthly. Every now and then, I find things removed from their former location and now sitting in the VA’s Quarantined folder instead of waiting for something to forward it on.
     
  11. _Kiki_ macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 13, 2017
    #11
    I'm currently using AVG and Malwarebytes, both works very well.
     
  12. mpe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #12
    Having a 3rd party user space "god" process on your system that has access to your emails as you open them sounds to me like a much bigger risk for privacy, reliability, performance and safety than all potential Mac viruses in existence (if that's really a thing).

    It is that bad.
     
  13. SecuritySteve macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    California
    #13
    I thought it might be interesting to weigh in a little here, as someone in the security industry. Anti-virus products serve as excellent defenders against certain attack vectors, such as email, and web downloads. However, they are only so good at defending your system from new and emerging attack vectors.

    The way antivirus programs work, is they look at malicious file signatures. Those signatures can range from a file hash (bad antivirus programs use this), machine code heat mapping, and file names. If the malware is new, and unregistered, then the antivirus will not catch it.

    The best way to keep yourself protected is to make sure your machine has all of the latest updates installed. Every patch contains security fixes for things that range from remote code execution to privilege escalation. You can find a list of those fixes for Apple products and software here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201222

    To be clear, there is a difference between being on the bleeding edge (latest hardware / latest OS) and being up to date in security updates. Apple's support policy is that they provide security updates for the latest OS and the two previous versions. This means currently Mojave, High Sierra, and Sierra receive fixes. If you are running an earlier OS to that, you are vulnerable to every Mac vulnerability that is discovered afterwards and never will get protection against it, except from an antivirus that may miss an obfuscated malware attack.

    Common attacks these days are ransomware, which elevates it's privileges to System (kernel) and then encrypts your files, demanding money in exchange for decrypting them (supposedly, in practice most criminals never bother to decrypt or even to store decryption keys). MacOS is not immune to these attacks. The days of worms and viruses are behind us, and relying on the fact that worms and viruses are becoming less common as a source of confidence that you do not need to update your system or use an antivirus is blind to the ever-changing security landscape.

    TL;DR - Antivirus is good, but installing security updates and staying on a supported OS is more important. Do both and you're in good shape, but you don't "need" an antivirus if you don't want one.
     
  14. vojislavsh macrumors member

    vojislavsh

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2018
    Location:
    Podgorica, Montenegro
    #14
    Symantec end to end is top notch. You’ll need antivirus if you download torrents or cracked programs.
     
  15. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    #15
    More or less. Apple supports OS releases for three years after the last machine ships. California law dictates this and AppleCare follows. Since the Refurb Store will carry Macs running the previous OS, there will be some overlap for awhile.

    Apple always makes the announcement a few months after the latest major OS release. Expect the one dropping support for El Capitán early 2019.
     
  16. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

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    #16
  17. SecuritySteve macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

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    California
    #17
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209193

    If Apple is supporting El Capitan, they are not posting online support documentation for it.
     
  18. chrfr macrumors 604

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    Jul 11, 2009
    #18
    Apple has never released a roadmap of support for macOS. El Capitan already has stopped receiving security updates.
     
  19. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Did I say it was a public announcement?

    Apple always makes such announcements to government agencies and corporate direct clients. Always—and then it can be found. You have to know where to look. With Yosemite, it was late 2017 and not Jan 2018 as I remembered but I found it.

    And you can, too. It was after the release date of High Sierra, btw.

    I have not found a similar EOL for El Cap but it will be forwarded to me when it happens.
     
  20. chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #20
    I guess you "know where to look" then. Where would anyone else look for this? In any case, saying that this announcement exists but isn't public serves no-one.
    The fact remains that Apple only provides security updates for the current and 2 previous operating systems, and even then doesn't necessarily apply all updates to anything other than the current one.
     
  21. mikehalloran macrumors 65816

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    #21
    No. The fact remains that Apple follows California law on this.

    As long as we're talking facts...
     
  22. chrfr macrumors 604

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    Jul 11, 2009
    #22
  23. SecuritySteve macrumors 6502a

    SecuritySteve

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  24. mpe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #24
    If this is what you do on your computer, then you should first of all stop doing all of that and only then start thinking about security software.

    As for Symantec, there have been serious remote exploitable vulnerabilities in Symantec software and number of shocking incidents related to that company in the past. In fact given by Symantec record, it is possibly the last company I would trust in security matters. OK. Perhaps still bit better than Kaspersky.

    Given by invasiveness of antivirus solutions I would always think twice before installing such a thing to my system. Security landscape has changed dramatically over last decade and I don't believe software like this is worth of the extra risks it opens your system to.
     
  25. Strider64 macrumors 6502a

    Strider64

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Suburb of Detroit
    #25
    When I was using Windows Based Computer for over 30 years I found out after using practically every Anti-Virus and Firewall protection software that was out there was just to use Microsoft's own anti-virus and firewall applications. The added bonus is that they are Free and they does an adequate job.

    Now that I'm on the Apple Side of Computing, I go by this simple rule of mine K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) and what I mean by this is. I don't visit dark websites, download anything that I'm not 100 percent sure of and I never open any email links even if I know the person. It isn't 100 percent full proof, but it's pretty darn close.
     

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25 November 2, 2018