What is Macs Best Protection ?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by realitystops, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. realitystops macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2007
    Very North
    I do not want to catch any of them ITD's (internet transmitted diseases)!

    But so far my pleasure/sensitivity and control have been in one way or another seriously compromised by the protection methods I have tried.

    What would be your suggestion for an active 'Interneter' who wants his cake and to eat it?

    No noticeable interference with the pleasures of interaction but the confidence that comes with knowing all those bugs and infections are kept away from my important areas.

    All suggestions will be looked at with sympathy and care.

    Thank you. ;)
  2. MacAddict1978 macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2006
    Sophos antivirus is good, and it's also free.

    It's not like Norton or McCaffe where it demands endless access to your system and kills your computers performance. It's very light in the background, and it's not intrusive or going to flame you with pop ups. On Windows, you're always aware of your anti-virus software. Sophos I forget is even there most of the time. The only sign of it is a small icon near your clock on your top bar.

    There is the endless debate from the camp who wants to cite the Mac is not immune to viruses, but do some homework to lighten some concerns.

    Someone can send you a virus (a Windows user most likely), and you can in turn send that virus back to a windows user. Having anti-virus on a Mac is more of a courtesy for your friends on other platforms. It's highly unlikely your Mac is going to suffer an internet STD outbreak.

    Any viruses you would find with anti-virus software can't do anything to you for the most part, unless you actually allow them access.

    Yes, there have been a few Mac viruses that were successfully deployed, but again, this is kind of funny, IMO.

    1. You need to grant that virus permission to do anything using your admin password.
    2. In many cases, you would even need to install it yourself.
    3. Unlike on the windows platform, a virus on the mac can go all koma-kazi on you.

    Really, don't sweat trojans and viruses so much. As long as you have some common sense, you're generally 99% safe all the time.

    That last debacle with the Mac Keeper or whatever it was, was nuts. Once I saw the video of how it had to be installed, I wanted to greatly smack everyone that did it for stupidity.

    The latest one (the bitcoin) was another issue of user stupidity. It was a trojan in a faked and pirated version of software that was to let users create fake virtual currency for a game (thus stealing) and again, when you do illegal things, it's kind of fitting you'd get a trojan. Sophos was also the software that first found it.

    If you're running Lion, you get a bit more extra protection as well with sand boxing.
  3. Aidoneus macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2009
    You don't need protection for you Mac. There are no viruses for Mac OS X, and thee never have been. As long as you aren't pirating software, you're safe.

    Many anti-virus clients will actually increase the vulnerability of your Mac, so you are better of not running anything apart from your Mac's built in firewall.
  4. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    MacScan helps with tracking cookies and spywares.
  5. munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    If you are interested in information to help secure your Mac, check out the "Mac Security Suggestions" link in my sig.

    BTW, Sophos isn't the best choice for various reasons.

  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Sophos is definitely not a good idea; it makes your Mac more vulnerable.

    The best protection for a Mac or any PC is to use your head.
  7. abz1981 macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011
    in what way has your mac been compromised. as others have stated you really don't need any protection on macs unlike windowz computers.
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    I'll suggest that you make a translation into plain English. And I'm glad to know that you'll look at this suggestion with sympathy and care. :D
  9. etsi macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2011
    What about just scan some files manually when you need it?
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, it's not. See below.
    There has never been a virus in the wild that affected Mac OS X.
    That's the definition of a trojan, not a virus. Read the link below to understand the difference.

    You don't need any 3rd party antivirus software to protect Mac OS X from malware. 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 10 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which 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.
    If you insist on running 3rd party antivirus software:
    • ClamXav is a good choice, since it isn't a resource hog, detects both Mac and Windows malware and doesn't run with elevated privileges. You can run scans when you choose, rather than leaving it running all the time, slowing your system.
    • Sophos should be avoided, as it could actually increase your Mac's vulnerability, as described here and here... and here.
    • iAntiVirus has an inaccurate malware definitions list that includes many items that aren't even malware, so their detection accuracy is untrustworthy. This post will give details.
  11. interrobang macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2011
    Yeah, it's really hard to make any serious suggestions when we don't know what you want.

    My best guess is that you want some program that will allow you to do incredibly stupid things without any consequences. That, unfortunately, doesn't exist.
  12. realitystops, Nov 14, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011

    realitystops thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2007
    Very North

    I hate to use this phrase but OK OK OK I give in.

    In plain english I have tried 6 well known security software products and found them wanting in one way or another.
    The latest was 'Panda' which despite being on my machines for a year without any problems drove me away by stubbornly refusing to communicate in any way other than automated/FAQ non English drivel! Rant over ;-)

    So. I gather from your comments that my fears are unfounded or founded on myth or founded on ignorance or founded on fact or indeed not found to be comprehensible in any way.

    My point.

    Is it really too complex a question I ask?

    What, if any, security should I (average bod) be running on my machines to provide reasonable protection from digital invasion of my privacy?


    PS:- If it is too big a question, then OK I give in and will continue with the best I can do - 'Be Alert' - Britain needs Lerts! ;-)

    Thank You
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You don't need 3rd party apps to protect your Mac from malware as long as you're careful where you get software you install.

    Make sure the following preferences are set:
    • System Preferences > Security > Firewall > enable (it's disabled by default)
    • Safari > Preferences > Security > Enable Java (uncheck)
    • Safari > Preferences > General > Open "safe" files after downloading (uncheck)
    As for personal privacy, be careful and selective about giving out personal information in emails, blogs, social networking sites, etc. You'll be fine.
  14. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    Really, the best protection for ANY computer is a wise user. I ran Windows XP for years without any virus protection programs. I kept the Microsoft Updates - updated and browsed the web wisely.

    I never once had an issue and just before I switched to OS X, I put an antivirus program on that XP machine and ran it. It never turned up anything worse than cookies.
  15. realitystops thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2007
    Very North
    Thank You

    Good straight forward answer.

    I suppose like a lot of people I get a bit paranoid as the number of "end of the world" posts appear on the web.

    Keep my guard up!

    Will do and thanks again.
  16. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It's common knowledge that the end of the world won't come because of a Mac virus, so you're pretty safe, in that regard. :D

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