Windows Viruses

Discussion in 'macOS' started by marty1990, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. marty1990 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Location:
    England
    #1
    So, I know that OSX isn't prone to get viruses, and I know that Windows viruses can't run on OSX, but I have a question.

    Before I turned to Mac, on my Windows laptop, I used to use... let's say 'iffy' sites to watch TV programmes and films (1channel). Then last year when I got my Mac, I used the same site for a bit, but gave up on it. I've ran numerous scans on my MacBook, and it always comes back saying it's clean, even after I had used the site. On my Windows laptop, when I used the same site, my laptop came back as being clean after running avast!.

    A friend of mine who runs Windows on her netbook uses the same site I used to use to watch stuff online, and she's just told me the site has infected her computer with loads of viruses... which I didn't understand because my computers always came back clean.

    So yeah, my MacBook comes back clean, therefore nothing is on it, right? How come it's infected her laptop, and never did anything to my Windows laptop??

    As I said, I haven't used said site on my MacBook in over a year, and I run scans on my MacBook fairly often - I still have a Windows mindset with these things, even though I know I don't need an AV.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    It's entirely possible that her system was infected long before visiting that site, that she isn't running antivirus software or doesn't have it updated, or that she's mistaken about having an infection at all. Without specific facts, it's impossible to know what her situation is. Many computer users blame unexpected things on viruses, when none are present.
     
  3. marty1990 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Location:
    England
    #3
    So the fact my Mac always comes up clean ("no viruses detected") is enough to say that nothing would have gone on mine, if the site had caused those viruses on my friends laptop? Same with my Windows laptop?

    Cheers!
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    There are no viruses in the wild that can run on your Mac. Windows malware cannot run on Mac OS X.

    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. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). Also, Mac OS X 10.6 and later versions have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
    1. Make sure your built-in Mac firewall is enabled in System Preferences > Security > Firewall

    2. Uncheck "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari > Preferences > General

    3. Disable Java in your browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox). This will protect you from malware that exploits Java in your browser, including the recent Flashback trojan. Leave Java disabled until you visit a trusted site that requires it, then re-enable only for the duration of your visit to that site. (This is not to be confused with JavaScript, which you should leave enabled.)

    4. Change your DNS servers to OpenDNS servers by reading this.

    5. 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.

    6. Never let someone else have access to install anything on your Mac.

    7. Don't open files that you receive from unknown or untrusted sources.

    8. For added security, make sure all network, email, financial and other important passwords are long and complex, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

    9. Always keep your Mac and application software updated. Use Software Update for your Mac software. For other software, it's safer to get updates from the developer's site or from the menu item "Check for updates", rather than installing from any notification window that pops up while you're surfing the web.
    That's all you need to do to keep your Mac completely free of any Mac OS X malware that has ever been released into the wild. While you may elect to use it, 3rd party antivirus software is not required to keep your Mac malware-free.
     

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