Your opinion on anti-virus software for Macs

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Supercell, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. Supercell macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm getting my first rMBP in a few days, and I'm curious about your opinions on anti-virus software for Macs?

    My Mac will be used primarily for software development, and most of my projects will be stored on the device itself, until I get a remote repository. Also a lot of company specific information will be stored on the device.

    I know what to avoid when browsing the internet, and I'm very cautious when downloading stuff.

    I read some articles about anti-virus software for Mac, which basically tells me I don't need it. Just wondering if the built-in security of OS X will keep me safe or if I do need to get anti-virus software for my situation.
     
  2. iKrivetko macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
  3. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    #3
    You'll be fine without it. I go on questionable websites and have never had any issues. I was required to have Sophos downloaded while I lived in the dorms at my school, and it really only slowed things down. The only thing I could think of is if you're running boot camp. I'm not sure about virtual machines.
     
  4. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    New England, USA
    #4
    You do not need an anti-virus for OS X. There are not now, nor have there ever been, any viruses in the wild that effect OS X.

    OS X is not immune to viruses, but thus far there have been none in the wild that have been a problem or infected Macs. There are other forms of malware that can effect Macs, but the best way to avoid them is safe computing.

    If you really want to, you can get ClamX, which will scan for nasties and quarantine them. I use it once a month and it cleans out a bunch of harmless (probably Windows) junk which has no impact anyway. The nice thing about ClamX is it doesn't run in the background, and so it doesn't use any resources until you open it for a scan.

    Mac Virus/Malware FAQ

    http://guides.macrumors.com/Mac_Virus/Malware_FAQ
     
  5. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #5
    Macs might not get viruses but they can still spread them so if you share files with other users you might still consider virus software.
     
  6. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a

    Wuiffi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    #6
    I used a payed version of kaspersky (student discount) for 1.5 years. That was the time I had the most troubles with my mac. I'd say at the moment you are better of, if you just enable the firewall
     
  7. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #7
    As others already stated, OS X does not have any currently known viruses. The only reported ones were related to Java vulnerabilities, but things like these can be easily avoided by disabling Java web content - hardly any website uses them today anyway.

    Malware does exist for Macs but OS X comes with a built-in malware protection, in addition to the new cryptographic signature functionality - which prevents execution of any code which has not been signed by a registered developer. While this function can interfere with some open-source programs (but it is easily overridden), it also makes Macs very safe for the 'normal' user.
     
  8. Azeroth1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    #8
    I have used intego virus barrier x for the last few years and versions of both the app itself and with OSX - I think since Leopard or Snow leopard. Never had a problem and it seems light in resources to me. I know everyone says you don't need it, but I personally like knowing it's there. For what it's worth and in support of those above, to my knowledge it's never found anything.
     
  9. mentaluproar macrumors 68000

    mentaluproar

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    #9
    Avast works pretty well and doesn't get in my way. I use it when I'm working with PCs and have a hard drive pulled out while I work on more intensive repairs. Throw it on a dock, let avast scrub it, look at what it found and alert the customer to behaviors that could result in those particular infections.
     
  10. SomeGuyDude macrumors 6502a

    SomeGuyDude

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Location:
    NEPA
    #10
    Far as I know the only viruses macs have to deal with are trojan horses, so if you're a responsible internet use you're safe.

    Fun fact: best buy gives out a free copy of Webroot with every MBPr they sell. On disc. Good job guys. :rolleyes:
     
  11. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #11
    One of the better protections you can take is to make your primary user a non-administrator. Create another admin account to authorize any system changes.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #12
    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 12 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). 3rd party antivirus apps are not necessary to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as a user practices safe computing, as described in the following link.
    Read the What security steps should I take? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for tips on practicing safe computing.

    When the MR Guides are back online, read the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ. Until the MR Guides are available, you can read most of the same info in the Mac Virus/Malware Info post, on which the FAQ is based.

    There is no advantage in doing this on OS X.
    If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to read: What about sending files to Windows users? section of the Mac Virus/Malware Info.
     
  13. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #13
    Remember Flashback?

    I have Norton Internet Security on mine. Doesn't really slow things down, but that's probably because I have 16GB RAM and SSD.

    Better to be safe than sorry.

    But if you want something free, try iAntiVirus on the Mac App Store. It's free, and it's from Symantec (the ones who make Norton).

    But bottom line, you don't really need antivirus. What you need is internet security.

    I suggest you get this Safari plugin too: http://macplugin.norton.com/?ext=NIS
     
  14. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Sagittarius A*
    #14
    If you need Java installed, more pointedly Java 7 which you get from Oracle I would use ClamXAV which is free and unless you enable the file sentry has no impact on resources whatsoever. That also applies to any other non apple apps such as acrobat etc which may not be updated to the latest versions and are vulnerable.

    Mac's may not get viruses but they are still vulnerable to Trojans and their nasty variants the rootkit.
     
  15. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #15
    I don't use any antivirus on my Mac
    But if I did, I can assure you it would NOT be Norton ;)
    If were to use anything it would prolly be ClamXav
     
  16. Sital macrumors 68000

    Sital

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Location:
    New England
    #16
    Since Norton overhauled it's AV software several years ago, I've had no issues with it at all on Windows machines. It doesn't slow things down on machines with just standard specs. Having said that, if I was going to use AV on a Mac (which I don't) it wouldn't be my first choice only because I don't know how committed they really are to the platform (e.g. Quicken).
     
  17. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #17
    A Windows machine would be much different, and Norton may be fine there... still, I would use Microsoft Security Essentials or one of the free Avast/AVG/etc. before going with Norton. I have not needed anything more than MSE on my Windows 7 VM, and I use nothing on my Windows 8.1 VM.

    On the Mac... since I don't need anything, I don't use anything. ClamXav seems to have a fairly good reputation/track record with detecting Windows viruses/malware and avoiding redistribution, so I would consider that if I had to make a choice.
     
  18. Sital macrumors 68000

    Sital

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Location:
    New England
    #18
    I agree the Windows machine would be different and as I said Norton wouldn't be my first choice for my Mac. Just seems that Norton still gets a bad rap based on issues from years ago that were corrected.
     
  19. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    "Between the Hedges"
    #19
    That is probably true, but with so many other good options available, I wouldn't be willing to risk them, especially on the Mac side.
     
  20. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #20
    Yes, that was a trojan. The best anti-virus software in the universe can't save you, if you install malware yourself.
     
  21. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #21
    I read it.
    And covering your cough is still the responsible thing to do.

    In my case, I'm the first one in my house to use a Mac and I've discovered viruses on external hard drives that haven't been used for months or even years.
    Yes, I have virus software on all of the PCs in my house but the viruses obviously weren't caught by the software being used back then.
    I could have not installed virus software on my Mac and let the viruses go undiscovered until the next time someone happened to use those drives with a PC but I did the responsible thing -- I covered my cough -- and I killed the virus before it had a chance to infect others in my household.
     
  22. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #22
    Maybe weening them off of Windows would be even more responsible...
     
  23. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #23
    Maybe offering OS X to PC users would be the responsible thing for Apple to do.
    :p
     
  24. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #24
    The thing is, you did not have to "install" anything to be infected with Flashback. All you had to do was visit a compromised web site and you got infected with Flashback.
     
  25. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #25
    Ah, yes, you are right. That was the Java one... I stand corrected.

    I like how Mavericks has Java disabled by default.
     

Share This Page