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Old 13.02.2010, 12:45
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Macs & virus scan software

There seems to be quite a few mac users here and I am new convert. Wondering if anyone uses a virus scan and if so, which one. I understand that there are very few viruses/ malware written for macs. Even so, it doesn't mean it won't happen.

I'm still using a desktop PC for other things and every few months or so, my virus scan will find something. It's a timely reminder for me that my macbook is not protected.

What is your take? Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 13.02.2010, 13:08
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

There are norton, kaspersky, sophos, avast !, .........
At Toppreise. ch , there is only Norton listed, I think at at the apple store they only sell Norton, the others are available in Germany, UK aswell.
Here is a list from Anti virus products( with current prices) for MAC from Germany:
http://geizhals.at/deutschland/?cat=swsec_av&xf=404_Mac
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Old 13.02.2010, 13:13
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

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There seems to be quite a few mac users here and I am new convert. Wondering if anyone uses a virus scan and if so, which one. I understand that there are very few viruses/ malware written for macs. Even so, it doesn't mean it won't happen.

I'm still using a desktop PC for other things and every few months or so, my virus scan will find something. It's a timely reminder for me that my macbook is not protected.

What is your take? Any suggestions? Thanks!
The below links seem to do a good job of explaining what a virus is.

Mac Virus FAQs: Do You Really Need Mac Antivirus Software?

Do I need an anti-virus program for my Mac?

I'm not aware of any true viruses for Mac OS X. Occasionally a vulnerability is found, but usually there is patch in a couple of weeks to months. A vulnerability is not the same as an exploit. So far, no risks have been due to viruses, but instead worms, or bugs in non-system or 3rd party software, e.g. iChat, Safari, Acrobat Reader or Firefox.

Norton and Symantec make AV products for Mac OS X.

In my opinion, the current best single line of defence is to always install security software updates from Apple. By default, this update feature is switched on, so you only have to allow the installation to happen, and perhaps reboot.

If you decide to buy an AV product, it will theoretically decrease your chances of being hit by something, but not by much. It might be that the greatest damage is done to your bank balance, and to the performance of your machine.
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Old 13.02.2010, 13:28
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

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There seems to be quite a few mac users here and I am new convert. Wondering if anyone uses a virus scan and if so, which one. I understand that there are very few viruses/ malware written for macs. Even so, it doesn't mean it won't happen.

I'm still using a desktop PC for other things and every few months or so, my virus scan will find something. It's a timely reminder for me that my macbook is not protected.

What is your take? Any suggestions? Thanks!
In my opinion antivirus software for a Mac is more trouble than it's worth.

For antivirus software to work well it has to entangle itself very tightly with the operating system and this often introduces problems because it's written by a third party who doesn't fully understand the guts of the operating system. That plus the fact that there are really no Mac viruses makes it not worth it.

I've never used antivirus software and none of my Mac-savvy tech friends do either.

If you do decide to use antivirus software, do NOT use Symantec/Norton.
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Old 13.02.2010, 13:32
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

It's going to be very irresponsible for me to say this, but I don't use any, never have, and only one time had a virus back in the 0S 8 days which was dead easy to remove, and easy protect the machine by a simple system setting.

That's not to say viruses cannot be written for the Mac - they can, but at the moment most are simply "proof of concept" with really only trojans that exist in the wild (trojans are not viruses). Your most likely chance of getting a trojan is if you download "Warez" as often the trojan is buried in the pirated software.

Macs are, however, affected by MS Office macro viruses so it may be as well to download Clamxav. it's free, but it's not active, meaning you need to run a scan manually. In my experience the commercially available packages that do provide active scanning cause slowdowns and other problems - in fact running one can sometimes case so many problems that you'd probably think your computer has a virus

Of course virus software does nothing to protect you against the various security holes in the system software.
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Old 13.02.2010, 14:00
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

Ancedotal evidence on the lack of need for Mac AV software

I have been running my mac for almost 2 years, on networks and with flash drives known to be riddled with viruses and have emerged unscathed
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Old 13.02.2010, 14:08
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

I've never used anti-virus software on Macs or Linux. If you are careful about running downloaded software you should be OK.

My top reason for running non-windows on the desktop is stability and virus security. As a plus, web content seems to go much faster on older machines.

Despite using non-windows machines most at home over 10 years, never had a virus on them, or anything suspicious. A Windows machine I use now and then for Word has had a virus, despite having a virus checker on it.

The Mac has an inbuilt firewall, on by default, and flexible screen sharing, and if you disable the firewall and start various services and sharing, then you need to have strong passwords and pay more attention to hacking.

A very complicated password and enabling automatic logon is my advice.
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Old 13.02.2010, 14:24
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

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A very complicated password and enabling automatic logon is my advice.
I hope you meant to say DISabling
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Old 13.02.2010, 15:04
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

I have 4 Macs and have never used an Anti-Virus.
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Old 13.02.2010, 16:26
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

i don't use AV software for either windows or linux. waste of time and resources.
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Old 14.02.2010, 12:10
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

Thanks for all your replies. Coming from the PC world, I just feel so naked with an AV software! hahaha! But it's comforting to know that most of you are just as naked!!
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Old 14.02.2010, 12:18
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

I've learnt one of the best ways to be secure on a mac is to have an Admin account and then use another user account without admin privileges for your day to day stuff, only use the (password protected) admin account for setting up your mac, installing apps and the like.

Using the user without admin priviliges means that if anyone does somehow get into your computer, they can only really get so far and cannot do much damage to the inner workings of your machine, they could reach your documents but a lot of that comes down to prudence!
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Old 15.02.2010, 17:27
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

Been using Macs for five years and have never had any AV program on them. No problems so far, but that's not to say it will never happen.

The best tips I've read on here are for Clamxav and only work from a user account, not the Admin.

I would strongly advise against using any AV prog from Norton / Symantec on your Mac. There is a ton of reports out there about them screwing up users' file systems. My guess is you're far more likely to have a problem by using one of their products than you are getting infected in the first place!
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Old 28.07.2011, 19:48
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

1.5 years later: is it still the general policy here to leave your Mac unprotected against viruses?

And: does the "Macs don't get viruses" thing change if you also run Windows on it?

I'm getting a macbook soon and I'm thinking of protecting it with Eset cybersecurity (Eset Nod32 is running on my PC and was always working perfectly fine). Like many PC users I feel uncomfortable without an anti-virus programme.

Thanks for your insights!
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Old 28.07.2011, 19:58
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

Yes, it's still standard procedure with a Mac not to run any anti-virus software.

If you install Windows on a Mac (either with Bootcamp or a virtual machine solution like Parallels or VM Fusion) you should run antivirus software in Windows, but don't need any additional protection for the Mac side of things.

If you go the VM route, don't allow the PC virtual machine to have too much access to the Mac filesystem.
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Old 28.07.2011, 20:01
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

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There seems to be quite a few mac users here and I am new convert. Wondering if anyone uses a virus scan and if so, which one. I understand that there are very few viruses/ malware written for macs. Even so, it doesn't mean it won't happen.

I'm still using a desktop PC for other things and every few months or so, my virus scan will find something. It's a timely reminder for me that my macbook is not protected.

What is your take? Any suggestions? Thanks!

I don't use one. When I converted I tried to find an anti-virus but the results I found were that Macs don't need them because hackers and viruses are built for PCs.

As Mac users we are special and elite.
/flex
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Old 28.07.2011, 20:16
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

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I don't use one. When I converted I tried to find an anti-virus but the results I found were that Macs don't need them because hackers and viruses are built for PCs.

As Mac users we are special and elite.
/flex
You're very special.

I thought the only reason that there are few Mac viruses is that there are (used to be?) just a few Mac users. The target group was too small to be worth developing viruses for but that could change.

*be prepared for the worst*
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Old 28.07.2011, 21:28
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

If you really feel the need for anti virus on mac then this is probably a good start http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products...e-edition.aspx

There are others as well, the most notable being http://www.clamxav.com/

I would go for the latter, but that's just personal preference.

However the problem is that should a new and virulent virus occur then neither of these packages will detect it until the program is updated to deal with it. Plus if you run a Mac in the right way it makes it difficult for malware to get a hold in the system (I'm assuming nobody runs normally in an admin account, if you do then you deserve what you get)

Personally I won't be running any anti virus until there is a clear and present threat, which at the moment there isn't, unless you have a serious chair keyboard interface problem.
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Old 28.07.2011, 21:33
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

Ditto what Slaphead says. I've never used or ever needed a virus checker on a Mac machine. It's kind of like taking a parachute with you on a submarine.
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Old 28.07.2011, 22:42
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Re: Macs & virus scan software

Thanks for your advice. I'm an average user and if you're all fine without the anti-virus I'll be fine too.

I just can't get my head around the 'why' - why do viruses infect PCs but not Macs? I guess I'd have to dig into computer sciences to understand it properly. *shudder*
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