Is Virus Protection Really Needed for a Mac ?

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seth_381's picture
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Well since my Original Bondi iMac Died I've been looking to replace it and I don't have a lot of expierience with OSX. But I know when I was using OS 8&9 I used Antiviruses. So Is there any real reason to have an antivirus on a newer macintosh ? Most say no but I want an honest opinion.

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coius's picture
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To be honest?

no, not really. I have yet to see a virus out in the wild for OS X. it's just too hard to actually make a virus to get to install on OS X. and your hit rate of getting a machine that comes to the website, or breaking into the machine and installing it, is like 1% or less. It's only been done in laboratories, And in each case, it requires the user of the machine to authorize it to install. And if you do that, you are just ASKING for it...

I don't even worry about it. it doesn't keep me up at night, where as working on a windows machine on my network that I get, is firewalled by my Blue & White G4. I would NEVER put the machine directly on the network w/o anything between that machine, and the rest of the machines on the network. Same goes for linux machines. If you install a virus on it, then you are just plain stupid. As you have to install it manually.

My mom may not know how to fully work OS X, but she knows enough that if you install a virus knowingly, you are asking for it.

in summary, don't even worry about it. Unless you start to see worms on the net running rampant, and installing themselves onto macs at a huge success rate, don't even think about buying anti-virus for the machine. It would be a total waste for that.

that's my honest opinion, and as a PC and Mac technician, it doesn't even cross my mind that a Mac that is acting weird would be the result of a virus. it's more of the harddrive being screwed up with stuff like permissions/and or missing essential files (or corruption)

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davintosh's picture
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I don't worry about it either.

I manage a mixed network of Macs & PC's, and the PC's get (and deserve) most of my worries. If a virus targeting Macs does eventually get out in the wild and is capable of serious damage, even if you're running antivirus software it's not going to catch it until the antivirus people are aware of it, get the definitions updated and disseminated. I stay on top of the news about this stuff, and will likely install something if it suddenly becomes an issue. But will likely be taking steps to avoid the bug even before that.

But it hasn't happened, and the likelihood of it happening is pretty slim, so no sleep lost here.

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seth_381's picture
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The Reason ..

The reason I asked was I've been using a Windows PC ( the dark side) and I'm always having security pop ups and so fourth so usually I have run all of that. I have always heard the Mac OS really never got viruses but as I said I wanted an honest opinion because, anyone on any random webpage can say anything..

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Jon
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I've been running OS X since

I've been running OS X since 10.2 came out on my 2002 dual-USB iBook, and never a virus scanner of anything other than the stock OS X firewall. Back then people warned of the "impending OS X virus in the wild" and it's now nearly a solid 5 years later, and I'm still waiting... Wink

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davintosh's picture
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Autostart

I've been using Macs since 7.0 was a new release. The only problem of this sort I ever had with a Mac was back in the OS 8/9 days with the Autostart 9805 worm. A friend got an infection, even though he was running an up-to-date antivirus (Norton I think). Once it was in the wild, prevention was much more easily accomplished by changing a control panel setting & placing a couple of files on machines getting disks from outside.

I've also been using OS X since it was first released, and still nary an infection. Until there is a reason for it on a Mac, antivirus software will be nothing but a waste of processor cycles, disk space and money.

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Dr. Webster's picture
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You really only need antiviru

You really only need antivirus on a Mac as protection for any PCs you deal with. For example, if you are sent an e-mail with an infected attachment, your Mac won't get infected but if you forward the e-mail to a PC user they might.

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mmphosis's picture
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found one!

http://www.applefritter.com/node/21792?res=original

"The wastebasket is our most important design
tool--and it's seriously underused."

davintosh's picture
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Re: found one!

mmphosis wrote:

http://www.applefritter.com/node/21792?res=original

"The wastebasket is our most important design
tool--and it's seriously underused."

That screenshot is great in this thread! Thanks for the laugh!

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