Mac anti-virus and spyware software?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Pat, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. Pat

    Pat Guest

    As someone considering switching from a PC to Mac platform, I was wondering
    if Mac users generally run AV or anti-spyware software? If so, which
    products? I know the Mac is less vulnerably to viruses/malware but wasn't
    sure if this avoids the need for protection.

    I'm trying to get a better feel for the total system requirements (and

    Thanks for any feedback. -Pat
    Pat, Jul 19, 2004
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  2. I've been running anti virus software for the past two years, and thus
    far, the only viruses it's caught are windows viruses. There were no
    Mac viruses for it to catch.

    So far as I know, there isn't any spyware that targets the Mac.
    Michelle Steiner, Jul 19, 2004
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  3. Pat

    Pat Guest

    What A/V program do you use? Sounds like it really isn't needed though.
    I'm tempted to forgo it until it becomes clear (if ever) that it's really

    Thanks for the reply. -Pat
    Pat, Jul 19, 2004
  4. [/QUOTE]

    Norton antivirus is one candidate. At this time, it will not
    be looking for any known OSX virus, but it will be able to find
    and clean up windows problems. This means you can be a help to
    your windows friends by helping remove this crap.
    Daniel Packman, Jul 19, 2004
  5. I have obtained a copy of Intego Virus Barrier as that seemed to be the
    only one that's being updated regularly after Virex became exclusive to
    ..mac users.

    Intego's software has the advantage of running in the background while
    Virex 7 does not.

    Apparently there's a new product, Sophos Anti-Virus, but I can't comment
    on that:

    In general viruses aren't much of a thread for Macs apart from MS Office
    viruses so unless you use Word, Excel etc. or exchange any such files
    with others I would think you can be rather relaxed about it.

    No one knows however what the future has in store so it's good to keep
    an eye on the usual Mac news sites and usenet.
    Martin Sammtleben, Jul 19, 2004
  6. I don't own any anti-virus (that's what you mean by AV?) or anti-spyware
    software for my Mac. I think the part about "less" vulnerability hasn't
    sunk in for you yet. I don't want to say that there is _no_ vulnerability,
    but not having any such software hasn't hurt me yet. One of my friends is
    the sysadmin for the Mac lab at a local college. Although he hasn't
    announced it, he stopped buying and installing anti-virus software on his
    computers a few years ago. Over in the Windows lab, not only are the
    trojans and viruses and worms a problem, but the anti-virus software is a
    major headache. You can't install some programs with it on, you have to
    keep it all synched and current, every time there's a new worm unleashed,
    you have to make sure all computers are updated. It costs a small fortune
    not only for the subscriptions but for the time involved in maintaining it.

    I'm happy to say I have no clue.
    I think you'll find that productivity gains and pleasure gains will far
    outstrip any actual out of pocket expense you incur. I have friends who are
    switching from Linux/Unix to OS X and finding that their 'productive' use
    of the computer has increased, along with their enjoyment of using the

    I do want to alert you that there will be some frustrations and
    aggravations when you make the switch. The operating system is different
    from Windows, and the concepts underlying the user experience are
    different. I'd ask that you give say a month to using only OS X, then a
    couple more months to really living with it. Then try going back to
    Windows. :) It'll be night and day once you get the hang of OS X. No
    malware, no DLLs, no worries about what emails sneak into your system and
    dump there that you never find. And a user interface that you'll learn to
    love. The interface what gets the Linux artistes switching to OS X, but
    it's the BSD underpinnings that keep them here.

    Again, it takes awhile to get comfortable with the switch, and you'll be
    lost for a day or two as you deal with different concepts, but I'm
    confident you'll find the effort well worth your while. Oh, and Mac users
    are frienlier and more helpful.
    Phil Stripling, Jul 19, 2004
  7. Avoid Norton; there are no X viruses, and security update 7/6/04
    combats the worst exploit. To spot any spyware (none so far)
    use Little Snitch.
    George Williams, Jul 19, 2004
  8. What A/V program do you use?[/QUOTE]

    I've been using Norton. (putting on flak vest--"Norton" is a dirty word
    around here)
    Michelle Steiner, Jul 19, 2004
  9. Pat

    Rod Smith Guest

    You must not be running OS X.

    Case in point: I recently bought a G5, and the dealer had installed
    Virex 7. He said it will keep me from becoming a "Typhoid Mary to PC

    I think not forwarding mail attachments, which I don't do anyway, is
    probably an easier way, but, why not let it run and see if it ever finds
    anything? (It hasen't.)

    Virex has started for me automatically every morning for the past four
    months and it certainly does run in while everything else is churning.

    X uses pre-emptive multitasking so I suspect that the only way to
    prevent something else from running is to get an app into a infinite,
    real-time, cycle-sucking, multi-threaded loop. (I remember doing just
    that in a big mainframe in the middle of a l-o-n-g programming-testing
    session in the middle of the night maybe 30 years ago! I wasn't very
    popular for the rest of the night.)
    Rod Smith, Jul 19, 2004
  10. Pat

    stan Guest

    Frankly, I think this kind of software is a waste on Macs, except if
    you recieve lots of MS documents. If you receive MS documents, you
    will need to scan them for macro viruses. Other than that, there's no
    reason to worry. Spyware does not exist on the Mac so don't sweat it.
    You are no doubt used to Windows where there are so many security holes
    that its ridiculously easy for hackers to exploit the system.
    stan, Jul 20, 2004
  11. Pat

    stan Guest

    I have been using Macs since about 1986, and I do not recall ever
    getting a virus. Just don't open unexpected attachments in email
    and you'll be fine.
    stan, Jul 20, 2004
  12. I've used the freeware Disinfectant on my MacOS 7 times. but it never
    found something. Now there are only comercial Scanners, so i never used
    one again. I've never experienced problems with viruses/worms/others. I
    don't think I have spyware on my mac. Only the stuff I agreed (freeware
    who says it is sending home) that it sends something. For other apps, I
    set up the firewall(not perfect. if someone want's to spy around it can,
    but i've never experienced something.

    If Viruses/Worms/Spyware gets too bad, there will start up software for
    that problem, and the newsgroups will mention it clearly . Befor you
    don't hear something, don't panic. (But never forgett to make backups
    monthly! If a Virus comes up, it will be no trouble to get over it, and
    then you can buy a virus scanner).
    My Standart System runs without any additional software. Only things on
    the Mac installer. I surely use some enhancment tools, but they are not
    needed, only goodys. I buyed some games, they are the most expensive
    stuff :)
    In general a Mac is a 'round-up' system. Thats why I like them more than
    Windows Machines. You don't NEED something. all Stuff is inside.
    I bet, if Viruses came up, apple will stuff a scanner with osx and
    everything goes good:) (like they did wit spam in the mail prog, or how
    they stopped IE (spyware by microsoft) and started their own Browser.)

    cheers HP
    Spalinger Hanspeter, Jul 20, 2004
  13. Pat

    Pat Guest

    Thanks to everyone for all the responses. It sounds like the main benefit
    of such software is to prevent the spread of this stuff (which is a good
    reason), but otherwise it posses a very low threat.

    Part of the motivation for this post was another discussion thread (in, topic "Can a recent Dell purchase be returned") in
    which I claimed a Mac really didn't need antivirus/anti-spyware software, as
    a Windows PC does. Some respondents took exception to that, and claimed a
    Mac still needs this protection as well - that there are also viruses and
    malware out there that can get it. Based on what I've been hearing,
    however, it sounds there's actually very little (and certainly a lot less
    than these people think).

    Thanks again for the feedback. -Pat
    Pat, Jul 20, 2004
  14. Pat

    Chris Moore Guest

    My wife used to bring home macro viruses on a daily basis from a school
    she volunteered at. Even so there was little they could do to my Mac,
    just the threat of passing them on to Windows users. My favorite was
    the Thus.macro. On the appointed day I got a scripting error, seems it
    couldn't find my C drive =).
    Chris Moore, Jul 20, 2004
  15. Pat

    Pat Guest

    Over in the Windows lab, not only are the

    This has definitely been my experience as well. What really bites is when
    all this protection you can still get hit with something!
    I have heard this about OS-X, and not to expect it to work "just like
    Windows" since it's not.

    I will probably pick up a good book/tutorial to review when the time comes.

    Thanks for your thoughtful response. Pat
    Pat, Jul 20, 2004
  16. Pat

    Pat Guest

    That's actually true in the PC world (at least according to some).

    Thanks for the response. -Pat
    Pat, Jul 20, 2004
  17. And in the Mac world as well. There are no OSX viruses, so why would I
    need NAV? As for the disk utilities - meh. I have very little
    software that didn't come with my machine, so even if the whole thing
    crashed, I already have all the backups I need.
    Keeper of the Purple Twilight, Jul 20, 2004
  18. No one makes spyware for Mac that I know of. Norton makes Mac anti-virus
    software but there's little reason to have it because there are no OSX
    virii that I know of.
    monitor point seven, Jul 25, 2004
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