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Is Anti Virus Software needed for a Mac (OS X); If so free solution? [closed]

Is Anti Virus Software needed for a Mac (OS X); If so free solution? [closed]

I have a MacBook that I use for programming and graduate school work. Since I bought it, I've not given much thought to putting an anti virus on it. I bought it about 6 months ago and for some reason, doing so has never crossed my mind until this morning.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 69
Total answers/comments: 5
Guest [Entry]

"Here are two free options.

iAntiVirus
ClamAVX

Note that iAntiVirus does not scan for Windows viruses, while this makes the scan a lot faster just be aware that you could potentially pass on something to a Windows machine.

Also be advised that ClamAVX has slow scan speeds."
Guest [Entry]

"When it comes to Mac antivirus, you tread a fine line between getting useful answers, and getting answers that inspire mouth-foaming zealotry.

Disclaimer: I am a mac user (I own three of them) and I used to administer several hundred Windows machines for a living.

The security guy in me says that no computer should be without some form of automated malware protection. You take that how you like, but if it is connected to the internet, then it requires some form of protection.

The more realistic guy in me says that no, you don't need a mac anti virus. There just aren't that many live examples of malware running around in the wild, and in just about every instance that I'm aware of - these pieces of malware will ask for administrative rights.

Most normal people get a bit suspicious when the admin prompt comes up for no reason. At least, that's what I teach people (If you see this and you didn't ask for it, cancel!)."
Guest [Entry]

"Surfing without an antivirus is like not wearing a helmet when riding a bike : If you are careful then nothing happens, but a mistake could cause you big troubles.

The Internet is a dangerous place. There are hackers out there trying to take control of your computer, and they are much cleverer and more knowledgeable than you. The hackers are of course always ahead of the antivirus, at least for a while, but the antivirus does protect against known viruses.

The better antivirus products contain databases of known viruses. These databases are growing at the rate of thousands of new viruses per day! There are large and well-founded Mafia-type organizations behind these viruses. Do you know that bank-fraud brings in more money than heroine traffic? And do you know that virus-writing is not a crime in Russia?

OS X is less-targeted than Windows, for obvious reasons. But for the same reason OS X computers are often unprotected because of a false feeling of security. Because OS X viruses do exist.

Conclusion: You need an antivirus, I need an antivirus, we all need an antivirus. At least if we connect to the Internet."
Guest [Entry]

"I don't think you need anti-virus on a mac, you do, however need to be very careful about security.

Anti-virus tends to cause more problems than it solves, but there are several things you can do to keep your machine safe®.

Carefully check install files before you enter your password

Check the author/version/etc.
Make sure that it is the same software you intend to install.

Only enable network services you need.

if you are never going to share files with windows, don't enable windows file sharing.
if you don't need remote access, don't turn on ssh.
etc.

Because of the underlying system, if you are careful about installation and open ports, most of your problems go away. There will always be a chance, but anti-virus is just a different form of risk-minimization."
Guest [Entry]

"People may say that a virus needs to spread itself. That may be true, but when using the term ""virus"" for threats that get downloaded/installed without the user knowing it, then for example vulnerabilities in PDF readers or Flash players may be a threat as well, even when one needs to go to some website to be exposed to it.

Such threats may already be blocked by a modern browser, which compares the website against a list of known bad sites. A scanner could block this when coming in through email as well. And even on a Mac and other Unix-like systems, where security requires an administrative account to do a serious lot of damage: ""only"" deleting the user data, or making such data public, would still be a huge problem for many.

I am not using any scanner on my Macs. But actually I wish that others would: if some day some zero day vulnerability is discovered, then a scanner that updates itself like every hour might be able to stop it from spreading until the vulnerability is actually fixed.

I don't feel responsible for scanning Windows files that my Macs may distribute for viruses."