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Suggestions for anti-virus softwares?

3063 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 12, 2012 11:30 AM by Tycoon24 RSS
cy11o5 Calculating status...
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Jan 7, 2012 7:50 PM

Hi everyone,

 

I recently brought a Macbook Pro and is preparing to set it up with different softwares. Right now, I am still not sure which anti-virus software I should use for the macbook pro. I have read online articles recommending Norton, Intego, and McAfee.

 

Can anyone please give me some suggestions or pros & cons to which anti-virus software I should use?

 

Thanks everyone!

MacBook Pro
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (84,160 points)
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    Jan 7, 2012 7:51 PM (in response to cy11o5)

    Avoid Norton...

     

    Check out this article >  Thomas' Corner : Mac Virus Guide

  • AnaMusic Level 9 Level 9 (55,165 points)
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    Jan 7, 2012 7:52 PM (in response to cy11o5)

    IMO it is Not necessary...

     

    See this Discussion...

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/16955379#16955379

     

     

    From the  More Like This  Section on the right...

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,765 points)
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    Jan 7, 2012 7:55 PM (in response to cy11o5)

    Mac OS X versions 10.6.7 and later have built-in detection of known Mac malware in downloaded files. The recognition database is automatically updated once a day; however, you shouldn't rely on it, because the attackers are always at least a day ahead of the defenders. In most cases, there’s no benefit from any other automated protection against malware.

     

    The most effective defense against malware is your own intelligence. All known Mac malware takes the form of trojans that can only operate if the victim is duped into running them. If you're smarter than the malware attacker thinks you are, you won't be duped. That means, primarily, that you never install software from an untrustworthy source. How do you know a source is untrustworthy?

     

    • Any website that prompts you to install software, such as a “codec” or “plug-in,” that comes from that same site, or an unknown site, is untrustworthy.
    • A web operator who tells you that you have a “virus,” or that anything else is wrong with your computer, or that you have won a prize in a contest you never entered, is trying to commit a crime with you as the victim.
    • “Cracked” versions of commercial software downloaded from a bittorrent are likely to be infected.
    • Software with a corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash, must be downloaded directly from the developer’s website. No intermediary is acceptable.

     

    Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be as safe from malware as you can reasonably be.

     

    Never install any commercial "anti-virus" products for the Mac, as they all do more harm than good. If you need to be able to detect Windows malware in your files, use ClamXav -- nothing else.

  • gilmorelou Calculating status...
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    Jan 7, 2012 8:06 PM (in response to cy11o5)

    Intego's VirusBarrier X6 has detected three malwares on my comuter and has fixed them in the last year and a half. Linc Davis's post is very important to read and is correct in every way. Inasmuch as we can be intelligent and responsible in our everyday computer lives and guard ourselves against these vipers, we do get preoccupied and are at risk at all times. I highly recommend this software as it is very versatile in it's settings and you can be sure it is working when you might not be!

  • shldr2thewheel Level 7 Level 7 (25,345 points)
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    Jan 7, 2012 8:08 PM (in response to cy11o5)

    IMHO the best anti-virus/anti-malware protection is using common sense.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,765 points)
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    Jan 7, 2012 8:14 PM (in response to cy11o5)

    Maybe I should be more succinct. Do not install Norton, Intego, McAfee, or any other commercial "anti-virus" product on a Mac. They are all worse than useless.

  • fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,655 points)
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    Jan 8, 2012 2:08 PM (in response to Linc Davis)

    Linc Davis wrote:

     

    Mac OS X versions 10.6.7 and later have built-in detection of known Mac malware in downloaded files.

    Presumably that's the so-called XProtect.

    you shouldn't rely on it, because the attackers are always at least a day ahead

    Being a day behind is the least of it. XProtect has very limited functionality -- it only works for files downloaded with certain apps. Apple is keeping mum about it, so we don't even have a list of which apps' downloads are scanned and which are not.

     

    <http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/22/apple_mac_malware_update/>

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,765 points)
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    Jan 8, 2012 2:32 PM (in response to fane_j)

    XProtect works with all applications that set the "quarantine" attribute on downloaded files. That includes all built-in Aqua applications as well as other popular web browsers and mail clients. It doesn't include some third-party IM and P2P applications. Anyone who habitually downloads files with those will eventually be infected with malware, regardless of any countermeasures.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,945 points)
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    Jan 8, 2012 2:53 PM (in response to gilmorelou)

    Intego's VirusBarrier X6 has detected three malwares on my comuter and has fixed them in the last year and a half.

     

    What malware?  Note that I can find multiple bits of malware on my Mac at any point in time, but they're all attached to messages in my junk mailbox in Mail.  Chances are quite good that you've never actually been infected with anything.

  • bbfc Level 3 Level 3 (845 points)
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    Jan 8, 2012 2:59 PM (in response to cy11o5)
  • fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,655 points)
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    Jan 8, 2012 3:08 PM (in response to Linc Davis)

    Linc Davis wrote:

     

    XProtect works with all applications that set the "quarantine" attribute on downloaded files.

    I'm not questioning your expertise, but how exactly do you know that? I'd definitely like to read more about it, and especially the "'quarantine' attribute".

    That includes all built-in Aqua applications

    By "built-in" I assume you mean Apple apps bundled with the OS. (Just making sure.)

    other popular web browsers and mail clients.

    And what if I'd like to use an unpopular browser?

     

    (I've never been a great believer in popularity

     

    <http://www.dico-citations.com/il-y-a-parier-que-toute-id-e-publique-toute-conven tion-re-ue-est-une-sottise-car-elle-a-convenu-chamfort-s-bastien-roch-dit-nicola s-de/>)

     

    How exactly do I find out if it's on 'the list'?

    It doesn't include some third-party IM and P2P applications.

    I can definitely show you third-party apps which are neither IM nor P2P, yet download files aplenty.

     

    And why is this 'list' such a secret, anyway?

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,945 points)
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    Jan 8, 2012 5:08 PM (in response to fane_j)

    XProtect works with all applications that set the "quarantine" attribute on downloaded files.

    I'm not questioning your expertise, but how exactly do you know that? I'd definitely like to read more about it, and especially the "'quarantine' attribute".

     

    It may not be something Apple publishes in its ads, but it's documented in Apple's developer documentation.  See (search these documents for "quarantine"):

     

    http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#releasenotes/MacOSX/WhatsNewInOSX/Articl es/MacOSX10_5.html

     

    http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#releasenotes/Carbon/RN-LaunchServices/_i ndex.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40001369

     

    http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/General/Reference/InfoPlist KeyReference/InfoPlistKeyReference.pdf

     

    Apple is, as usual, a bit tight-lipped about XProtect, but I can assure you that XProtect's action is tied directly to the quarantine system.  I have verified this through testing with a collection of malware.  If the quarantine attribute is set on a piece of malware, trying to open it triggers an XProtect warning.  If the quarantine attribute is not set, you can open it freely, with no warning.

     

    That includes all built-in Aqua applications

    By "built-in" I assume you mean Apple apps bundled with the OS. (Just making sure.)

     

    That is correct.

     

    other popular web browsers and mail clients.

    And what if I'd like to use an unpopular browser?

     

    You might not be a believer in popularity, but if a browser does not implement this feature as Apple has recommended to all developers, you'd be wise to avoid it, as they've dropped the ball.  If a browser developer drops an easy ball like this, there are likely to be many other balls on the floor that you haven't seen.

     

    How exactly do I find out if it's on 'the list'?

     

    Carolyn posted a link to my Mac Malware Guide earlier...  if you read that, it'll tell you.  Basically, if you've got a question as to whether a browser or other file downloader complies with Apple's developer guidelines on this topic, just download a known good app from a known good site.  If you can then open that app without a warning, saying the app was downloaded and asking if you're sure you want to open it, then that downloader is unsafe.  (Of course, if you have disabled those quarantine warnings, this test does not apply, but that doesn't matter as you've pretty thoroughly turned off all the built-in malware protection anyway.)

     

    And why is this 'list' such a secret, anyway?

     

    There's really no secret involved, it's just a feature that most apps implement (since it's easy to do) and few users care whether it's there or not.  It's not talked about, but it's no secret, in the same way that you probably never think or talk about the catalytic converter in your car.

  • fane_j Level 4 Level 4 (3,655 points)
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    Jan 8, 2012 7:20 PM (in response to thomas_r.)

    Thomas A Reed wrote:

     

    It may not be something Apple publishes in its ads, but it's documented in Apple's developer documentation.  See

    Got it, thank you very much.

     

    I have verified this through testing with a collection of malware.

     

    OK. As I understand it from the docs and what you say, it really has nothing to do with whether the app is Apple or third-party, or whether it's popular or unpopular, or whether it's a browser or anything else, including a BitTorrent client. If it's been properly updated to support the new features introduced in v10.5, XProtect will work, if not, it won't.

     

    You might not be a believer in popularity, but if a browser does not implement this feature as Apple has recommended to all developers, you'd be wise to avoid it

     

    Of course, but surely popularity is no indicator of compliance with Apple's recommendations, and certainly no indicator of quality or good programming practices. If I believed that, I'd be using Internet Explorer on Microsoft Windows.

    There's really no secret involved […] in the same way that you probably never think or talk about the catalytic converter in your car.

    I accept that; but, while I can't say for certain, I think that, if I went to, say, GM's or BMW's sites, and searched support for "catalytic converter', I might get a hit or two. Searching

     

    <http://www.apple.com/support/>

     

    for "XProtect" comes a bit short. Searching the developer library for it gets me

     

    "Mac OS X has no results."

     

    (maybe it's using Spotlight!)

     

    But I guess I should've used "quarantine"

     

    <http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3662>

    <http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4651>

  • Tycoon24 Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 12, 2012 11:30 AM (in response to cy11o5)

    I have a MacBook Pro with Lion, and I use Intego's VirusBarrier X6 because it is robust software and has a light footprint on my computer. It runs very well on Mac OS X Lion. For me, the best part is I can actually run the malware scanner while still using my computer.

     

    Here's a review of VirusBarrier from Antivirus.About.com - http://antivirus.about.com/od/macantivirusreviews/fr/Virusbarrier-X6-Mac-Antivir us-Review.htm

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