Skip navigation

Anti Virus Software

896 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: May 29, 2012 3:22 AM by Alsloginid RSS
CiaraAnne Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
May 26, 2012 4:00 AM

I am just after purchasing my first Mac Notebook and was wondering what anti virus software is recommended for mac notebooks? its a mac notebook air.

  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (84,230 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 26, 2012 4:36 AM (in response to CiaraAnne)

    Hi...

     

    Both ClamXav and Sophos Anti-Virus are recommened. The are both free.

     

    Avoid Norton / Symantec on a Mac.

     

    Good info for virus and malware here > Thomas' Corner : Mac Virus Guide

  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 1:28 PM (in response to CiaraAnne)

    Just one, running multiple AV programs can cause their own set of issues. I've used and supported Sophos and it's pretty decent. ClamXav is also a great program that I had previously used prior to the switch to Sophos. I second the recommendation of avoiding Symantec at all costs.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,985 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 2:23 PM (in response to CiaraAnne)

    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 malware on the Internet that affects a fully-updated installation of Mac OS X 10.6 or later takes the form of trojans, which can only work 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?

     

    1. Any website that prompts you to install a “codec,” “plug-in,” or “certificate” that comes from that same site, or an unknown site, merely in order to use the site, is untrustworthy.
    2. 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.
    3. “Cracked” versions of commercial software downloaded from a bittorrent are likely to be infected.
    4. Software with a corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash Player, must be downloaded directly from the developer’s website. No intermediary is acceptable.

     

    Disable Java (not JavaScript) in your web browser(s). Few websites have Java content nowadays, so you won’t be missing much. This setting is mandatory in Mac OS X 10.5.8 or earlier, because Java in those versions has bugs that make it unsafe to use on the Internet. Those bugs will probably never be fixed, because those older operating systems are no longer being maintained by Apple. Migrate to a newer version of the Mac OS as soon as you can.

     

    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.

  • MadMacs0 Level 4 Level 4 (3,330 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 5:42 PM (in response to JasonFear)

    JasonFear wrote:

     

    Just one, running multiple AV programs can cause their own set of issues.

    Yes, but running and installing are two different things. It's important not to have two real-time scanners going at the same time, but as long as you only use the other AV programs for manual scans, one at a time, there shouldn't be any problems. I have had four anti-malware applications installed on my hard drive for several years and never had any problems, as long as real-time scanning is disabled.

  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 10:42 PM (in response to Linc Davis)

    Linc Davis wrote:

     

    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.

     

    I don't understand. In one breath you recommend not to install a commercial "anti-virus" program but in the next you recommend ClamXav which is... an anti-virus program.

  • MadMacs0 Level 4 Level 4 (3,330 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 10:58 PM (in response to JasonFear)

    JasonFear wrote:

     

    you recommend not to install a commercial "anti-virus" program but in the next you recommend ClamXav which is... an anti-virus program.

    But not commercial. ClamXav is donationware.

  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 11:15 PM (in response to MadMacs0)

    Sophos is free.

     

    http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-antivirus-for-mac-home-ed ition.aspx

     

    It's not even donationware. So following the, "it's not commercial" logic then Sophos would also be acceptable then, right?

  • MadMacs0 Level 4 Level 4 (3,330 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 11:26 PM (in response to JasonFear)

    JasonFear wrote:

     

    Sophos is free.

    As are several other's distributed by commercial vendors. I don't expect that to last much longer as they are simply attempting to develop the market.

    It's not even donationware. So following the, "it's not commercial" logic then Sophos would also be acceptable then, right?

    I won't presume to speak for Linc, but I'm quite certain that's not what he meant. The term commercial is generally understood to refer to software vendors who are incorporated for profit making purposes.

  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 11:36 PM (in response to MadMacs0)

    Sophos has made an AV solution for Mac OS X since 2009 (Endpoint Security) and they then switched to a free version in late 2010. It's seems odd that if they were going to develop the market that they would go from paid to free and then back to paid. Especially when they have a paid version available for enterprise users. They've even repeatedly said that they want to offer the free version solution and a separate paid version for Enterprise use.

     

    I'm very curious to hear Linc's justification for recommending ClamXav over other free solutions, the actual technical justifications. As someone who deals with cyber security and safety at my place of employment if there's a distinctive technical advantage to ClamXav (as donationware) over other solutions I suspect a lot of us will be eager to hear what those advantages are in their software.

     

    ClamXav is still operated by Sourcefire, unless something has changed since the last NASDAQ report I read on them and they are a commercial entitity.

  • MadMacs0 Level 4 Level 4 (3,330 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 29, 2012 12:04 AM (in response to JasonFear)

    JasonFear wrote:

     

    ClamXav is still operated by Sourcefire ... a commercial entitity.

    You are confusing the cross-platform clamav scanning engine which was recently acquired by Sourcefire with the Mac application ClamXav which uses that engine. ClamXav is solely owned by Mark Allan.

  • JasonFear Level 5 Level 5 (4,935 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 29, 2012 12:08 AM (in response to MadMacs0)

    I appreciate that clarification, that's good to know! I absolutely was confusing the two.

     

    Now here's hoping I can hear back from Linc on the succinct advantages of ClamXav over these other applications.

  • Alsloginid Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 29, 2012 3:22 AM (in response to CiaraAnne)

    I have to use Sophos (at work).

     

    to be honest, it seems a bit pointless.

     

    • uses a heck of a lot of processor
    • makes mds rescan everything constantly until you kill it
    • when it finds something suspicious it simply says that no action can be taken.

     

    urm...

     

    stay away!

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Legend

  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.