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do I need antiviral software for a Mac Pro notebook

560 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 15, 2013 7:44 PM by SwankPeRFection RSS
kcam60 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 15, 2013 10:35 AM

is antiviral protection needed for a Mac Pro notebook

MacBook Pro with Retina display, iOS 6.1.1
  • SwankPeRFection Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 15, 2013 10:37 AM (in response to kcam60)

    People will tell you no.  I like to run Avast on mine and customers just to be extra safe.  I've run into no issues with this software.  This is my suggestion... take it or leave it.

  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (89,490 points)
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    Feb 15, 2013 10:37 AM (in response to kcam60)

    Welcome to the Apple Support Communities

     

    You don't need any antiviruses for OS X because OS X has got its own security systems. See > http://www.reedcorner.net/mmg

     

    However, if you want to install an antivirus, we only recommend ClamXav and Sophos. Other antiviruses just can make your computer slower and, in some cases, damage OS X.

     

    Note that this only applies to OS X. If you install Windows on your MacBook Pro, you have to install an antivirus in Windows to keep Windows safe from viruses. In this case, I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials

  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (89,490 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 15, 2013 10:48 AM (in response to kcam60)

    The firewall doesn't interfer with FaceTime conversations. If you want, you can turn it on, but it's not needed, too. It won't harm your Mac, but probably you won't notice any change, apart from getting windows to allow or deny connections.

     

    A better application to monitorize what's using the Internet in your Mac is Little Snitch

  • SwankPeRFection Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 15, 2013 10:48 AM (in response to kcam60)

    I's suggest you turn it on.  No, it doesn't interfere with FaceTime.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,930 points)
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    Feb 15, 2013 5:01 PM (in response to kcam60)

    WARNING: "Avast" is useless garbage that will cause you nothing but problems.

       
    1. This comment applies to malicious software ("malware") that's installed unwittingly by the victim of a network attack. It does not apply to software, such as keystroke loggers, that may be installed deliberately by an intruder who has hands-on access to the victim's computer. That threat is in a different category, and there's no easy way to defend against it. If you have reason to suspect that you're the target of such an attack, you need expert help.

    2. All versions of OS X since 10.6.7 have been able to detect known Mac malware in downloaded files, and to block insecure web plugins. This feature is transparent to the user, but internally Apple calls it "XProtect." The malware recognition database is automatically checked for updates once a day; however, you shouldn't rely on it, because the attackers are always at least a day ahead of the defenders.
       
    The following caveats apply to XProtect:
    • It can be bypassed by some third-party networking software, such as BitTorrent clients and Java applets (see below.)
    • It only applies to software downloaded from the network. Software installed from a CD or other media is not checked.
    3. Starting with OS X 10.7.5, there has been another layer of built-in malware protection, designated "Gatekeeper" by Apple. By default, applications and Installer packages downloaded from the network will only run if they're digitally signed by a developer with a certificate issued by Apple. Software certified in this way hasn't actually been tested by Apple (unless it comes from the Mac App Store), but you can be reasonably sure that it hasn't been modified by anyone other than the developer. His identity is known to Apple, so he could be held legally responsible if he distributed malware. For most practical purposes, applications recognized by Gatekeeper as signed can be considered safe.
       
    Gatekeeper doesn't depend on a database of known malware. It has, however, the same limitations as XProtect, and in addition the following:
    • It can easily be disabled or overridden by the user.
    • A malware attacker could get control of a code-signing certificate under false pretenses, or could find some other way to evade Apple's controls.
    For more information about Gatekeeper, see this Apple Support article.
             
    4. Beyond XProtect and Gatekeeper, there’s no benefit, in most cases, from any other automated protection against malware. The first and best line of defense is always your own intelligence. All known malware circulating on the Internet that affects a fully-updated installation of OS X 10.6 or later takes the form of so-called "trojan horses," which can only have an effect if the victim is duped into running them. The threat therefore amounts to a battle of wits between you and the malware attacker. If you're smarter than he thinks you are, you'll win.
        
    That means, in practice, that you never use software that comes from an untrustworthy source. How do you know whether a source is trustworthy?
    • Any website that prompts you to install a “codec,” “plug-in,” "player," "extractor," or “certificate” that comes from that same site, or an unknown one, 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. (Some reputable websites did legitimately warn visitors who were infected with the "DNSChanger" malware. That exception to this rule no longer applies.)
    • Pirated copies or "cracks" of commercial software, no matter where they come from, are unsafe.
    • Software of any kind downloaded from a BitTorrent or from a Usenet binary newsgroup is unsafe.
    • Software with a corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash Player, must be downloaded directly from the developer’s website. If it comes from any other source, it's unsafe.
    5. Java on the Web (not to be confused with JavaScript, to which it's not related, despite the similarity of the names) is a weak point in the security of any system. Java is, among other things, a platform for running complex applications in a web page, on the client. That was never a good idea, and Java's developers have had a lot of trouble implementing it without also creating a portal for malware to enter. Past Java exploits are the closest thing there has ever been to a Windows-style "virus" affecting OS X. Merely loading a page with malicious Java content could be harmful. Fortunately, Java on the Web is mostly extinct. Only a few outmoded sites still use it. Try to hasten the process of extinction by avoiding those sites, if you have a choice.
       
    Java is not included in OS X 10.7 and later. Discrete Java installers are distributed by Apple and by Oracle (the developer of Java.) Don't use either one unless you need it. Most people don't. If Java is installed, disable it — not JavaScript — in your browsers. In Safari, this is done by unchecking the box marked Enable Java in the Security tab of the preferences dialog.
      
    Regardless of version, experience has shown that Java on the Web can't be trusted. If you must use a Java applet for a specific task, enable Java only when needed for the task and disable it immediately when done. Close all other browser windows and tabs, and don't visit any other sites while Java is active. Never enable Java on a public web page that carries third-party advertising. Use it only on well-known, password-protected, secure websites without ads. In Safari 6 or later, you'll see a lock icon in the address bar with the abbreviation "https" when visiting a secure site.

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

    6. Never install any commercial "anti-virus" or "Internet security" products for the Mac, as they all do more harm than good, if they do any good at all. If you need to be able to detect Windows malware in your files, use the free software ClamXav — nothing else.
      
    Why shouldn't you use commercial "anti-virus" products?
    • Their design is predicated on the nonexistent threat that malware may be injected at any time, anywhere in the file system. Malware is downloaded from the network; it doesn't materialize from nowhere.
    • In order to meet that nonexistent threat, the software modifies or duplicates low-level functions of the operating system, which is a waste of resources and a common cause of instability, bugs, and poor performance.
    • By modifying the operating system, the software itself may create weaknesses that could be exploited by malware attackers.
    7. ClamXav doesn't have these drawbacks. That doesn't mean it's entirely safe. It may report email messages that have "phishing" links in the body, or Windows malware in attachments, as infected files, and offer to delete or move them. Doing so will corrupt the Mail database. The messages should be deleted from within the Mail application.
        
    ClamXav is not needed, and should not be relied upon, for protection against OS X malware. It's useful only for detecting Windows malware. Windows malware can't harm you directly (unless, of course, you use Windows.) Just don't pass it on to anyone else.
        
    A Windows malware attachment in email is usually easy to recognize. The file name will often be targeted at people who aren't very bright; for example:
      
    ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥!!!!!!!H0TBABEZ4U!!!!!!!.AVI♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥.exe
       
    ClamXav may be able to tell you which particular virus or trojan it is, but do you care? In practice, there's seldom a reason to use ClamXav unless a network administrator requires you to run an anti-virus application.
        
    8. The greatest harm done by anti-virus software, in my opinion, is in its effect on human behavior. It does little or nothing to protect people from emerging threats, but they get a false sense of security from it, and then they may behave in ways that expose them to higher risk. Nothing can lessen the need for safe computing practices.
      
    9. It seems to be a common belief that the built-in Application Firewall acts as a barrier to infection, or prevents malware from functioning. It does neither. It blocks inbound connections to certain network services you're running, such as file sharing. It's disabled by default and you should leave it that way if you're behind a router on a private home or office network. Activate it only when you're on an untrusted network, for instance a public Wi-Fi hotspot, where you don't want to provide services. Disable any services you don't use in the Sharing preference pane. All are disabled by default.
  • MadMacs0 Level 4 Level 4 (3,330 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 15, 2013 7:05 PM (in response to kcam60)

    kcam60 wrote:

     

    Does the firewall in the security settings need to be turned on in a new Mac pro notebook.

    There has been some not quite right advice being passed out here.

     

    As long as you are behind a router on a trusted network you do not need the firewall to be turned on. In fact leaving it on will slightly slow down your network access. See Do I need a firewall? and paragraph 9 of Linc's posting.

     

    If you are on a public network then it would be smart to have it turned on, especially in a place like Starbucks or a public library where hackers might be nearby attempting to intercept privacy information from over the Wi-Fi.

     

    But both your router and your MBP have incoming firewalls to keep connections from getting in.  Little Snitch is exactly the opposite type of firewall, to keep processes on your computer from opening a connection out of your MBP.  You definitely need the former and may benefit from the latter.

  • SwankPeRFection Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)

    Link, your issues with Avast are getting out of hand.  Go do some reading and even install the new engine on a test system before you use your old biased findings to spread crap to new users.  I'm tired of everyone stating that Macs are impervious to viruses and malware.  They're not and you're not!

     

    Go read the reviews on CNET for Avast and then your precious ClamAV.  Clam has a whole 78 reviews, Avast for Mac has 571 and 23801 for PC and the average is 4.5 stars.

     

    Bottom line, whatever didn't work for you or other in the past is working now.  The new engine is much better and it'll continue to get better.  The public release of it for Mac just happened a few months ago, so it's not been out as long as the PC version has.  In the PC world, Avast and AVG are the two trusted free solutions on the market, with Avast being the one that's not canibalized with ads and limitations as AVG is.  People should be free to make their own decision, but spreading flat out lies is BS in my book.  Get off your soapbox with your copy/paste posts all over the place.  If your posts are such gospel, maybe you should get the mods to sticky them or something... seems to me all you do is just post the same book time and time again for every single daily new member who asks about AV... and none of it is truly 100% right.

     

    You can't safeguard "stupid" by telling people to just be careful and not open stupid things they see or get.  Heck, how many people fall for the MacKeeper ads?  The idea of AV and AntiSpyware programs runninig realtime scans in the background is to keep people safe from their own misuse.

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