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virus protection for my macbook pro

4042 Views 22 Replies Latest reply: Mar 19, 2013 2:56 AM by thomas_r. RSS
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Steven.m089 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Mar 18, 2013 11:11 AM

Does anybody know of a good Virus protection for my macbook pro? Some people say i dont need one is that true? I was hoping to get a cheap/reasonable priced protection for a lil extra help. Im worried about my laptop getting a virus.

MacBook Pro
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,015 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 11:14 AM (in response to Steven.m089)

    None is required at the moment.

     

    Helpful Links Regarding Malware Protection

     

    An excellent link to read is Tom Reed's Mac Malware Guide.

    Also, visit The XLab FAQs and read Detecting and avoiding malware and spyware.

     

    If you require anti-virus protection I recommend using ClamXav.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,015 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 11:39 AM (in response to Steven.m089)

    The site I have linked to is clean.

     

    It's not likely your last laptop had a virus since there haven't been any around for ages.

  • SwankPeRFection Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 11:44 AM (in response to Steven.m089)

    I wouldn't suggest Clam.  Go read some info on Avast for Mac.  Read the reviews on CNET's site as well as the forums on www.avast.com and formulate your own opinion.  This is what I run and I also have a ton of clients that run it without issues, both on PC and on Mac now that it's become available for Mac.

     

    Others on this site will disagree, but I've used Avast on PCs for over 6 years without issues and so far have had no issues on the Mac platform for the past 6 months since available.

  • SwankPeRFection Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 11:45 AM (in response to Kappy)

    How do you know what platform their old laptop was?  You don't... so phrasing your answer around the idea that it was a Mac isn't correct.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,015 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 11:52 AM (in response to SwankPeRFection)

    Most of use would disagree even with the installation of any such software including ClamXAV. But at least it is less invasive and imposes the least overhead.

     

    But then you seem to feel you know it all. You might consider looking at and reading Tom Reed's site.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (221,015 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 11:54 AM (in response to SwankPeRFection)

    And this reply is both rude and and unnecessary.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 11:59 AM (in response to Steven.m089)

    Steven.m089 wrote:

     

    Does anybody know of a good Virus protection for my macbook pro?

     

    Apple installed anit-malware for OS X in the last operating system update for 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8

     

     

    However it doesn't take care of Windows virus that comes on files from them (doesn't affect a Mac) so to be nice and not pass them on, you should use a run as you need to scanner and ClamXav is free.

     

    Always on anti-virus that installs something deep inside OS X usually causes problems, especially Norton.

     

    Apple has got our backs and usually has a fix out faster than any anti-virus can.

  • SwankPeRFection Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 12:05 PM (in response to Kappy)

    I've read Tom's site and I know where Avast ranks on it.

     

    <Edited By Host>

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,695 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 12:21 PM (in response to Steven.m089)

    "Avast" is perhaps the worst of the whole wretched lot of commercial "security" products for the Mac. It's worse than the imaginary "viruses" you were worried about when you installed it. Not only does it fail to protect you, it destabilizes and slows down your computer, and it sometimes or always corrupts the network settings and the permissions of files in your home folder. Removing it may not repair the damage, and neither will Disk Utility or even reinstalling OS X.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,945 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 1:17 PM (in response to Steven.m089)

    sigh. Discussions about anti-virus software here are a hot-button topic, and often cause virtual fistfights. Not your fault, of course, but now there's a lot of confusing information being thrown back and forth here. Let me try to clear the air a bit.

     

    First, regarding ClamXav, Kappy's link is fine, but I would refer you straight to the official ClamXav site rather than the MacUpdate page:

     

    http://www.clamxav.com

     

    There is another ClamXav site, ending in .org, that is fake. It's not related to the actual ClamXav. Don't go there. I'd love nothing better than to get that site taken down, but alas, that is not within my power.

     

    I have mixed feelings about ClamXav. I like the guy who develops it, and I like the way it works... but it's not always on top of things with regard to malware definitions.

     

    Regarding Avast, it is certainly not "the worst of the whole wretched lot" of anti-virus software. Neither is it something I would recommend highly. It has a tendency towards false positives, in my experience. Beyond that, I have not used it for a lengthy period of time, and cannot say more.

     

    Go to my Mac Malware Guide and get the information you need to learn how to protect yourself, and then make your own educated decision about anti-virus software, based on your needs and behaviors. I have some recommendations there, and you can also take a look at the results of my testing of Mac anti-virus software. (Be sure to read the whole thing, and don't just skip straight to the results, as the results are meaningless without understanding what they mean and what they don't mean.)

  • SwankPeRFection Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 1:27 PM (in response to Linc Davis)

    Incorrect Link.  Unless you've go proper personal research, you're way off base.  At least do your homework like Thomas does.

  • SwankPeRFection Level 4 Level 4 (1,435 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 1:39 PM (in response to thomas_r.)

    Thomas A Reed wrote:

     

    sigh. Discussions about anti-virus software here are a hot-button topic, and often cause virtual fistfights. Not your fault, of course, but now there's a lot of confusing information being thrown back and forth here. Let me try to clear the air a bit.

     

    First, regarding ClamXav, Kappy's link is fine, but I would refer you straight to the official ClamXav site rather than the MacUpdate page:

     

    http://www.clamxav.com

     

    There is another ClamXav site, ending in .org, that is fake. It's not related to the actual ClamXav. Don't go there. I'd love nothing better than to get that site taken down, but alas, that is not within my power.

     

    I have mixed feelings about ClamXav. I like the guy who develops it, and I like the way it works... but it's not always on top of things with regard to malware definitions.

     

    Regarding Avast, it is certainly not "the worst of the whole wretched lot" of anti-virus software. Neither is it something I would recommend highly. It has a tendency towards false positives, in my experience. Beyond that, I have not used it for a lengthy period of time, and cannot say more.

     

    Go to my Mac Malware Guide and get the information you need to learn how to protect yourself, and then make your own educated decision about anti-virus software, based on your needs and behaviors. I have some recommendations there, and you can also take a look at the results of my testing of Mac anti-virus software. (Be sure to read the whole thing, and don't just skip straight to the results, as the results are meaningless without understanding what they mean and what they don't mean.)

    With respect to your site and your basic research on the matter and limited time spent with these engines running, you have to see this from my side as well.  I have over 20+ client networks that run nothing but the full licensed version of Avast with just the AV filters turned on (none of the Firewalling built into it of any kind).  2 of those clients are full Mac networks with 15+ Macs on them and they run the Mac version without issue.  Their systems run at the same speed as they did without anything else on them.  I also run the software myself daily an my system has no issues with slowness or anything.  I have run Avast for the past 6+ years without problems with false positives or system corruptions of any kind, the same cannot be said for other platforms like McAfee and Norton who's bad signature updates have crippled entire networks.  I have looked at numerous options from ESET to AVG Free and none of them have as small a footprint on the system as Avast in my professional opinion (one backed by over 15 years in the IT industry).  While as of late I'll agree that the PC version of the software has had some additions to it that I don't agree with (like the newly added features of 8.0), the Mac version is still pretty basic in contrast.  As such, even the PC side isn't bad, you just have to do a custom install and just exclude the additional options you don't want.  Ultimately, they're adding it in there to try and protect idiot users more, but there's only so much you can do to keep people safe without piling on the security layers.

     

    Anyway, as Thomas said... discussions about AV on Mac forums can go on for hours, but the fact remains that you run a risk with and without something on your system.  Utimately it's your call to make, just be open minded and do your research instead of just taking the word of some home user of Macs with lot of points who've used these systems for over 10 years and are more proficient at protecting themselves than you are as a novice user.  That is the best suggestion I can give you.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,695 points)
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    Mar 18, 2013 2:31 PM (in response to Linc Davis)

    In case you're confused by the conflicting comments in this thread regarding Avast, here are some recent examples of what it does from my personal experience on this site.

     

    Kernel panics caused by Avast:

     

    Why my macBook Pro won't turn off: Apple Support Communities

    your computer has been restarted...: Apple Support Communities

    Macbook Pro Retina takes forever to...: Apple Support Communities

     

    Slow boot, possibly implicating Avast:

     

    Slow boot time MBP mid 2012 running on...: Apple Support Communities

     

    System corruption:

       

    I can no longer access...: Apple Support Communities

    Mac Mail and AOL IMAP: Apple Support Communities

     

    False positives:

     

    anti virus scan with avast: Apple Support Communities

    I have a querie about a possible bad...: Apple Support Communities

     

    Though I don't have proof, I've seen reports indicating that Avast changes the permissions of files in the user's home folder, making those files unwritable.

     

    Comment by Thomas Reed, who seems to have trouble remembering what his own opinions are, maybe because he's too busy spamming every thread on ASC that mentions malware with links to his website:

     

    "Get rid of Avast."

     

    How do I get rid of a virus?: Apple Support Communities

     

    Instances in which Avast has ever done any good for anyone other than the developer:

     

    None.

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