10891 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 11, 2010 5:30 AM by conleyrp
So my question is do I need to purchased virus protection software for my new imac?
There are NO documented viruses that affect a Mac running OS X - none. A/V software on a Mac is, IMHO, a waste of resources and has frequently caused a Mac user problems.
If not then what can I do to make sure my new mac is protected?
OS X has a built-in firewall that is quite robust to prevent unwanted intrusions from the net. Turn it on (the default used to be off). Additionally, just plain good procedure is always helpful. Do not download stuff from unknown sites. Do not open E-mails that phish (Apple's mail application has a pretty good junk mail option).
Adding my two cents worth:
At this time there have been no confirmed Mac OS X viruses (subject to the semantic debate about whether the iChat exploit is properly classified as a virus or a trojan horse and not counting the Word macro virus that can affect Office v.X or non-updated copies of Office 2004), very few trojans and no adware or spyware. I therefore do not feel that antivirus or antispyware software is necessary at this time as long as users are careful about what they download from the Internet or accept as attachments via email.
It's never wise to become complacent, though, so security precautions are not wasted. Such security precautions mostly are common sense: don't download and run files from sites you don't know, don't double-click on attachments in emails you aren't expecting and/or from people you don't know, and make sure you password your system and keep that password secure, In addition, don't leave your your system available in a public place and unattended where someone unauthorized could use it and potentially install malware (such a policy is also a precaution against theft).
It is possible for a Mac user to inadvertently forward a Windows virus to a PC user though you'd have to do it manually so the above precautions would probably prevent such virus-spreading, and said Windows virus cannot infect the Mac.
If you do decide you wish to run antivirus software, I think that the donationware clamXav should be more than enough provided you remember to scan your system from time to time. iAntivirus has also been recommended by others, though I have no personal experience with it.
If you will be running Windows on your system, either via BootCamp, Parallels Workstation or another solution, then that copy of Windows is subject to all the myriad exploits common to the Windows world, so you need to take full precautions, including running both antivirus and antispyware software.
So as long you're using Windows for non-internet I would assume there's no need for anti-virus?
I'll never say no need for antivirus with Windows, but if it's not connecting to any network, I would say that the need is significantly reduced.
or is there a weird cross contamination issue?
It would be possible for Windows to become infected even though Windows wasn't itself connected to a network, if a virus/worm/trojan horse malware were to come in as a file via some other method. If you were to receive a file via Mac email, for instance, that contained a Windows virus and you were using shared files between the Windows and Mac sections or otherwise unknowingly copied the file to Windows, it's possible that the virus could infect the Windows OS. So I'll never say that antivirus for Windows is completely unnecessary.
Thank you very much for your in-depth comments. From reading other mac forums and blogs most of them say that it is wise to run some kind of AV software just as a good security policy. I have seen the clamXav and the iAntivirus recommended just like you did. I guess since I have been a PC user all my life (I am 38) I just can't imagine surfing the net without AV protection. I will probably load one of those you mentioned and I think both are free and see how it goes.
Thank you again,
Dave Sawyer is one of the best informed and knowledgeable people that post in these forums. His advice is always excellent (this is not a paid commercial message).
I could not resist another post, however, after reading yours
I used both Wintel and Apple platforms since the first PC crawled out of the slime many year ago. I am almost 74 and +DO NOT+ use A/V software on a Mac. If I was talking about a Windows platform, I would say that you are nuts if you do not have in-depth and robust A/V protection.
I used both Wintel and Apple platforms since the first PC crawled out of the slime many year ago. I am almost 74 and DO NOT use A/V software on a Mac. If I was talking about a Windows platform, I would say that you are nuts if you do not have in-depth and robust A/V protection.
OK, so what do you use for AV protection? If one is running both Mac OS and Windows on the same machine is there a dual functioning AV, or must one buy both versions for full protections?
Thank you for your comments as well. All of you have been very helpful and I am looking forward to purchasing my new Mac in about a week.
I am not sure if this is the right way to do this but I have another question. Would you recommend purchasing the mac online from apple and having it shipped or actually going into my local apple store, which is about 35 min away. The reason I ask is I have been reading where a lot of people have been receiving their new imacs with cracked screens.
There were reports of some 27" screens arriving with cracked screens, but I haven't seen much in the way of reports recently, so Apple may have addressed whatever packing or shipping problem was causing the cracks. If you play to get one of the stock systems, though, picking it up from the Apple Store is of course a way to avoid that issue altogether, since you can examine the unit before you leave. If you want a custom-configured system, though, the i7 processor for instance, ordering on line will be your only choice.