10 Replies Latest reply: Apr 11, 2012 6:43 PM by ds store
autiger Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I've got a question for all my fellow Mac users out there.  I recently purchased a 2011 MacBook Pro in December of 2011.  I absolutely love the computer.  What I was going to get some input on was the issue with anti-virus protection.  I have seen a number of posts where people are saying that it's really useless because Mac is so secure and that, if you do download one, many times it causes more problems with the system and will give false readings.  Well, with the recent Flashback Trojan, I'm wondering what y'all think about downloading an anti-virus program.......do you think it's a good idea, or not?  Thanks so much and God bless!!



  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,635 points)

    I think that, if you take appropriate precautions, you can still get by without anti-virus software.  But if you want anti-virus software, I highly recommend using either Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition or ClamXav.


    For more details, see my Mac Malware Guide, and for more information about Flashback specifically, see About the Flashback malware.


    (Note that my pages contain links to other pages that promote my services, and this should not be taken as an endorsement of my services by Apple.)

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (178,350 points)

    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 that affects an up-to-date Mac OS system 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 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.
    • 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 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.


    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.

  • michaelnsheena Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Though not as common Macs still get viruses. I have seen a couple roll through our office. Like Thomas, I recommend Sophos. It's free and works and it's not a resource hog.

  • HACKINT0SH Level 5 Level 5 (5,755 points)

    I highly doubt that, unless your talking about some sort of vintage Mac.


    Don't believe everything some MacKeeper tells you about finding a virus on your system. Unscrupulous anti-vir peddlers are infamouse for greatly exagerrating dangers of certain items, not to mention numerous false-positives in legit software.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,510 points)

    Would you be kind enough to tell us which viruses they were and where they are listed as Mac viruses?

  • autiger Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The one that I was really concerned about was the Flashback Trojan. I did download a virus protection just long enough to scan my computer, but it did 't find anything.

  • Topher Kessler Level 6 Level 6 (9,840 points)

    I think HACINT0SH and babowa are focusing on the difference between viruses and trojans (the Flashback malware is not a virus). It's a detail that is significant, but for most people does not matter because all "malware" is ultimately something bad that they don't want, regardless of how it's exactly classified.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (28,510 points)

    Thank you; I was/am hoping for an answer from michaelnsheena who claimed:


    Though not as common Macs still get viruses. I have seen a couple roll through our office.

  • autiger Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Oh, O.k. My bad :-)

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,325 points)

    Read my User Tip here, I haven't got hit with anything ever.




    Well 16 years ago a work computer got hit with WDEF, but it wasn't mine so that doesn't count.