12 Replies Latest reply: May 31, 2012 5:21 PM by Wade Peeler
JCEnsley Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I just purchesed my first Mac and I did not notie a Antivirus software installed.  I did a litte research online and read a few articals stating that Antivirus software is not required for Mac's.  I am just looing for confirmation that Antivirus software is not required or if it is what is the best software.

 

Thanks,

 

Jessie


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.4)
  • 1. Re: Antivirus Software
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,760 points)

    There are no extant viruses affecting OS X, so at  present you do not need anti-virus software. OS X has built-in to the OS protection against known malware such as the Flashback trojan.

     

    If you would feel more comfortable with anti-virus software then I would only recommend using ClamXav 2.2.5.

  • 2. Re: Antivirus Software
    keg55 Level 5 Level 5 (5,925 points)

    I agree and support Kappy's post. I'm new to the Mac World too (10/2010 - MBP purchase) and do not use any AV software. If I had to, I would use ClamXav.

  • 3. Re: Antivirus Software
    thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,925 points)

    I would refer you to my Mac Malware Guide for a comprehensive answer to your question.  Not to argue with Kappy in any way, just trying to provide more in-depth information than what is reasonably possible in a post here. 

     

    (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.)

  • 4. Re: Antivirus Software
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)

    When it comes to antivirus, everyone wants to hedge. I don't hedge.

     

    You don't need antivirus. Even ClamXav checks 100% (rounded up after a few decimal places) for Windows malware because 100% of malware is for Windows.

     

    Just keep your machine updated. If there ever is any significant Mac malware to be worried about, some future Apple software update will remove it. Thanks to one recent Apple update, I don't even have to include the Adobe Flash hedge anymore.

  • 5. Re: Antivirus Software
    thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,925 points)

    100% of malware is for Windows.

     

    Funny, I've got a list of 27 malware programs for the Mac that says you're wrong.  Admittedly, most of those are either completely unable to work on any modern system or haven't been seen in the wild in some time, but there are still active threats out there, and will continue to be.  If people accept such a single-minded answer as yours, they will fail to be properly cautious and will fall for the next trojan that appears.

  • 6. Re: Antivirus Software
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,760 points)

    In fact Apple released How to avoid or remove Mac Defender malware yesterday.

  • 7. Re: Antivirus Software
    thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,925 points)

    In fact Apple released How to avoid or remove Mac Defender malware yesterday.

     

    Hmm, that's interesting.  I guess they decided that they'd better release a MacDefender remover after having done so with Flashback.  Of course, MacDefender hasn't been a threat for a while, but it may still be on some users' systems.

     

    Isn't that the same old page they had a banner link to last year, though?  Unless I'm mistaken, the only change is the addition of information about the following security update:

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1387

  • 8. Re: Antivirus Software
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)

    Thomas A Reed wrote:

     

     

     

    Funny, I've got a list of 27 malware programs for the Mac that says you're wrong. 

    Didn't I say "100% (rounded up after a few decimal places)"?

     

    Must (meaning is this required?) I (myself) put (apply) a (non definite article) disclaimer on every single statement? Sorry (apology). I guess (assuming) that I (myself again. I'm not trying to apply this logic to any other individual) neglected to include said note (clarification) on each referenced (mentioned) number (as opposed to word).

     

    I hope that clears things up.

     

    In all seriousness, no one really knows how many Windows viruses there are. Symantec has 17,702,868 unique definitions. So, if I do the math based on your sample which, I'm sure you will agree, is one of the largest collections of Mac Malware in the world, I get:

     

    27 ÷ 17702868 = 0.0000015251766

     

    That means that 99.99984748234 % of malware is for Windows. More or less.

  • 9. Re: Antivirus Software
    thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,925 points)

    How much Windows malware there is has absolutely no relevance to a description of how much malware there is for the Mac, or how dangerous that malware is.  Your statement is a sales pitch, not technical support.

  • 10. Re: Antivirus Software
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,270 points)

    It is an important plot point. Protection from Windows viruses is used by Mac anti-virus vendors as a sales pitch, so why can't I do the same?

     

    The original poster asked if anti-virus was required on a Mac. Everyone gave a hedge answer. I chose to give a straight-up answer. Too bad.

     

    Here is an exercise in virus paranoia. Collect all 17702868 types of malware identified by Symantec. Start installing them, one at a time. I will give you a minute to install each virus. If you do that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, non-stop, it would take almost 15 months before you encountered an instance of Mac malware - statistically speaking, of course. If you wanted to collect all 27 that way, it would take over 33 years. Get busy!

  • 11. Re: Antivirus Software
    hpr3 Level 5 Level 5 (5,710 points)

    The OP asked a simple question and as usual you guys use it as an excuse to stray off into one of your "intellectual" debates. Take it outside this post and quit confusing innocent people who are trying to do what's best for their systems.

  • 12. Re: Antivirus Software
    Wade Peeler Level 6 Level 6 (10,905 points)

    I've never encountered any Mac malware on any of my Macs, but I still run clamXav and Sophos, although I don't have either of them actively monitoring my computer. I just manually scan once in a while, but so far everything they've ever found has been Windows malware that is harmless on a Mac.