4 Replies Latest reply: Jun 23, 2013 2:13 AM by circulair@
jesterman07 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Do i need to load anti-virus software on my macbook pro?


iPhone 3GS, Windows 7
  • 1. Re: do i need anti virus sofware
    mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (89,570 points)

    You don 't need an antivirus on OS X. See > http://www.reedcorner.net/mmg

  • 2. Re: do i need anti virus sofware
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,330 points)
    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. This feature is transparent to the user, but internally Apple calls it "XProtect." 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.
       
    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 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 oversight of the App Store.
    For more information about Gatekeeper, see this Apple Support article.
       
    4. Besides 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 still 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 reduces 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,” 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 users who were infected with the "DNSChanger" malware. That exception to this rule no longer applies.)
    • “Cracked” copies 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.
    5. Java on the network (not to be confused with JavaScript, to which it's not related) is a weak point in the security of any operating system. If a Java web plugin is not installed, don't install one unless you really need it. If it is installed, you should disable it (not JavaScript) in your web browsers. Few websites have Java content nowadays, so you won’t be missing much. This setting is mandatory in OS X 10.5.8 or earlier, because Java in those obsolete versions has known security flaws that make it unsafe to use on the Internet. The flaws will never be fixed. Regardless of version, experience has shown that Java can never be fully trusted, even if no vulnerabilities are publicly known at the moment.

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

    6. Never install any commercial "anti-virus" or "Internet security" 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 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 duplicates low-level functions of the operating system, which is a waste of resources and a common cause of instability and poor performance.
    • By modifying the 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 can 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. If you don't need to do that, avoid it. Windows malware can't harm you directly (unless, of course, you use Windows.) Just don't pass it on to anyone else.
        
    8. The greatest danger posed by anti-virus software, in my opinion, is its effect on human behavior. When people install such software, which does little or nothing to protect them from emerging threats, they get a false sense of security from it, and then they may do things that make them more vulnerable. 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.
  • 3. Re: do i need anti virus sofware
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,805 points)

    Helpful Links Regarding Virus Protection

     

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

    Also, visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQ on malware.

     

    For general anti-virus protection I recommend using ClamXav.

  • 4. Re: do i need anti virus sofware
    circulair@ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for all your reply's and help I had MacAfee provided in the package from my broadband provider but now i am changing provider I will clear my Macbook of third party anti software after information you have and other info that surfaced when I entered my question. I have always been careful with what I download and don't intend to download anything else other than from the Apple App Store. Thanks again for all your help..;)