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victorh2007 Level 1 Level 1

Considering many threats nowadays on the Internet, including malware related to false pages, phishing pages, Java threats, I consider important to count on a security solution.

There are 2 of them I personally consider the best ones on the moment: Avast Antivirus for Mac and Eset Cyber Security 6.


Well, considering two important aspects - detection (higher scores it's better) and performance (lower system usage resources - like processors usage - it's better).

What is your opinion about them considering your experience?

Which one would you choose?


Thanks in advance!

iMac (21.5-inch Mid 2011), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.3)
Solved by KC7GNM on May 19, 2013 4:27 PM Solved
And that kind of thinking that you don't need virus protection is what starts people getting viruses. I recommend and use Avast because it works pretty good and doesn't take a lot of system resources. Just because you own a mac doesn't make you immune to getting infected. The more that macs are sold the more these criminals will find ways to exploit your mac.
Reply by Klaus1 on May 19, 2013 3:16 PM Helpful
You don't need either, which will probably affect your system. You may find this User Tip on Viruses, Trojan Detection and Removal, as well as general Internet Security and Privacy, useful: The User Tip seeks to offer guidance on the main security threats and how to avoid them.
Reply by MadMacs0 on May 20, 2013 11:14 PM Helpful
KC7GNM wrote: You are pretty computer savy but there are probably 100 users that don't have a clue to every 1 like you.Which is why many of us try to educate them on being a smart computer user. Far better to use you head and the tools built into every computer that prompt a thoughtful decison than to install A-V software and believe you don't have to worry about such things.

All replies

  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10

    Welcome to Apple Support Communities


    Neither of them are recommended in OS X. ClamXav or Sophos are the most recommended if you need an antivirus. If you want more information about viruses, read >

  • victorh2007 Level 1 Level 1

    On this comparison bellow you'll see Avast is much more lighter than Sophos and similar in terms of detection:



    I've already used both of them and definetly Avast is lighter than Sophos.


    Thanks for your reply!

  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10

    I used Avast on my PC and it worked great, but one thing is the PC version and another one is the Mac version. The page I gave you in my first reply has got a lot of information about antiviruses >


    It looks like the free Avast version works properly on a Mac, so if you want, install it and see how it works with your computer

  • victorh2007 Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks a lot for the address you sent to me!

    It was great to see the results!


    Well, I'd like to share with you another test performed with many antivirus solutions for the Macs:




  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10

    An advice: MacKeeper is known for destroying OS X after deleting system files. Just have a look at the Internet and search for user opinions. Apart, you can find some tips >

  • MichelPM Level 6 Level 6

    Some anti-virus solutions can slow down your Mac, but to be honest, the best anit-virus app is you, the user and your brain.

    • Don't visit questionable websites or website you are unsure about.
    • Don't install pirated software or software downloaded from a questionable or unknown websites or untrutsted sources.
    • Java is a vulnerability right now, if you do not need it, don't use it.
    • Use a browser filter and pop-up blocker
    • Don't open email attachments from email addresses that you do not recognize.
    • Install security updates when they become available
    • Educate yourself as to what threats are common and active.
    • In effect, use your own brain as the antivirus filter.

    Follw that advise and in MOST cases, you will be fine and won't feel the need to have to install antivirus software.

    Also, stay away from MacKeeper!!!!!

  • MadMacs0 Level 5 Level 5

    victorh2007 wrote:


    Well, I'd like to share with you another test performed with many antivirus solutions for the Macs:


    Here's one person's perspective on the validity of AV-comparatives results:, bullying, censorship and financial deals with Anti Virus vendors.

  • Klaus1 Level 8 Level 8

    You don't need either, which will probably affect your system.


    You may find this User Tip on Viruses, Trojan Detection and Removal, as well as general Internet Security and Privacy, useful: The User Tip seeks to offer guidance on the main security threats and how to avoid them.


  • victorh2007 Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks a lot for the information!

    It helped me a lot!:)

  • KC7GNM Level 4 Level 4

    And that kind of thinking that you don't need virus protection is what starts people getting viruses. I recommend and use Avast because it works pretty good and doesn't take a lot of system resources. Just because you own a mac doesn't make you immune to getting infected. The more that macs are sold the more these criminals will find ways to exploit your mac.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    "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're worried about. 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 all the damage, and neither will Disk Utility or even reinstalling OS X.

    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.
    OS X now implements three layers of built-in protection specifically against malware, not counting runtime protections such as execute disable, sandboxing, system library randomization, and address space layout randomization that may also guard against other kinds of exploits.

    2. All versions of OS X since 10.6.7 have been able to detect known Mac malware in downloaded files, and to block insecure web plugins. This feature is transparent to the user, but internally Apple calls it "XProtect." The malware recognition database is automatically checked for updates 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.
    • 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 a second 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 necessarily been tested by Apple, 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. That may not mean much if the developer lives in a country with a weak legal system (see below.)
    Gatekeeper doesn't depend on a database of known malware. It 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 simply ignore the consequences of distributing codesigned malware.
    • An App Store developer could find a way to bypass Apple's oversight, or the oversight could fail due to human error.
    For the reasons given above, App Store products, and other applications recognized by Gatekeeper as signed, are safer than others, but they can't be considered absolutely safe. "Sandboxed" applications may prompt for access to private data, such as your contacts, or for access to the network. Think before granting that access. OS X security is based on user input. Never click anything reflexively.
    4. Starting with OS X 10.8.3, a third layer of protection has been added: a "Malware Removal Tool" (MRT). MRT runs automatically in the background when you update the OS. It checks for, and removes, malware that may have evaded the other protections via a Java exploit (see below.) MRT also runs when you install or update the Apple-supplied Java runtime (but not the Oracle runtime.) Like XProtect, MRT is presumably effective against known attacks, but maybe not against unknown attacks. It notifies you if it finds malware, but otherwise there's no user interface to MRT.
    5. XProtect, Gatekeeper, and MRT reduce the risk of malware attack, but they're not absolute protection. The first and best line of defense is always your own intelligence. With the possible exception of Java exploits, 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 amounts 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, or that does something inherently untrustworthy. How do you know what is trustworthy?
    • Any website that prompts you to install a “codec,” “plug-in,” "player," "extractor," 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 visitors who were infected with the "DNSChanger" malware. That exception to this rule no longer applies.)
    • Pirated copies or "cracks" of commercial software, no matter where they come from, are unsafe.
    • Software of any kind downloaded from a BitTorrent or from a Usenet binary newsgroup is unsafe.
    • Software that purports to help you do something that's illegal or that infringes copyright, such as saving streamed audio or video for reuse without permission, is unsafe. All YouTube "downloaders" are in this category, though not all are necessarily harmful.
    • Software with a corporate brand, such as Adobe Flash Player, must be downloaded directly from the developer’s website. If it comes from any other source, it's unsafe.
    • Even signed applications, no matter what the source, should not be trusted if they do something unexpected, such as asking for permission to access your contacts, your location, or the Internet for no obvious reason.
    6. Java on the Web (not to be confused with JavaScript, to which it's not related, despite the similarity of the names) is a weak point in the security of any system. Java is, among other things, a platform for running complex applications in a web page, on the client. That was always a bad idea, and Java's developers have proven themselves incapable of implementing it without also creating a portal for malware to enter. Past Java exploits are the closest thing there has ever been to a Windows-style virus affecting OS X. Merely loading a page with malicious Java content could be harmful.
    Fortunately, client-side Java on the Web is obsolete and mostly extinct. Only a few outmoded sites still use it. Try to hasten the process of extinction by avoiding those sites, if you have a choice. Forget about playing games or other non-essential uses of Java.
    Java is not included in OS X 10.7 and later. Discrete Java installers are distributed by Apple and by Oracle (the developer of Java.) Don't use either one unless you need it. Most people don't. If Java is installed, disable itnot JavaScript — in your browsers.
    Regardless of version, experience has shown that Java on the Web can't be trusted. If you must use a Java applet for a task on a specific site, enable Java only for that site in Safari. Never enable Java for a public website that carries third-party advertising. Use it only on well-known, login-protected, secure websites without ads. In Safari 6 or later, you'll see a lock icon in the address bar with the abbreviation "https" when visiting a secure site.

    Follow the above guidelines, and you’ll be as safe from malware as you can practically be. The rest of this comment concerns what you should not do to protect yourself from malware.

    7. Never install any commercial "anti-virus" or "Internet security" products for the Mac, as they all do more harm than good, if they do any good at all. Any database of known threats is always going to be out of date. Most of the danger is from unknown threats. 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 modifies or duplicates low-level functions of the operating system, which is a waste of resources and a common cause of instability, bugs, and poor performance.
    • By modifying the operating system, the software itself may create weaknesses that could be exploited by malware attackers.
    8. 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 will 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. Windows malware can't harm you directly (unless, of course, you use Windows.) Just don't pass it on to anyone else.
    A Windows malware attachment in email is usually easy to recognize. The file name will often be targeted at people who aren't very bright; for example:
    ClamXav may be able to tell you which particular virus or trojan it is, but do you care? In practice, there's seldom a reason to use ClamXav unless a network administrator requires you to run an anti-virus application.
    9. The greatest harm done by security software, in my opinion, is in its effect on human behavior. It does little or nothing to protect people from emerging threats, but if they get a false sense of security from it, they may feel free to do things that expose them to higher risk. Nothing can lessen the need for safe computing practices.
    10. 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 in the Sharing preference pane. All are disabled by default.

  • KC7GNM Level 4 Level 4






    So why do these say otherwise? This is just 3 that I found using google and there were tons more. Sorry but I don't buy the idea that the Mac is 100% secure. It might be more secure than Windoze but it is still vunerable to attack and thinking that it isn't is the wrong way to think.


    Also I haven't had any of the problems you are mentioning with avast. You keep thinking that there are no threats to OSX and when you get hit don't come here complaining.

  • MadMacs0 Level 5 Level 5

    KC7GNM wrote:


    So why do these say otherwise?

    As Linc suggested, a fully up-to-date OS X 10.6.8 or above is not vulnerable to any of the malware listed in those three articles. If you want to be useful here, help us find malware that is a threat. He didn't say they are 100% secure, just that sometimes the disadvantages of using A-V software sometimes outweigh the benefits of being the first to encounter something new.


    I've been using Macs since 1987, including a period where I was responsible for a medium size network of Macs. Back then, I wouldn't have considered not having A-V software running and had a fair collection of Mac worms, viruses, etc. But since OS X came along, I've not encountered a single piece of malware that I didn't have to spend hours attempting to obtain a sample. I own four pieces of A-V software and none of them are active at this time. Should tomorrows threat find a way around the protection provided by OS X, I'll be among the first to turn one or more of them on.


    BTW, I am still waiting for one of these A-V vendors to prove to me that they were able to catch any of the zero-day infections that have cropped up over the past few years.


    So please continue to participate and help us identify new threats to OS X. You'll find many of us more than willing to listen.

  • KC7GNM Level 4 Level 4

    Ok then explain to me why apple changed their website from "Macs don't get Viruses" to "It's built to be secure"? If they didn't get viruses then why not keep that statement. All I am saying is that you may not have got a virus before but I bet there are some out there that have gotten infected and not even know it. You are pretty computer savy but there are probably 100 users that don't have a clue to every 1 like you.

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