Currently Being ModeratedOct 21, 2013 6:37 AM (in response to Roverlen)
There are no Mac viruses currently.
The best way to prevent malware is to enable Gatekeeper.
Open System Preferences > Security & Privacy then select the General tab.
Make sure either Mac App Store or Mac App Store and identified developers is selected. If that area is grayed out, click the padlock icon to proceed.
Running anti virus software from an external drive won't work regardless.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 21, 2013 6:53 AM (in response to Roverlen)
I realize that by "virus" you mean malware in general. Thomas Reed, who is probably the most qualified helper here on ASC in this area is recommending VirusBarrier Express, which is free from the Mac App Store. In recent tests it came out rather well in detecting Mac malware. It only runs on demand scans, doesn't install any system modifications and won't permanently slow anything down. But you do have to have it on the drive to which you are booted, which would mean the internal drive.
For more see
But don't let any A-V lead you into becoming complacent about where you browse and what you download. No A-V will find something that is emerging or yet to be cataloged. And no A-V will catch everything.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 21, 2013 9:03 AM (in response to WZZZ)
A FYI, ClamXav has fallen behind dramatically in detecting OSX Malware.
ClamXav took a pretty big hit knocking it out of the 60-80% detection rate and was moved to the 60% or lower list. After testing the product for this long and seeing no improvement there is no reason to expect improvement anytime soon...
After adding the new samples VirusBarrier still performs really well and detects all of them right away. This gives me hope because I mentioned in a previous comment it looked like they just added all the signatures in this list to look good in the test. While this may still have been the case, the fact that all new samples were detected before this list went live shows they have done their homework. VirusBarrier 2013 now dominates first place and the older X6 version a very close second place.
Why multiple layers of security are important
Currently Being ModeratedOct 21, 2013 9:39 AM (in response to WZZZ)
Just observation but Virus Barrier Express has a pretty miserable rating and comments are not encouraging. But I notice Virus Barrier plus at £6.99 and wonder if that's the one you feel quite happy with.
I know ratings are not always a good guide, especially when there are few to read through, but you have to go by something.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 21, 2013 10:15 AM (in response to seventy one)
Currently Being ModeratedOct 21, 2013 10:56 AM (in response to Roverlen)
I just wanted to chime in here and support what WZZZ is saying. One of the App Store apps (VirusBarrier Express would be my top choice for detecting Mac malware) would meet your requirement that it not interfere with speed of daily operation. If you have one of those apps installed, they won't be doing anything unless you open them and start a scan.
As for the requirement that it sit on a separate drive... Mac OS X is designed for apps to go in the Applications folder on the boot drive. Some apps won't work at all if you put them anywhere else. I've honestly never tested to see if App Store apps can be moved or not, so I'm not sure whether you could put VBE on an external drive... but there would be no point. It wouldn't improve performance in the slightest. You could put VBE on an external drive with its own bootable system, and restart from that system to scan your internal drive... but again, there would be no point. You'd be adding a lot of extra work to something that wouldn't really benefit from it.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 21, 2013 3:23 PM (in response to Carolyn Samit)
Thanks for the quick reply. I guess it's the 'Gatekeeper' if I want protection. However, I was hoping to run something via a DVD similar to when I was a PC user. In any case, I have had this iMac for five years and it runs perfectlly every day but it would add peace of mind if I ran something just to check for viruses.
I noted in your reply that any form of checking for virus remote fromthe iMAC is not possible????? I assume that the checker has to be resident on the HD in order to check for any Malware. Since I am not familar with Malware and my boys no longer have access to this machine, what would the symptoms be of a Malware attack?
Currently Being ModeratedOct 21, 2013 3:30 PM (in response to WZZZ)
I'll check out the virus App since it is what I preferably want. As a rule , nothing is downloaded without considerable thought and site verification. I guess I am just paranoid since being a Corporate person and a PC user, slow and debilitated by McAfee was the norm.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 21, 2013 3:46 PM (in response to Roverlen)
what would the symptoms be of a Malware attack?
I'll let Thomas answer this one in full, but there would probably be zero symptoms. Almost all OSX malware is now profit driven (stealing sensitive data can be one) and if the malware authors write code that creates symptoms, that may mean the presence of their malware may be discovered, which is the last thing they want to do.* Malware is no longer being written by kids intent on computer vandalism for kicks.
Almost all the posts here beginning with "do I have a virus" turn out to be nothing to do with malware, but rather other kinds of totally unrelated problems.
*One prominent exception to this was, or is, the FBI Ransomware exploit which displays a notice and freezes the computer until the user pays up. In OSX it is easily defeated.
Currently Being ModeratedOct 21, 2013 3:57 PM (in response to WZZZ)
The FBI Ransomware exploit goes by different names depending on the country of the target. I think there is at least one version for PC which may be harder to remove.
Not that Macs are immune to malware--that is a myth--but a lot of the "virus" scares here are coming from former PC users, or tales they have heard from PC users. There is a whole industry of scammers who are trying to profit off of that.
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