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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Should i use an Anti-Virus


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Holly21

 
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Hey Guys,

First off i just wanna thank all you guys who helped me with my mail problem. My next question is, anti-virus. With all the recent flashback stuff, i have been reading up on staying protected. Some people say no you don't need one and others say you do. I'm very cautious about what i download and what sites i visit. I have read about Sophos and ClamXav, If i were to install one of these, which one would you recommend???

Thanks, Holly
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Brunhild

 
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If you are careful, ultimately a virus can only affect and get on your machine if you let it. I personally dont have an antivirus program on my Apple and dont intend to any time soon.

Id be interested to see how everyone here feels about antivirus programs.

my beer blog, BEERUKEN! www.beeruken.com
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Holly21

 
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Thanks Brunhild!!,

I really don't wanna have to put one on mine either, as i also agree with you about what others have to say..
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AliOop

 
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I too did not have any AV software...until the Flash trojan ended up on my brand spanking new MBP. I got rid of it but have since been looking over my shoulder. Like Holly, I am also interested in installing some kind of AV. So I tried ClamX but settled on Sophos. I'm still looking at it and feeling my way around. If you want my opinion I'd say give Sophos a try. I left it's setting default. Sophos scans the whole shebang. Not just certain files. But you can tweak it to your liking. This scan does take some time. Not that much. But it give me peace of mind.
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harryb2448

 
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As Brunhild says most experienced users here do not use AV software as there are no Mac OS X viruses. A handful of trojans however safe browsing practices prevent these. Have you downloaded the latest software updates from Apple? Also if you use Safari go into Preferences > General and make sure 'open safe files' at the bottom is not selected.

Having said this if you are still concerned about viruses download ClamXAV and use that. It is freeware and will not bloat your computer. Suggest giving Sophos a miss.

http://www.clamxav.com/


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imacme

 
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hi. i am new here but i tried sophos and didnt like the interface. i heard about iantivirus but haven tried it yet. i had sophos on my mac for about 2 months before removing it.
hopefully avg free will come for mac
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Holly21

 
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Harryb2448,

I am vey good about updating my machine, I also disable java and use chrome not safari. I feel that i practice safe browsing..But this switcher still loves to hear the input of others more advanced than me..
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Doug b

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holly21 View Post
Harryb2448,

I am vey good about updating my machine, I also disable java and use chrome not safari. I feel that i practice safe browsing..But this switcher still loves to hear the input of others more advanced than me..
Never have. Never will. I do software updates regularly, browse safely and NEVER click on links which I'm not sure of. That includes emails from family and such. It looks as though my cousin's email account has been compromised this week. I've been getting mail from him with nothing but links to strange sounding things. It's unusual behavior and I have now put him on my spam list until he straightens his mess out. It's all trash until someone actually tells me *physically* that they've sent me a link to something or unless I've had other communication with that person to ensure safe delivery.

Doug
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Holly21

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
Never have. Never will. I do software updates regularly, browse safely and NEVER click on links which I'm not sure of. That includes emails from family and such. It looks as though my cousin's email account has been compromised this week. I've been getting mail from him with nothing but links to strange sounding things. It's unusual behavior and I have now put him on my spam list until he straightens his mess out. It's all trash until someone actually tells me *physically* that they've sent me a link to something or unless I've had other communication with that person to ensure safe delivery.

Doug
The same thing happened to me with email last week. Ive since deleted my aol mail account and started a @me.com. Since then i haven't had any problems. Thank you so much for your input..

Holly
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Doug b

 
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There's really no need to delete your AOL account. Simply change the password and make sure it's not a standard English word that you'd find in the dictionary. But first you should report the happening to AOL. I always recommend that people use uppercase, lowercase and then random characters and numbers for their password.

OS X has a great feature called Keychain Access, in which you can create secure notes as well as randomly generated passwords. The ONLY password that you would need to know in order to have access to any of your other passwords, is your master admin password. That is not to say that you should make the admin password easy to crack either....

A good trick is to use symbols and numbers to substitute letters. Here's an simple example:

Ru5tyD0g OR Ru$tyD0g where 5 and $ = "S" Another example:
3x@mp13P@55w0rd = ExamplePassword Or you could have used $$ in the place of the 5's.

D0ug
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chas_m

 
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I continue to maintain that an "anti-virus" for the Mac is unnecessary. Yes, some third-party essentials that are included (or in the case of Java, not included as of Lion) in OS X can be vulnerable to malware. And yes, the so-called "anti-virus" programs may catch these faster than Apple.

I still don't think the trade-off is ultimately worth it, however. There has yet to be a malware threat to the Mac that wasn't comically easy to avoid, and for all the hype this latest malware got -- the servers it was supposed to report it got shut down early on, meaning even those who were "infected" didn't actually have anything happen to them other than that. I would call that "overblown."

Java is rarely used on the Mac anymore (at least via the web browser), so for most people I'd say simply turn it off and see if you don't need it (the final "fix" from Apple essentially does that already). Most of the infected machines, from what I've read, were running outdated software. For them, you need to disable Java period full stop until you update to a more modern system.

I think good computing practices will go a lot further towards keeping you out of trouble than an "anti-virus." While Flash and Java have been compromised, I notice that neither of those things are parts of OS X, so I still have great confindence in it.
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Stanley

 
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Plus the "reporting" on threats seems to come from some of the solution sellers.

Additionally, some like Sophos inform you that it protected you from 3.5 million threats. Thing is, those are PC threats.

Some antivirus software has side effects such as glitches or slowdowns.

I think there is no compelling reason to use one if you follow normal precautions.
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macjuicy23

 
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I dont use Anti Virus on my mac at all, Ive had Apple computers for over 15 years never needed it, i follow 2 simple rules

1. never open emails you dont recognize
2. never download and install something from a website i dont recognize or looks shady

All in all its very hard to get a virus on make considering virus were mainly designed for Windows OS
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Lifeisabeach

 
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I'm no longer convinced that "safe" computing practices are enough anymore. The Flashback trojan alone is estimated to have infected 1% of all Macs out there. In contrast, the Conficker botnet, which is the biggest malware attack on Windows to date, infected a lower percentage.

Mac Malware Outbreak Is Bigger than 'Conficker' | PCWorld Business Center

Mac OS X invulnerability to malware is a myth, says security firm

The problem with the Flashback trojan is that people were unwittingly infected by going to sites that themselves were compromised. Not shady or disreputable sites… places like WordPress. If you visited a compromised site and were susceptible to the vulnerability in Java, you too were compromised, invisibly. Period. The days of telling people to be smart and use "safe" computing practices are over. Most people grossly overestimate their ability to judge what is safe anyway.


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McBie

 
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I fully agree with lifeisabeach ,
We have entered a stage where " safe browsing " is being redefined.
Keep your operating system and applications up to date as well as your browser plug-ins.
Never ever install/update software through some fancy looking pop-up window.
Instead, go to the respective web site and update from there. ( Especially Flash and Java )
If you did not specifically went looking for it, don't install it.

Cheers ... McBie

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The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude towards the problem. You understand ?
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