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  1. #1
    free alternative to spybot?

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    free alternative to spybot?
    I am relatively new to mac and have used spybot on my Dell. Is there a free alternative that works on a mac?

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  3. #3
    free alternative to spybot?
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by declark4 View Post
    I am relatively new to mac and have used spybot on my Dell. Is there a free alternative that works on a mac?
    [NOTE: The listmoms may want to pin this post as it is a question that comes up regularly. I thought that it was already pinned, but I can't find it.]

    (I can provide links to articles to back up the following on request.)

    The overwhelming number of Macintosh users go entirely without. Yet you never hear of an entire office that uses Macs being ravaged by malware in the media. And if you are on a Macintosh discussion list you never hear from any users whose Macs were damaged by malware. That’s because there are extremely few threats in the wild for the Macintosh (there are *a huge number* for Windows), and because the Macintosh has several layers of malware protection built-in.

    One problem with anti-virus (AV) software is that a lot of AV software does more harm than it prevents. Most fully interactive AV software has been known to slow Macs to a crawl, and some AV software from certain vendors has been known to carry malware itself, or to do malware-like things.

    If you really want AV software (e.g. your business requires that you have it, or your data is extra important and you really need to do everything in your power to safeguard it), what you want is AV software that is known to be both effective, and harmless to your Mac. The good news is the best AV software for your Mac (based on the last believeable comparison tests from a few years ago) comes in a free version!

    VirusBarrier Free Edition (free)

    Intego Launches VirusBarrier Scanner — Free Mac Antivirus | The Mac Security Blog

    Intego VirusBarrier Scanner on the Mac App Store

    This is a full version of Intego's anti-virus program VirusBarrier [usually $40/year] minus some [but not all] of the automated scanning features in the commercial version. Intego's VirusBarrier is the only anti-virus [AV] program that comes from a company that only creates software for the Macintosh. (That's important because most AV software comes from companies that just do a quick port of their Windows software, and they really don't understand the Macintosh well.) Intego is extremely effective at discovering new malware quickly as it comes on the scene and updating their product quickly to protect against it.

    Have a look at this respected review site:
    The Safe Mac Mac anti-virus testing 2014
    (Scroll down to the table listing various product’s efficacy.)

    Macworld:
    "Intego’s Mac Internet Security X9 [includes VirusBarrier] is our pick of the bunch, making it the best antivirus."
    Intego Mac Internet Security X9 Review - Macworld UK
    (Note that there is a more recent comparison test of AV software by Macworld on the Web. However, I haven’t found their tests credible since they discontinued their print publication and fired all of their staff.)

    (I’ve been using the commercial version of VirusBarrier myself for 18 years now. It might make you feel good to know that the program has never “saved” me from anything that I really needed saving from in all that time. It has flagged things like phishing e-mails [which are easy to spot on your own], and Windows viruses that show up via e-mail [which are also easy to spot on your own, and which can’t run on the Macintosh]. So I really could have done without it just fine. But my profession requires that I follow "best practices" and have AV software installed.)

    If nothing else, the value in having this free Intego AV program is that if you are the paranoid type, you can now use the best program available to satisfy yourself that you aren't infected with something. Also, this free version is sandboxed and it isn't deeply embedded in your system, like other AV programs, so it shouldn't impact your Mac's overall performance as just about all the other fully interactive AV programs do.

    Note that AV programs, and your Mac OS, do little or nothing to combat adware. Adware usually isn’t malicious, it just serves up extremely annoying ads. AV companies for some reason usually decide to ignore adware. So, in the event that you find yourself infected by adware, you may want to download and use:

    DetectX Swift (free)
    DetectX – sqwarq | security for your mac

    The above product purports to be an effective broad spectrum AV product. It is not. But it is excellent for dealing with adware.

    One note. “Flash” is a technology used by your browser to see animated or video content on the Web. Flash has been sunsetted, but it is still common on the Web, so you likely will want to have it installed and keep on using it for now. The problem is that fake pop-ups commonly exist on the Web that will tell you that you need to install/update Flash, and they will offer to allow you to install or upgrade Flash with a click, but if you click “yes” they instead will have you willingly downloading malware.

    There are only two ways that you should EVER normally install or update Flash:
    1) Via the Flash Player pane (under the Updates tab) in System Preferences on your Mac (you, of course, don't have this if you have never installed Flash)
    or
    2) Directly from Adobe:
    http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
    **YOU SHOULD NEVER UPDATE OR INSTALL FLASH FROM A POP-UP THAT APPEARS ON YOUR SCREEN, OR ANY OTHER WAY THAN THE ABOVE**

    If at any time you are wondering if you already have the latest version of Flash installed, you can check in the Flash preferences pane, or you can find out which version of Flash you currently have installed, and what the latest version is, here:
    http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/

    Good luck!
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  4. #4
    free alternative to spybot?
    chscag's Avatar
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    @Randy:

    I pasted that as a sticky post some time ago. You didn't see it because it's listed under a different title. Check out the first sticky post here in Security Awareness, your reply is included.

  5. #5
    free alternative to spybot?
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    @Randy:

    I pasted that as a sticky post some time ago. You didn't see it because it's listed under a different title. Check out the first sticky post here in Security Awareness, your reply is included.
    Awesome! Thanks!

    I did a search for "virus" and that thread didn't even come up.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  6. #6
    free alternative to spybot?
    macgig's Avatar
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    never heard of DetectX... just installed and ran it. it wanted access to my contacts? I said NO. not sure why it would need access to contacts to find malware? you would think it needs access to a library or system folder or my documents folder, not contacts to work?


  7. #7
    free alternative to spybot?
    chscag's Avatar
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    I said NO. not sure why it would need access to contacts to find malware?
    I believe because malware can be attached to text messages and email from your contacts. Anyway, what harm is there in letting it have access?

  8. #8
    free alternative to spybot?
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macgig View Post
    never heard of DetectX... just installed and ran it. it wanted access to my contacts? I said NO. not sure why it would need access to contacts to find malware? you would think it needs access to a library or system folder or my documents folder, not contacts to work?
    I've been using it for years, and have recommended it to many thousands of Macintosh users. No one has ever reported it doing even the slightest untoward thing.

    No bad reports on the Web either.
    detectx swift safe? - Bing

    I think that it's perfectly safe.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  9. #9
    free alternative to spybot?
    macgig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    I believe because malware can be attached to text messages and email from your contacts. Anyway, what harm is there in letting it have access?

    thanks for the info. I've added detectX to my list of apps to use and trust.


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