Mac industry views and opinions

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Poll: Do you run anti-virus software on your Mac?

Posted 11 Apr 12

We'd love to know your thoughts on anti-virus software for Mac. Do you use it? Has the software ever found any threats?

Let us know here.
Gleddit replied…

Posted 11 Apr 12

Ashleigh Allsopp,
I used Intego's Virus Barrier for many years without any major problems, it slowed things down a bit at times, but nothing serious! Then version 6.1.14 brought 3 Macs to an almost complete standstill, it was like watching a Mac run in slow motion, their support was non-existent! No reply at all.

Uninstalled (their uninstaller doesn't remove the daemons so your console logs are full of errors until you manually find and remove them!) and the Macs now all run fine.

Stuck it on a Repair disk for emergencies, but once my license runs out in the bin it goes!

Better to use Lion Cache Cleaner with ClamAV :)
alanaha replied…

Posted 12 Apr 12

Ashleigh Allsopp,
Sophos seems to work fine. Simple to use but as yet, no threats detected so I've no idea how well it works
AlanAudio replied…

Posted 12 Apr 12

Ashleigh Allsopp,

I'm still not running any anti-viral software on any of my Macs. This recent Trojan was missed by most anti-virus software anyway until very recently. By the time that the A/V software definitions had been updated, users were able to simply use Terminal to check that our systems were clean.

I do tend to use activity monitor a lot, which would be likely to reveal any unexpected activity, either as network activity or as an unexpected task that is running, but until such time as there is a virus for OS X, rather than just a Trojan, I won't be installing any anti-viral software.
nom replied…

Posted 13 Apr 12

Ashleigh Allsopp,

No. Like AlanAudio, I keep a check on activity monitor from time to time.

I still think the risk of AV software knackering the performance of my Mac is somewhat greater than the risk of being infected by a virus - so I'm no more inclined to install it than before.

I'm thinking of getting Little Snitch though (which tells you whenever an app tries to make a network connection) and it apparently prevented the intsallation of files vie the Flashback Java exploit.

Which, to me (and if true), suggests the malware designers knew it would have spotted it and blown the whistle on it sooner than they hoped they'd have free reign.

Just a shame it's not available on the Mac App Store as I'd have to install from an unknown source (irony of ironies!)

Maybe Apple should buy Little Snitch and incorporate it into the next OS update?
Badgio replied…

Posted 13 Apr 12

I've been using Intego Internet Security for years. More for peace of mind than anything else. The only things its found are Win32 trojans. They couldn't effect the mac anyway, but at least it protects me from sending infected files to work.
Dragonfly replied…

Posted 13 Apr 12

Ashleigh Allsopp,

Sophos, does slow things down from time to time but not drastically, hopefully keeps nasties at bay. AV becoming more and more essential on a Mac as time goes by. If Apple had been quicker with Java patch there may not have been this media attention.
AlanAudio replied…

Posted 13 Apr 12

If Apple had been quicker with Java patch there may not have been this media attention.

I can't agree there. Even when Apple is perfectly in the right, certain elements of the media will try to get a firestorm going over any minor Apple-related story.

Whatever happens, Apple will attract ill-informed comment, especially if it can portray Apple in a negative sense.
Jaded replied…

Posted 13 Apr 12


Quite. It's the Silly Season story for all year round. Journos are looking out for the Mac Virus story, throwing rationale and source checking out the window to get stories that will generate clicks.
Dragonfly replied…

Posted 15 Apr 12


I agree there is some unjustifiable Apple bashing that goes on in the media, some of it is also justified. (Inadvertently allowing iPhone Apps to access and send contact information to 3rd parties for example.)

However if they had patched the hole in Java, instead of sitting on it for 6 months, then I don't think the Trojan would have been possible and there wouldn't have been a story.
macservice replied…

Posted 18 Apr 12

Ashleigh Allsopp,

I only have anti-malware software (ClamXAV) installed as a tool to use to reassure clients however, one nasty that none of the anti-malware software can detect or remove is MacKeeper - I've seen Macs grinding to an absolute halt that have this piece of snake-oil installed and its not the easiest thing in the world to get rid of!

Glad to see that this site has stopped their banner ads, or I was until I scrolled to the bottom of the page!

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