Antivirus software on the Mac: Yes or No?

A little over a year ago, Mac users began to feel a little more like Windows after a serious Mac Trojan horse discovered in nature. Of course, you’d only if you receive copies of pirated software. Although there were some scattered reports OS X virus, Trojan has the potential to far more destructive.

Of this noise in the past year, the Mac security front was relatively quiet. This raises the question that has been in the minds of many people and one day asked me, “Why Macs get viruses”

Of course we know that the question is valid. Mac can be attacked, as shown above. Even Apple suggests you run any antivirus software on the Mac and includes a subscription. Mac also have found numerous vulnerabilities and Apple releases security updates on a regular basis to cover. Therefore, a better question might be: “Why do Mac users as such malware worry Windows users have?” I suspect that a relatively small number of readers have active virus protection software running on the Mac, despite Apple’s recommendation. For purposes of simplicity, we lump viruses, worms, spyware, malware and Trojans under the common term “virus”. Here are the most common answers given, and my opinion about them.

Macs are not popular

Why do people rob banks? That’s where the money! Act (Sutton). As Windows-based computers make up for about 90 percent of the market, virus writers get more out of their money. Not just a Windows virus further and faster through their numbers, but people who write viruses are more likely to Windows machines on which the code has. And the banks are using Windows as well, so Windows is where the money is.

Of course, when Apple introduced Intel-based computers, some were concerned that Macs get viruses for PCs because they were running the same chips. The switch chip was a legitimate concern, but for a different reason. If the PC Macs might be cheaper, the enemy could use to their advantage and start to diversify. Hacking the Mac OS run on a PC that offers a simple way to explore for malware authors to the MacOS.

However, it has increased the popularity of Mac, we have not an increase in viruses for Mac’s popularity has seen a weak base.

Mac compatibility is not

Since 1984, Apple has made many changes in its operating system strategy. First it was the turn of the 68K to PowerPC processors, and then changing the Classic OS X, and then the move from PowerPC to Intel-based processors. The old copy of MacWrite NetTrek or does not appear on the new MacBook run without emulation of God and other tricks. On the other hand, WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS works very well on a PC running Windows 7 with just a bit.

Microsoft to provide compatibility with earlier products, it has never quite the old code and operating system failures removed. Apple has been willing to give up at least three complete and start the old software from scratch. Because Apple controls the hardware and software and has a much smaller basis set, is better able to make these drastic measures.

Ironically, used to get the Mac-ton-virus system in 7 days. I remember fondly “disinfectant”, and disseminates a variety of viruses via floppy disks. As the OS has worked in the classic, viruses less and less, until finally developed, wrote the book on Mac OS X operating system. Which brings us uncomfortably in the last reason for the scarcity of Mac.

Mac has been designed with safety in mind

Because Apple did with Mac viruses that make in a position to the operating system with new security measures to prevent the outbreak of malware was. The proper use of the administrator account and password is the most important key to prevent the spread of the virus for Mac For the reader, a PC with Windows XP, the programs can be automatically installed without administrator name and password. While Vista and Windows 7 sometimes ask for permission, you can still install programs easily (and therefore viruses) without user intervention.

In addition, requires someone to install Mac programs with administrator rights and other software. In my work as a computer repair technician, a number of Mac clients can not even remember your own password, so it is very unlikely that some software to install by accident. Windows PCs are usually followed by a click on any link from a virus infected Windows automatically installs in the background without user consent or intervention. This idea is as foreign as a Mac user. Dll.

Because Apple has a faster time to update and patch, operating system, a defect is found and approved by Apple to upgrade the operating system or the next repair. Getting Apple to see some of these shortcomings, is a different story, but Snow Leopard offers protection against Trojans discovered in the past year.

When using Mac anti-virus software?

Good question. Apple said that while anti-virus software is recommended (although he later retracted), but do not most Mac users. The risk of a virus on your Mac, there will be few and protection software generally perceived as slow and buggy computers. Unlike most software, virus protection requires an annual fee to maintain the active protection consent. If you stay away from red lights over the Internet, which are much less susceptible to viruses. Make sure your password is a good system and hard to guess. Beware of any software you download and check the source. Therefore, you should now get the warning when you download a program from the Internet. Common sense is your first line of defense.

Personally, at home, I installed ClamXav. It is a free program that will scan your Mac to see if you have a virus, but you do not proactively protect against. This is an ‘on demand’, compared with active scanner. I update and run from time to time, after hearing about a new threat.

For my team, I installed Intego VirusBarrier. The program is unobtrusive and have little or no effect on the performance of my Mac mini. Since I work with a large number of customers can not always be sure that no Internet downloaded a nasty and I do not think what you have on your computer.

You can choose whether to run antivirus software. The reasons, why not get Macs, many viruses is as much on luck and market conditions, such as inherent safety is based. At least, well, plus an administrative password on a Mac via the Internet must have a copy of ClamXav, it can be carried out at the first sign of trouble and refreshed after a suspected outbreak. Also, remember that “the dangers of social engineering”, such as phishing emails that attempt to steal your passwords, can affect both Mac and Windows. Stay alert and never to unexpected e-mails in order to scare you, to require a site visit to your password or other personal information you are trying to respond.

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