Mac Hardware forum

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Antivirus, Firewall

by arreis_email / July 22, 2009 2:57 PM PDT

I just bought my very first mac, I just want to know if I still do need an anitvirus and firewall for it.

If I need one, what would you suggest?

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AV and stuff,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 22, 2009 11:56 PM PDT
In reply to: Antivirus, Firewall

OS X has a built in firewall which guards against incoming stuff but does not check outgoing stuff.
For the outgoing, I would suggest a program called Little Snitch.

Bob Proffit can tell you more about the (Unix) OS X firewall.

As for Anti-Virus programs. There are currently no virus's that operate successfully against OS X. There are a number of trojans but with a little common sense they can easily be avoided.
If you want to "feel" save, try ClamXAV. A free AV application that does the job well.
Avoid any of the commercial AV brands, Symantec, Intego, etc. as they chew up clock cycles looking for non-existent threats.

My local Mac Users group does not have any member that is running AV software on their Macs.


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by tkessler / July 23, 2009 2:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Antivirus, Firewall

I've successfully used Sophos antivirus on the Mac, with no adverse performance hits. It's a good suite, but is expensive. I'd recommend ClamXav, and for now unless you are dealing with Windows machines there is no need for extensive scanning.

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Apple Firewall on by default
by mhollis55 / January 19, 2010 8:39 AM PST
In reply to: Antivirus, Firewall

Welcome to the World of Safety.

If you are running Apple's OS X, it will ask you for your user password before installing anything (and that includes anything from Apple, too) on your Macintosh. That's a pretty good way to ensure you are thinking before you are installing. But there has been one, released back in 2006:

Apple has its firewall on by default, so if anyone is looking for a computer to exploit, they probably won't find yours. Try this port scan:

If you are also running Windows using Boot Camp, Parallels or VMWare, your Windows installation will be vulnerable. You should definitely purchase aftermarket software to prevent trojans, viruses and to set up a decent firewall to prevent hackers from using your computer as their slave. There are currently millions of PCs running Windows that are not completely under the control of their owners. None are Macs running OS X alone.

As for antivirus software, whatever you do, don't buy anything sold by Symantec. I don't recommend their tools to my Windows friends, either. Their tools are not upgraded often enough and they miss some of the worst offenders. They also are a serious drain on your CPU and conflict with other applications you may intend to run.

For OS X, I can recommend ClamXav which costs nothing, though I did donate to the author:

Then you can rest easy, assured that as long as you don't do anything silly, you run a superior operating system that defends itself well against malicious hackers.

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Apple Firewall on by default,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 19, 2010 9:02 AM PST

I don't believe it is.

All the ports are closed though.


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Then it is
by mhollis55 / January 21, 2010 8:26 AM PST

If the ports are all closed, that is a pretty good indication of a working firewall.

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Think about that,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 21, 2010 9:08 PM PST
In reply to: Then it is

All the ports are closed by default when shipped and first booted.
Firewall is OFF at first boot and remains like that until the user changes it.

Unix has something else going for it when it comes to ports


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New Mac users: Antivirus, Firewall
by Poppydi / February 10, 2010 6:55 PM PST
In reply to: Think about that,

U need Protemac NetMine. It includes a firewall and an antivirus both. Good solution.

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(NT) but unnecessary
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 10, 2010 10:01 PM PST
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