Mac OS forum


Best Security Suite for Mac OSX???

by kjbill / May 28, 2012 1:49 PM PDT

Hello folks,

I want to start a new conversation on the best Security Suite for Mac OSX. I know it had been discussed before in the past, but I figure with all the changes with the latest Security Suites, we can have a more up-to-date discussion that can benefit all of us.

The questions are:
1. What Internet Security Suite for Mac OSX do you use and why?

2. What do you think qualifies it as the best in the market with maximum protection and performance?

Thank you in advance for participating in this discussion!


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Best Security Suite for Mac OSX???
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Best Security Suite for Mac OSX???
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Best Security Suite for Mac.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 28, 2012 11:06 PM PDT

1. None. No virus's out there yet that work against OS X. First virus is going to get through no matter what you are using. Flashtback, the Java malware exploit was not caught by Security Suites either.

2. N/A


Collapse -
Security suites do help
by tkessler / June 13, 2012 2:19 PM PDT

While there are no viruses for OS X, and few malware in comparison to other platforms, the use of security suites have been key in detecting malware in OS X. Most of the first reports of the Flashback malware have been from those using Little Snitch or VirusBarrier X6, which both have reverse firewalls that have notified the users of the malicious server connection attempts.

Current scanners will detect forms of Mac malware that have cropped up, which will help at least a few people out there.

I recommend people keep an updated scanner on their systems, and use them periodically to run a full scan on the system. It won't hurt, and can only help without requiring too much effort. Symantec's new iAntivirus is a great option, along with Sophos home edition and ClamXav, which are all free options.


Collapse -
In general
by Jimmy Greystone / May 29, 2012 12:34 AM PDT

In general I find security suite programs to be a complete waste of time. People want a one-stop solution that they can just set and forget, and unfortunately security doesn't work that way.

The more layered security is, the better, and that means not having a bunch of security solutions all from the same company. In any other instance I can think of, I'd say code reuse is a good thing, but when it comes to security... Suppose there's a bug in that common code that someone can use to topple the entire suite? I've heard anecdotal stories to that general effect too. Someone is an IT admin at a company, and despite having these security suites installed, someone keeps cutting right through their defenses as if they weren't even there. They switch security programs, and immediately the intrusions stop. If you have an AV program from Vendor A, and a firewall from Vendor B, and maybe some other program from Vendor C, then even assuming a would-be ne'er do well knows how to compromise Vendor A's products, they still have to contend with B and C's products.

So, the reality most computer users (Mac or PC) don't want to face, is that THEY are the weakest link in the security chain. Also THEY are the ones who have to step up their efforts, because there is no magic program out there that will protect you from your own dumb self. You want to just waive everything right on through your firewall without even bothering to check into the program, the firewall will do that just as happily as it would block those same programs. You want to download a bunch of pirated software from suspect sites, and ignore your AV's warning about potential malware, it won't somehow still magically prevent you from being infected. Plus, I have yet to find a single security suite that can tackle the social engineering angle.

A very recent case in point:

Someone calls up pretending to be from Microsoft or some other company, gets you to give them access to your computer, then proceeds to do a bunch of unwanted things which you allowed to happen. Or there's the classic Nigerian 419 scam, which people STILL fall for in droves, and there are pyramid schemes still going somewhere I'm sure about how you send a couple of people $1, and then put your name on a list so people then send you $1. Security software will not help gullible people be any less gullible. In fact, it'll probably do the opposite, making them THINK they're protected when they're really not. Which is why when those ne'er do wells finally catch up to Mac OS X, it's going to hit most Mac users especially hard. Everyone who's been sold on the false promise of Mac OS X being immune to this sort of thing. Which isn't to say Kasparsky isn't scaremongering when he says Mac OS X's security is decades behind Windows... He's just trying to drum up some business given it's only been the last year or two his company arrived at the Mac OS X party... But there's still a nugget of truth in there kind of deep down. A lot of Mac users are living in a fantasy-land where they think that the simple act of using a Mac makes them somehow immune. That will be a rude awakening.

So I commend the efforts you're making to try and keep up on these things, but I'd say your focusing in on suites alone is a misguided one. You want to spread things out a little. It might be a bigger PITA to maintain, but that's just how it goes. Security and usability are on opposite ends of the spectrum. The easier something is, the less secure it is on the whole.

Collapse -
another question
by carynna / June 8, 2012 8:44 PM PDT
In reply to: In general

kjbill & Greystone both make sense. I don't live in the fantasy land of those who think no virus/baddie will infect my Mac eventually through my own stupidity or unintended oops, but as a concerned first time Mac user, I don't have a clue as to what kind of security/firewall is built in. Is there one, like the Windows firewall in my old PC? And, if there is none, what do you recommend that I look for? I am not one to click on every link, including the ones that my friends send. I don't bite on the scams, ie Nigeria money, problems with my (you name it) account, etc but the opportunity to respond does exist when I might not be paying full attention. Thanks for any recommendations/information.

Collapse -
How would an antivirus protect you without any known virus?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 9, 2012 1:31 AM PDT
In reply to: another question

These antivirus apps only can identify known virus. So for now, you see why no one can recommend any antivirus. Let's hope this is something you will understand.

There is a firewall in this OS. Why not use google to read more about it?

Collapse -
Best security software
by gsconsolvo / June 9, 2012 1:33 AM PDT
In reply to: another question

I personally believe that a Mac is just like any other computer and is capable of viruses. It depends on how you as an individual use it. I use ESET for Mac, there are others available, I think Avast now has a Mac version. I do this as a precaution and peace of mind. IMHO.

Collapse -
This is exactly what the security companies are hoping for.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 9, 2012 1:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Best security software

Folk that will install such even if it does nothing. Again, since this is no apple virus, the antivirus has nothing to do but look for Windows virus in the files.

Collapse -
Mac has a firewall in its OS-X, and get Sophos antivirus
by Larry Launstein Jr / June 16, 2012 5:10 AM PDT

Mac has a firewall built into its OS-X that you can activate, and I strongly recommend Sophos Anti-Virus - they have an excellent free version. Not only will Sophos clean up your Mac drive, but it will also clean up your other drives, including a Windows drive you have partitioned. I have this, and it cleans my Mac drive, my drive allocated for Windows, and an auxiliary drive I have for additional files.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


The most beautiful phone ever has one wildly annoying issue

The Samsung Galaxy S8's fast speeds and fantastic curved screen make it a top phone for 2017, but the annoying fingerprint reader could sour your experience.