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Does a Mac really need Anti Virus Software

by spider8man / May 19, 2010 8:54 AM PDT

All the techs tell me a MAC does not need Anti Virus Software. If not what is the best way to protect yourself online. Card numbers etc.

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AV software for Mac
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 19, 2010 10:05 PM PDT

Right now there are no active viruses out there that attack the Mac.

There are a number of Trojans than can cause minor problems but nothing on the scale of Windows.

AV software will NOT protect your from any attempt to steal card numbers.

Best defense for that is to be absolutely sure of where you are giving your card numbers out.

There are a number of AV apps for OSX, ClamXAV is one of them. This is free.

I would not recommend anything from Symantec (Norton) or Mcaffee.

The majority of Mac users do not run any AV software at all.


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Need AV in parallel XP
by docsr99 / May 21, 2010 11:34 AM PDT

If you are running XP or other MS's the Mac tech advised
using AV on Parallels

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Good point.
by macnerd10 / May 21, 2010 1:04 PM PDT
In reply to: Need AV in parallel XP

It concerns the BootCamp as well. One must have AV software if running Windows, unless the Internet is never accessed from Windows.

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ALWAYS run AV software on Windows
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 21, 2010 10:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Good point.

even if running on a Mac, Boot Camp or Virtual.

By default, if your Mac is connected to the internet via Ethernet or Wireless, then the Windows installation will also be connected to the internet when you switch over to it.

Do not assume that just because you do not launch a browser or some other Internet related program, that your computer, Windows or otherwise, is NOT on the internet. It most certainly is!

If you have broadband access, your computer is on the internet as long as the ethernet/wireless is connected, regardless of what programs you have running.


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If e-mail or browser are not used
by macnerd10 / May 22, 2010 7:28 AM PDT

how can one get a virus?

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only by other programs
by brlarson / May 22, 2010 9:41 AM PDT

It still could get a virus since other programs use internet access. But if you do not use email or a internet browser I think you would be reducing your risks to under 5%. You could still get hacked but all a good firewall does is slow the bad people down, or give them a challenge.

If I duel boot (have not found an must have programs yet) I would just avoid slowing my computer down with AV programs. I would do most of my internet stuff on the Mac side and only use the internet on the Win side to update Win programs that I could not do from the mac side. you could also turn of all the networking stuff on the windows side to isolate it from the web.

in short Windows systems only need AV programs if they use the internet. Keep Windows away from that and you should be fine.

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I repeat,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 22, 2010 11:21 PM PDT
In reply to: only by other programs

any computer connected to your ISP is "on the internet"

There are literally thousands of ports on a computer that can communicate with the outside world and, in turn, can be communicated with.

There are a considerable number of virus applications that just sit there running through all the available ports, looking for an open one.
Once it finds one, it inserts its payload and moves on. This is an automated process and it can scan huge numbers of machines at a time.

Please do not make the mistake of thinking that if you don't launch a browser, or check email, that you are NOT on the internet. If the wireless is on or the ethernet cable is connected, then that machine is ON the internet.


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I repeat
by spider8man / May 23, 2010 2:21 AM PDT
In reply to: I repeat,

What Anti Virus Software do you recommend. Comcast comes with Norton if one downloads the app.

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Personally I would not touch anything
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 23, 2010 9:56 AM PDT
In reply to: I repeat

that comes from Norton or Mcaffee.

However, in this case, take advantage of the offer from Comcast and install the Symantec (Norton) AV on the Windows side of your Mac, even though it has a reputation of being a resource hog.

AVG has a decent reputation, it's also free.

On another note, I notice that Comcast are also offering the Mac version of the Symantec AV application. I have ignored it. One wonders just what it is protecting against!


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by brlarson / May 23, 2010 10:07 AM PDT

that is what the Mac version is protection. it also will stop the Mac from spreading Windows crap.

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Indeed it will,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / May 23, 2010 10:02 PM PDT
In reply to: lawsuits

Not sure about the lawsuits statement though.


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Mac Antivirus Software
by wrightrr / June 3, 2010 5:16 AM PDT
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not what a virus affects
by Mr. Gregg / June 3, 2010 11:33 PM PDT

"All the techs tell me a MAC does not need Anti Virus Software. If not what is the best way to protect yourself online. Card numbers etc."

Anti-Virus software does not protect your credit card info given out online.

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