General discussion

Switching to MAC

I've already decided that I'm making the switch to a MAC I was wondering if there is any security software I would need. I know MAC's can't get viruses and all that but what about trojans, spyware, malware and adware. I'm a PC Technician and know the usual routine as far as Windows goes. I was wondering what precautions I should take in regards as to keeping my MAC clean and in tip top shape? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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Switching to Mac

Right now, I think most people don't run their Macs with any kind of anti-virus. The only one I do know for OS X is ClamXAV, so you could take a look into that.

Also, being a PC technician, surely you know MAC refers to a network Media Access Control address, and not the computer, which is a short form for Macintosh.

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Just to clarify,

"I know MAC's can't get viruses" is not a true statement.
Currently there are no viruses, outside a lab, that will run on OS X. That is not to say that there never will be or that they cannot get viruses.

Meanwhile, good decision and as ClamXAV has already been mentioned there is not a lot more to say until you actually purchase the Mac.

Which Mac are you thinking of buying?


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Just to clarify

I know what a "MAC" Address is. I was referring to a MACINTOSH. I am probably going to get the Mac Book Pro 15". But beyond viruses I was just wondering about trojans, spyware, adware and malware. I know it's possible for the OSX to get a virus and I know there hasn't been any really outside of a lab. But like I said more curios as to the other harmful files and programs out there outside of viruses. Is there any software that is a must have after purchasing the system?

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I thought that

the piece of software called ClamxAV, which is free, had been mentioned twice. It will do what you are asking for now that it has been updated to cope with the few trojans.
No Spyware, adware or malware unless you count the ones that are really social engineering. OS X will not install anything without your express permission.
Windows users often have difficulty getting their heads around the fact that there are no viruses for the Mac and that they do not need to be armoring up their machines with all the usual Anti-Virus/Spyware/Malware/Adware software that they have become accustomed to using.
If you really want to waste your money on something that does nothing other than use processor cycles, you could try Symantec or Mcaffee, although I think the latter has stopped producing for the Mac.
Intego also have a payware product. None are recommended by the majority of Mac users.

I didn't mention anything about a "MAC" address, you must be confusing me with the previous poster, but, now that you mention it, the machine you are about to purchase is a Macintosh and is referred to as a Mac.


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Mac security...

There are programs like "Little Snitch" that will let a mac owner know when your mac's software is talking with other computers over the internet. As Peter has mentioned, there is also programs like Intego"s NetBarrier that also work to maintain Mac security.

The best thing to remember is to not install a program that requires the administrator's password unless you are 100% sure it is from a legitimate source. Recent mac trojans were embedded in illegal copies of the new iWork program - apples' version of Office - that were on all the bit torrent warez sites.



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I just want to thank you guys for replying with such helpful information. I remember when I first started on Windows and was learning the ropes, a lot of people weren't so helpful and you got a lot of conflicting information and was impossible to tell who was trying to be helpful or just a jerk. I really appreciate your responses and help, it really has made the soon transition to feel like the right one. I'm just so tired of working on PC's all week and then having to babysit my own machine. At the end of the week I just want to get on and get what I need done and it seems Apple knows how to get this done without any hassle. Thanks again for the advice and I'm open to any other suggestions as far as being and Apple newbie.

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You are welcome, and just remember...

... no matter how good you are with a WinBox, there will be differences on the mac os that will first confound you. The mac x os does not babysit you, asking constantly if you are sure you want to do something the way an MS product does... when you click yes, and close a dialogue window, that's it, it's done. The great thing though, is that it is just as easy to reverse what you have done. In other words, it is VERY hard for a user to mess up their mac just through everyday use.

If you have any questions, the mac forums here on cnet are a good place to ask them. I learned almost everything I know about macs when I started here 4 years ago.

If I get anything wrong... then blame Peter Devil (MrMacfixit) cause he is the one who answered all my questions when I first started.


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(NT) Thanks!, I think
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(NT) Bwa,ha,ha,ha... :-D
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Re: Switcing to a Mac

Do yourself a favor and buy two books published by Pogue Press. They are called "O'Reilly

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What We Needed When We Switched to Macs

Hi new Mac person. Your life will be great! My husband has an I-Mac and I have a Macbook. I use it to work from home, fairly heavy use. It's amazing that I haven't worn it out. Guess that's not possible Happy

The ONLY thing we needed to purchase for our Macs was Office for Mac. It has Word, Excel and Powerpoint. That's all we have ever needed and only so we could communicate seamlessly with the Windows world.

Happy days ahead for you.

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Switching to Mac

Thanks Dan for the advice on the books,

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Switching to Mac

My advice is to run as Microsoft free as possible. You'll have fewer problems. Instead of buying the Mac version of Office, you might be able to use the free Open Office. It understands and writes Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

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Another free suite

is Neo Office, which some people (including my daughter and son-in-law, recent Mac converts) like even better than Open Office. Both are free, and both "talk" with Microsoft Office. Sorry I can't make a personal recommendation about which one to choose, but I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

I am not sure, but I suspect that has those. It's a reliable source and very user friendly.

Enjoy your Mac.


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Switching to Mac

I have both Neo Office and Open Office, since they're both free. I slightly prefer Open Office when opening Microsoft stuff. For that matter, Apple's iWork can open and save Office documents, but it's not a 100% match. That may be OK, as most people are not Office power users, using every feature. is also a good site. They track the latest versions of all software (Mac and PCs) and have user reviews. Mac people are better at posting reviews.

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NeoOffice and OpenOffice

I should note that both are OpenOffice, but NeoOffice is OpenOffice rewritten slightly to use Java. I prefer OpenOffice native myself, as it runs faster than the Java version.

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Be careful with parallels

Chances are you will not get a virus on a mac, BUT be careful with parallels. People make the mistake of thinking that you can't get a virus on a mac, so they download something questionable to their mac, and then open it in parallels. You can get a virus this way on windows, so when you use parallels, it will be as if your windows computer has a virus. I'm not sure if it can harm your actual mac machine, though, but be careful and have anti virus installed on parallels.


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