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virus protection for old Mac

by cakeck / August 25, 2013 4:26 AM PDT

Is there a way to get virus protection for my old Macbook Pro? Mac OS X, Version 10.4.11

The free versions I've tried don't work with systems this old.


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Clarification Request
And what virus is there for that OS?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 25, 2013 4:29 AM PDT

So far there is still no virus. In case you need to define what a virus is, it's defined as "A computer virus is a program or piece of code that is loaded onto your computer without your knowledge and runs against your wishes."

Since we've yet to find that on that system, are you looking for something else?

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Distinction between viruses and malware?
by wpgwpg / August 25, 2013 4:45 AM PDT

Bob, I've seen you and Mrmacfixit say Macs don't get viruses but can get malware. I'm missing something in the distinction since according to Wikipedia, the definition of malware includes viruses. From
"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Malware, short for malicious software, is software used or programmed by attackers to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems[1] . It can appear in the form of code, scripts, active content, and other software.[2] 'Malware' is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software.[3]Malware includes computer viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, dialers,spyware, adware, malicious BHOs, rogue security software and other malicious programs; the majority of active malware threats are usually worms or trojans rather than viruses.[4] In law, malware is sometimes known as a computer contaminant, as in the legal codes of several U.S. states.[5][6]..."

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Malware is...
by Dafydd Forum moderator / August 25, 2013 5:49 AM PDT

in my opinion, a general name for anything you wouldn't want on your PC.
Virus in my opinion, is something that can be passed on. Whether it be passed via disc, usb or wifi,
if it replicates, it's a virus.

If I make a disc/usb for a friend and I pass something on, that's the virus.


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I agree about malware, what I don't understand is...
by wpgwpg / August 25, 2013 10:27 AM PDT
In reply to: Malware is...

... how the CNET gurus here can say that Macs can not get viruses but they can get malware when a virus is a form of malware. I'm missing something here because to me it seems like a distinction without a significant difference. I'm not trying to nit-pick, I just would like to understand it.
By the way since worms and trojans can spread, a virus isn't the only thing that can be propagated.

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It's all in the definition.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 25, 2013 10:40 AM PDT

If folk want to define malware as a virus, then the discussion changes. But for now the computer gurus tend to agree that a virus is one thing, malware is another.

With the exception of flashback I have yet to find any virus. All the other malware is installed by the owner. So why install bad stuff?

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Thanks Bob, I take it then Wikipedia differs from most gurus
by wpgwpg / August 25, 2013 10:59 AM PDT

Thanks for the feedback Bob. Here's what Wikipedia says though: "'Malware' is a general term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software.[3]Malware includes computer viruses, ransomware, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, keyloggers, dialers,spyware, adware, malicious BHOs, rogue security software and other malicious programs;..." then I take it that Wikipedia differs from the computer gurus?

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And it does not write
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 25, 2013 3:11 PM PDT

Computer viruses includes malware so we're all on the same page now. You may want to re-cast your question.

And before you ask, there is no know protection if the user installs the bad things. Why this is, is very simple. The entire idea of the personal computer is to give you, the owner the capability to install anything.

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by wpgwpg / August 26, 2013 1:16 AM PDT
In reply to: And it does not write

Let's see if I've got this straight. Macs don't get viruses but they can get malware. The term virus includes malware and the term malware includes viruses. Is that right? Sounds like something from Abbot and Costello! Laugh

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As folk change the "includes" then
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 26, 2013 1:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Hmmm!

You have to nod and let them go on. Rather than lose time on that, let them think what they want and let's move to the BIG QUESTION.

-> Is it time to move to a locked down system where you are not allowed to install bad things?

Say something like a Xbox or PS3?

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Interesting question
by wpgwpg / August 26, 2013 1:47 AM PDT

If people just understood that they have to be careful, have a good up to date antivirus program, and make regular backups, the Windows architecture would be pretty viable. Of course when you market something to millions, there're always going to be those who have to learn the hard way, and maybe a few who never learn.
I've never had a Mac so I'm very naive about how they work. That's why I get confused when I read they don't get viruses but do get malware. I take it Macs are much more restrictive about what you can install on them. I see has a lot of stuff you can download for the Mac, can you pick up malware for the Mac there like you can (and I did) for the PC?

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As we can install anything we want.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 26, 2013 1:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Interesting question

Sure, the Apple can get malware, trojans and such. But a virus has been defined as something that replicates and installs without the user helping. If folk redefine what a virus is, then you might not be able to help them but let's give that re-definition a few years and keep the definitions clean today for this discussion.

I do use Apple things and don't use any antivirus because I have yet to find a virus. As to malware, I don't install bad things and I'm fine here.

-> The Windows antivirus industry has trained almost everyone to think they need antivirus on all computers.

You see folk asking if they need it for their Smart TV!

All Answers

Best Answer chosen by cakeck

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Here's how to find such a thing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 26, 2013 3:44 AM PDT
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by cakeck / August 26, 2013 7:39 AM PDT

Thanks, Bob, for being the only person to try to answer my question. I don't care what anyone calls it, whether it is virus/malware/whatever. I just wanted a layer of protection.

My son is 10, and he is using this Mac mostly for watching Youtube videos of others playing Minecraft (go figure) or videos of Lego movies. He is playing with friends on Minecraft now on another computer, and I never thought I'd hear the words "There's cake on the toilet!" Happy This Mac is too old for Minecraft to work.

So whatever protection you call it, it does not matter to me. I'm a little leery of leaving the Mac unprotected.

Unfortunately, the sites that will take me to download one of these compatible programs, then tell me that it is obsolete or invalid. This is not surprising. I just wish it weren't so.

I suppose I need to wipe as much personal and financial information as I can off this Mac, and let it go.

I did have an Apple Airport, which I believe had a firewall, and I did have free AVG software. Now I have neither, the latter having forced an update which my Mac could not support.

Thanks again for trying to help me!

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I resisted answering your post but I agree with Bob
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / August 26, 2013 9:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks!

on how the definition of virus has changed.

The last time I had this conversation with someone, here on CNET, I pointed them at the Wiki page as, at that time, Wikipedia showed a clear and distinct difference between malware and virus. As Wikipedia can be edited by almost anyone, it is not surprising that the definition changed.

But back to your dilemma. Take a look at this link;
where you will find a version of ClamXAV that will run on your version of OS X.
It is still updated, albeit manually, so you should be alright.

BTW, a lot of AV software does not stop what Bob and I would call Malware. It will not catch that annoying toolbar that is almost impossible to remove or prevent you from installing MacKeeper.

You could, at a pinch, push that 10.4.11 machine into running 10.5 unless it is one of the truly old versions of the MBP. Leopard was the last version of OS X to support the PPC processor


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Thank you!
by cakeck / August 27, 2013 12:26 PM PDT

Thank you. I will try that tomorrow. Happy

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