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Macs don't need an antivirus?

By 19ran69 ยท 78 replies
Feb 22, 2011
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  1. just have a macbook pro but people says that i dont need to put some anti virus on my mac .....is it true? and why?

    just a macbook user....
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    Whether you should, and whether you shouldn't is often hotly debated.

    I'm of the "you should" fraction, and believe that all computers regardless of the operating system should use it.

    In reality the only thing that really ends up achieving is a higher use and taxation of computer resources for no particular gain > As I'm sure the next poster will be keen to point out!

    So, if you plan on using your computer networked in a Windows environment (work/college) then use one, if you only plan on using it yourself, and its not connected to any Windows networks (e.g. its in your home) then don't bother.
  3. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

    Every system can be infected
  5. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 838   +411

    Reason: Most businesses use Windows or Linux or other similar OS's for servers that store important information like credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other personal information that can be used for monetary gain. There is also the reason that virus makers want to infect the maximum number of people as possible. Mac's are only a small fraction of the market compared to Windows and linux/unix based OS's.
  6. For Mac OSX there is no need for an anti-virus for the average desktop user, this is partly due to the strong BSD base and permissions model. There will always be exploits because much of the apple part of OSX is traditional closed source proprietary software, but anti-virus programs don't really help with this anyway. There are a tiny number of *nix viruses out in the wild, but on the whole viruses are mainly a windows problem.

    A browser with script blocking or a good hosts file, combined with a generous does of common sense is the best defence.
  7. CAMusing

    CAMusing TS Enthusiast Posts: 179

  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Everyone makes such a big deal about "maybe your OS X machine isn't going to get infected, but you can pass on a virus to a PC". I don't put much weight behind that argument, it isn't the Mac user's burden to scrub files that pass through their hands, and besides, why aren't the PCs equipped with AV? Well they probably are, so they'd flag it and deal with it right after the Mac user, so no big deal.
  9. wizardB

    wizardB TS Booster Posts: 111   +22

    Go head believe it and the easter bunny brings you chocolate....oh plus a real computer doesn't have a half eaten piece of fruit on the cover!
  10. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

    I eat bunnies that bring me chocolate - and half eat pieces of fruit (I have kids.)
  11. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +116

    A "real" computer certainly doesn't have a Windows logo on its cover, or screen either! ;)
  12. matrix86

    matrix86 TS Guru Posts: 830   +32

    Good, that means I have a real computer as neither of them have the Windows logo on them...because I took them off :D

    As for not needing an antivirus on a MAC: check this out. Now that the Mac is getting more users, hackers are starting to pay more attention to it, thus writing more viruses for it.
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    That still requires you to enter your password. Maybe other Mac users make a habit of just entering their password whenever asked even if they aren't expecting it, but personally - I would only enter it when I know why its being asked (and determining if it makes sense).
  14. wizardB

    wizardB TS Booster Posts: 111   +22

    Absolutely Mine has a penguin on it:)
  15. 19ran69

    19ran69 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanx guyz wow!, i starting to like my new macbook...
  16. ChinoNYC

    ChinoNYC TS Enthusiast Posts: 85

    Tell me something, oh soothsayer. Does your "real" computer come with the sitting penguin as the boot screen too (not that we have a problem with the cute fella)??
  17. Most distros these days come with a kernel that has the tux logo disabled in the kernel config, or framebuffer console support disabled. You rarely see it unless you build your own kernel.
  18. g4mer

    g4mer TS Maniac Posts: 310

    Stay safe and use Anti-Viruses. Macs have viruses too, but less than Windows because nobody cares about Macs.
  19. Stop spreading fud. There is no need for AV software on a MAC, Linux or any *nix OS unless the system is a file (Samba) or mail server.
  20. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,767   +435

    Any program the size/scale of an operating system is going to have holes. It's naive to assume Linux or Mac OS or Windows or any other is perfect. If you've got enough time, you can find a hole. The better ones just take longer.
  21. True, but an anti-virus program doesn't plug holes - it detects malware infected files and deletes them. Viruses depend on a few factors, among these are: a) that the user is downloading files with embedded malware from dubious sources, b) that the user is running as root c) that the user can just execute (as root) a random file they downloaded from somewhere... none of this applies to a *nix system, which is why AV software is unnecessary.

    *nix files are not executable by default. The executable flag is actually a permission, with windows it's simply a case of adding ".exe" to the end of a file name and double clicking...
  22. wizardB

    wizardB TS Booster Posts: 111   +22

    Even on any nix system even the bastardized one that is OSX you still use a browser it still uses plug-ins and your still vulnerable no OS is immune their are viruses in jpegs and mp3s there are all kinds of mail in bugs users are stupid and will compromise their security AV gives them and the other machines around them that extra layer of security and anyone with any OS that doesn't run AV is an ***** plain and simple and should unplug their computer because they are really too stupid to own and run one!!
  23. You clearly haven't got a clue what you're talking about and have resorted to flinging insults.

    A browser running on a *nix system does not run as root, that's a major difference between this type of system and windows. Malware embedded in jpegs and mp3s isn't executable under a *nix system, also it probably wasn't written to execute on a*nix system in the first place... even if it was, a user would have to set it as executable (by logging in as root) then they would need to execute it as root to have it do any meaningful damage to the system...

    According to you, almost every GNU/Linux user and developer is a "*****" because they don't run an anti-virus program? Get yourself off to any GNU/Linux or BSD *nix community forum and try posting such a ridiculous statement there... you will soon realise who is the "*****"...
  24. wizardB

    wizardB TS Booster Posts: 111   +22

    I've been using nix since redhat 3 and have administrated and do administrate 100's of nix boxes and stand by what I've written I know many users love to express the same sentiments as you and you are just plain wrong!you do not need to be running as root to compromise a system ,that is a fallacy that is also a myth spread by nix users that are to caught up in the greatness of it to admit to any flaws in it,that inability and attitude is one of the biggest reasons that the nix desktop is having such a hard time catching on except in the periphery of the OS market!
  25. What utter garbage... and pulling on the old "i've been using it since <distro x>" tactic, doesn't help your argument either - you've produced nothing to back up your ridiculous claims. The people you refer to that are "just plain wrong" just happen to be developers and highly experienced users. It is in fact you that are "just plain wrong". The "myth" here is what you're spreading about *nix users needing anti-virus software... that's just bollocks - it worries me that someone would read your posts and take it on board.

    If you did your research you'd know that av software for linux is targeted at the mail server/samba server market. i.e. the software detects and removes windows viruses, not "linux viruses".

    There was a similar thread to this not long ago - posted by a moderator no less. It saddens me that such utter bullshit is being peddled on this board these days. This is probably why TS' "alternative OS" forum gets so little traffic. Well after nearly 6 years here, I'm done - not because of you wizardB, in fact thank you for showing me it's time I moved on from here.

    over and out.

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