Darren Waters

Mac virus alarm is sounded - again

  • Darren Waters
  • 4 Mar 08, 16:34 GMT

I hesitate to write this, mainly because I fear the response, but does anyone who owns a Mac actually use any anti-virus software?

I ask because Kaspersky Labs have told InfoWorld they had readied a prototype anti-virus package for the Mac and could launch it "within days", if needed.

Is it me, or does that sound unnecessarily alarmist? Almost as if, they are expecting a tidal wave of Mac viruses.

Interestingly enough Eugene Kaspersky, co-founder and head of anti-virus research at Kaspersky, predicted a "significant rise" in Mac viruses back in April 2007.

Has it happened? Not yet....

Symantec and McAfee both sell anti-virus software for Macs. So does anyone have any anti-virus software installed on their Macs?

I don't on my machines. So am I smug and stupid or smug and wise?


  • 1.
  • At 05:38 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Jeff Dyer wrote:

By admitted using Macs, you have automatically revoked any authority you may have ever had to write about "technology". Having a Mac user write about technology is about as relevant as Richard Hammond writing about safe driving

  • 2.
  • At 05:44 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Sean Preece wrote:

Regardless smug is never good. Better to have it and not need it. Wisdom comes from experience and experience can change

I have seen several proof of concept viruses for macs its only a matter of time now.

  • 3.
  • At 05:49 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Chris Dicks wrote:

I would say smug and stupid!

If macs are being used in a mixed enviroment (PC and Mac) then the mac could potentially have a virus but not being effected by it, however macs can read pc files and vice versa, so the threat of you infecting a pc with a virus still remains.

Would you want to be the cause of an infestation??

I am currently using Computer Associates Etrust 8.1 Anti Virus protection. Always better safe than sorry.

  • 4.
  • At 05:52 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • James Embleton wrote:

I've just brought a mac, and have not installed any antivirus software. I saw on tv an unprotected windows computer got attacked and crashed after just 45 minutes connected to the internet. My mac has been connected for a lot longer than that and its still running swimmingly.

  • 5.
  • At 05:53 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Mr Blobbys blobby bit wrote:

Natwest give free McAfee Anti-Virus software to PC users, but refuse to give it to Mac users.
Everyone hates Mac users, thank god virus writers don't - yet!

  • 6.
  • At 05:55 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • hosro wrote:

I have been using Intego's products for a few years. I believe MacWorld had rated them highly.
Not using some protection may
have more risk for some than others.

  • 7.
  • At 05:55 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Stuart wrote:

People don't get Flu Jabs because they have the flu but to prevent it. As the saying goes prevention is better than a cure. As we all know though once a virus gets a grip it can be tough to remove without having to erase everything and start over. To draw another comparison we always know complacency delivers its just desserts just look at Chamberlains handling of Hitler.

  • 8.
  • At 05:58 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew J Carr wrote:

I don't have it on my Macbook Pro. With a PC it's the first thing I install; but with the Mac I feel almost invulnerable.

(and somewhat smug)

  • 9.
  • At 06:09 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Robert wrote:

Yes, but only because my employer insists on it. Have yet to encounter a virus on either of my two machines though....

  • 10.
  • At 06:10 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • David Irvine wrote:

With the processes based layout of bsd and similar uni*s virus damage is easily limited and not as damaging as the MS OS architecture. Added to this the fact that the number of eyes on open source products (which mac os/x is derived from) helps greatly.

I believe that viruses may become an issue at some stage and they will inspire kernel and app changes to seal holes rather than anti virus.

A virus is only dangerous if the OS lets it be, I think the answer is harden the OS and let it do its job. To me anti virus software is like a sticking plaster for an already badly damaged body with huge internal bleeding and not a good long term solution.

Short answer - till it hurts don't use it, even better have the manufacturer make the OS virus proof - it is possible.

  • 11.
  • At 06:24 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • undeadbydawn wrote:

I have ClamXav, but use it maybe once every few months. I have *never* encountered a single piece of malware on either of my Macs.

My understanding is that all of the major commercial anti's are horribly badly coded and do nothing remotely useful.

the market for Anti-virus software on Macs hovers between dead and non-existent.

Should that change any time soon I'll beef up my FireWalls. Then maybe consider a package.


ps. the only thing ClamXav ever flagged was a notice that the .zip files of my Wolfenstein install were too big.

  • 12.
  • At 06:26 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

I don't run any anti-virus software on any of my Macs at the moment, though I do have the latest Norton running on my PCs.

I've not had a virus on a Mac since 1998 and although it was a pain, it was fairly primitive and easy to protect your Mac, just by turning off Autostart.

I sometimes wonder at the security issues involved, but as all sensitive info is stored securely on the PCs, all machines have automatic backups and all machines are behind a secure firewall, I don't lose any sleep over it.

Even if my Mac got trashed, I could reinstall the OS and applications and restore all my files in a fraction of the time it would take to do on a PC, hence the extra protection for the Windows machines.

  • 13.
  • At 06:33 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Nope, never put it on my mac and always think I should, but then think, there's no point... I've got time machine backing up all my important stuff

I reckon the Beeb should put up a reward for the first person to report a virus on their Mac. It'll be good entertainment value for all those PC nerdy types.

Q. If all you Mac guys out there don't actually have anti-virus software installed, how do you know you haven't already got a virus?

OSX/Leap-A anyone?

  • 15.
  • At 06:39 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

I have a mac and don't use anti-virus software - whats the point? its just a waste of money, and another reason why the price gap between macs and pcs isn't as large as most people think.

after 16 years using macs from graphics to video and now midi triggered live A/v performances, I have NEVER had a [virus], I run No virus software and have a network with no problems.

virus software to me is like screensavers.......sold by shopsalesmen yoofs with three haircuts and a footballers tie, to pc users who really need this quad athalon 64 bit node processing nasa machine to do emails and surf the interweb ; )

Once in 1996 whilst working for macuser magazine I opened a text file that claimed to have a cdef virus?? but thats as close as Ive come to actually getting one.

Ive been online since about 1996, and use macs till they scream.

Mallware is a different kettle of fish there are lots of trojan quicktime movies out there that require an infected codec to play, but as I dont download dodgy codecs to watch dodgy web movies I feel that is not a problem to myself.

  • 17.
  • At 07:00 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Kris Lint wrote:

There are currently almost no known viruses for MAC OSX. It's too secure for a simple virus to effect. It would need to be able to have super user rights which is impossible unless the virus is made for that specific machine. These alarmists are just trying to get money through fear.

  • 18.
  • At 07:05 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Mark Jefford wrote:

I work in the IT industry, and i have antivirus on my desktop windows pc, but not on my work macbook, although i would be comfortable not running antivirus on my desktop due to my abilty to not click on dodgy msn/web links.. the average home user/office user are not the same!

although as far as im aware, the only mac virus about requires you to enter your admin username/password to install it! much unlike most windows viruses that you can get infected from a dodgy website.

I don't currently use anti-virus software. But its just a matter of time before mac virus's become more common.

  • 20.
  • At 07:06 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Steven Cuthill wrote:

i have a mac book pro witch i have had for over a year and a half and niver had any problems with it ! it is as stabile as when i 1st turned it on. now can we say that ab out most window baced computers ... no

OS X is a better systems and safer

  • 21.
  • At 07:08 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • David Stephens wrote:

I have 6 Macs in my home/business and i use no virus protection. I really believe that most of the scares come from the companies peddling the software. I am a Mac user of 20 years and have never had a problem, i am not stupid enough to think this could never happen but at the moment I am happy not to pay for security.

  • 22.
  • At 07:09 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Lee wrote:

I have VirusBarrier for the mac installed, simply because alot of my old documents had virus infections, whenever i opened documents from my memory stick, works Virus software popped up with warnings - the viruses didn't do any damage to my mac though

Nope. Never have, never will. This is a throwback to the early internet and VERY unsecure operating platforms that simply not designed to handle the whole online experience. But, if you are silly enough to go 'exploring' on potentially dodgy sites where you feel free to 'click happy - think later', then more fool you.

OS X was built with the internet in mind. I know Vista also took the internet into consideration, but that has not turned out the success Microsoft wanted, whereas Mac OS X has gained a huge market share due to the iPod halo effect (insert whatever silly quote here:) and still, 8 years after the introduction of OS X - still nothing. Sniff, feeling a bit left out of the whole virus scheme... oh well, happy surfing for me then!!

  • 24.
  • At 07:09 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Jon wrote:

I don't at the moment, but I'm starting to consider investing in some. I just hate how bloated the system gets with it installed. Although, to be fair, that's based on the performance difference I noticed on my Windows laptop (which isn't dual core and has half the RAM this does). Call it a false sense of security, but it's not top on my list of concerns right now.

  • 25.
  • At 07:10 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Ollie wrote:

I wont be installing any type of Anti-Virus software until i actually receive a bug - on principal of owning a mac!!!! i don't want to be reminded of the dark times before OSX!!

  • 26.
  • At 07:10 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Steve Prentice wrote:

I don't think your stupid for not putting any anti virus software on your machines! For the main reason that their are no virus's out there currently for macs! leopard is too secure and even if their are holes within the OS mac fixes them and release the updates before the issue can be exploited! Apple will always be a few steps ahead of any virus!

  • 27.
  • At 07:10 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Wilson wrote:

Until I hear about a virus that's out in the wild I will continue to use my Mac without antivirus. The only people who really need a virus checker now are the ones that forward emails to Windows Users.

  • 28.
  • At 08:22 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • christopher Clarke wrote:

keep you pc/mac os upto date, check your email, dont open attachment, don't use bit torrent and pirated software and you will keep the risk of virus's down.

Or just ditch window/mac osX and install LINUX you know you......

  • 29.
  • At 08:26 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Ewan wrote:

As there are no viruses in the wild on OS X (Leap-A was a trojan as it requires user interaction to run), I do not install anti-virus software on any of my machines. Why would I install software that slows down my computers for no reason? If there are any viruses released at any point, I will take appropriate action at that point.

And Jeff Dyer: Why shouldn't a Mac user comment on technology? Does a windows user have any more right? OS X is more technologically advanced and robust than any version of Windows, and Apple computers are at the forefront of current technology. I fail to see your point.

  • 30.
  • At 08:26 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Richad wrote:

there are essentially no viruses that attack Apple Macs directly, however it still makes good sense to have a program to filter out windows viruses from any correspondence passing through an apple mac computer.

eg. I don't want to unknowingly forward a document with a windows virus to a colleague / customer / client using a PC, even if it doesn't harm my mac - I might not know it's there otherwise.

I think that's the main function of antivirus on a mac.

  • 31.
  • At 08:37 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • louiza graham wrote:

I use antivirus on my Mac. Tbh this is mainly to help prevent me forwarding windows viruses onto clients after receiving infected files. I think you need to maintain 'good practice' to minimize security risks no matter what platform you work on.

  • 32.
  • At 08:38 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

The likelihood of damaging your system from installing commercial anti-virus software must be far greater than the likelihood of falling victim to a Mac virus.

Besides, OS X is very permission based, by just not running in administrator mode should be enough to protect ourselves from any vulnerabilities.

  • 33.
  • At 08:39 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • David, Ripon wrote:

I've bought and used countless Macs almost exclusively since 1988 both in business and for personal use. In 20 years I've never been troubled with any sort of virus, nor for that matter ever had to take a computer in for repair, except the time I inadvertently sent a PowerBook crashing to the floor.

The only time I had anti-virus on a machine was when .mac was giving McAfee away free but eventually I got fed up with it never finding anything.

A couple of years ago I bought a Windows laptop solely to run some GPS software. I took the same approach as with my Macs and didn't bother with anti-virus software. Within 10 days the machine was riddled with pop-ups and other nonsense and completely unusable.

  • 34.
  • At 08:41 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Ryan wrote:

No, I have never considered it. I worked in a school system for 4 years with over 300 Macs, and I never encountered any form of a virus. Save your money.

  • 35.
  • At 08:43 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • prish wrote:

now that this topic has come up it wouldn't really be a supprise to see someone come up with a virus for macs.If people can hack into nintendo wii and ps3 i think that there's probably someone out there with lots of time on there hands working on one.

  • 36.
  • At 08:45 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • David Elkington wrote:

Jeff Dyer. well you have certainly raised the bar with your comment. Some of the best technicians and software engineers work on the mac and associated programs... You have really shown that you know less about technology than you should, after all, Computers and software are tools, if you spend half the day trying to get your computer to work, it is hardly productive...

Hope you enjoy re-installing your PC every years after it is hacked or 3rd party software inflates your registry to 3GB.....

  • 37.
  • At 08:59 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Gwyn Thomas wrote:

I use Intego on my MacBook because it is only a matter of time before malware appears on the Intel Macs. I feel secure and smug on my G4 iBook because I think no-one is going to build a PPC virus and this becomes less likely as time goes on. Even then I have Norton on the Mac to protect the PCs in the house as I would prefer not to infect them with something to which I am immune.
Smug but also trying to be responsible

  • 38.
  • At 08:59 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Brandon wrote:

I currently have a PC, but have always had a MAC as well. My iBook had antivirus software, but it always seemed to clash with OS/X. I finally gave up and saif forget it!

I have a new PC laptop with antivirus software and I am very happy with it so far. The fact that I can get all the software I want for a PC, while I can not for a MAC made it a good choice to get a PC.

Overall, I love MACs and think they are very very safe in comparision with any PC. It's only a matter of time before all of you without anti-virus software will be hit hard... remember, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

  • 39.
  • At 09:00 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

First and formemost, post number 1, Jeff Dyer, obviously has no clue what he is talking about. He probably runs Windows Vista on all his machines. Secondly, I have been running a small network of Macs for years. Admittedly none are Intel Macs yet, but I do run anti virus software, Mcafee Virus Scan for Mac, and have a robust firewall. I have yet to discover a virus on my systems or indeed in any files (whether shared from PCs or not), the main reason being, that we are careful about what files we accept or download. It will happen one day, but we will be ready. Common sense is all you need.

  • 40.
  • At 09:01 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Julian Sweet wrote:

I have norton antivirus for mac. I came from a PC just over 3 years ago. Never looked back.

Last year I rebuilt my girlfriends PC. A friend had cleared off over 400 viruses! There was still a key-logger which I removed.

I then virus checked my Mac and had 0.

Sometime soon something bad will circulate. The iphone is likely to hasten this happening.

I guess the cub scout in me says 'be prepared'.

  • 41.
  • At 09:13 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Bill Turner wrote:

I use my Mac to surf on rather than my PC on the basis that it feels safer.

There is of course an ongoing concern that this smug attitude is the precursor to a very heavy fall.

Until then, Vive La Mac! (pardon)

  • 42.
  • At 09:16 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • James wrote:

I have been using a mac for over 4 years now with virus protecting and i have never seen a virus or had a problem.

  • 43.
  • At 09:24 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • colin wrote:

A pity that Jeff Dyer has to make such a stupid comment.

Virus writers aren't likely to try to write viruses for Macs just yet. Sadly in one sense, but happily for us Mac users, the vast majority of computer users are sucked into the Windows world. Windows machines are far easier to find and infect than Macs. So why write a Mac virus?

  • 44.
  • At 09:28 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Martin wrote:

I'm with Andrew J Carr, my Vista laptop is buttoned up tight with AVS, anti-spam etc. My Mac isn't and works fine.

  • 45.
  • At 10:14 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Christopher Darby wrote:

I was given an anti virus cd in the package deal when i bought my iMac, its unopened in the bottom of cupboard where i store the rest of my junk...

Would any actually buy it if i put it up on Ebay... i doubt it

  • 46.
  • At 10:15 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Melissa wrote:

I don't have any anti-virus programs installed on my Mac. All of my email is virus-scanned on the server, and I don't download dodgy files or visit dodgy websites.

Also, I don't allow Safari to automatically open "safe" files, I have the pop-up blocker and firewall on, plus a firewall on my router.

Anything else is a waste of time, effort and money until a viable virus actually shows up in the wild!

  • 47.
  • At 10:19 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Thomas wrote:

My personal view is that, although Macs may be a lot more secure than PCs, Linux trumps them both. Using Ubuntu is incredibly simple in addition to being free. Macs and Vista tend to have improved presentation, but thats not important to me: the layout is as simple as any computer I have ever used, and it is incredibly safe. Not in the least because almost no-one uses them, which is a terrible shame... The general perception that Linux is for computer nerds still holds, despite projects like Ubuntu which make it a lot easier to use than either Microsoft or Apple do for their respective products. I have no computer skills beyond using programs like Word and Firefox, and I still find it a breeze.

  • 48.
  • At 10:30 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Adam Smith wrote:

I've had a iBook for over 3 years and never ran a virus program. I got a free copy of an anti virus program last month. Ive never formatted or reinstalled OSX, and it did;t find a single virus or any suspicious files.

  • 49.
  • At 10:50 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Richard Taylor wrote:

I think people tend to forget that the very first known virus was written for a Mac! The only reason all these smug people can make the comments that they do, is that the criminals have a similar business model to mainstream businesses. What is the point writing viruses for Macs when there are so few, so the effort writing a virus doesn't generate the returns. There are bigger returns to be made by concentrating on Windows. As soon as the user base for Macs every goes beyond the niche few, then watch out Mac users!

  • 50.
  • At 10:58 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Henk Mans wrote:

There is a low percentage of Mac viruses out there compared to PC ones. It reflects the low percentage of Mac users in the computer industry.
The Apple Mac market share has increased dramatically over the last 4 years what ever reasons and it is therefore not unreasonable to suggest that the amount of Mac viruses will increase as well.

There is no threat at the moment but it would unwise to assume there won't be sooner rather than later.

I have run Macs now for years without and protection.

Over the time I have tried some of the software to detect attacks and virus but none have ever set off any alarms.

My advice is you will hear about it big time if there is a major security breach of macs and have some money in the kitty to buy protection if and when needed.

But hackers can still be a problem if you make yourself a target.

  • 52.
  • At 12:13 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • undeadbydawn wrote:

I have ClamXav, but use it maybe once every few months. I have *never* encountered a single piece of malware on either of my Macs.

My understanding is that all of the major commercial anti's are horribly badly coded and do nothing remotely useful.

the market for Anti-virus software on Macs hovers between dead and non-existent.

Should that change any time soon I'll beef up my FireWalls. Then maybe consider a package.


ps. the only thing ClamXav ever flagged was a notice that the .zip files of my Wolfenstein install were too big.

  • 53.
  • At 12:24 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Damian wrote:

I don't use any anti virus on my Mac - never have and don't expect I ever will. I've never needed it. By contrast I keep my PC as virus protected as I can. Failed to update definitions once after moving house and it took the best part of a weekend to get the PCs back up and running. The Mac never even blinked.

Will viruses hit Macs? Yeah, if Macs became the machine of choice for the majority of web users. Fortunately that's unlikely and PC dominance in that sphere will likely continue. As long as it does, Mac users can rest easy.

  • 54.
  • At 12:40 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

The people who write viruses want there creations to spread as much as possible, so it makes sense for them to make them for the world's most popular OS - Windows.

The main reason that Macs don't get viruses is because there aren't enough Macs around to bother writing viruses for.

  • 55.
  • At 01:02 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • jockboy wrote:

Just how many times are we going to read this story?
Of course you can always "cry wolf" one time too many and maybe one time there might be a mac virus- but right now they're aren't any and I doubt very much that as soon as one appears they'll suddenly be a massive explosion that require every mac user to run to the nearest anti-virus provider with a fistful of dollars (or pounds , but that doesn't quite sound so good).

Right now chucking out $70 for the most popular but entirely pointless anti-virus software seems about as sensible as replying to an e-mail from Nigeria offering me $5,000,000.

  • 56.
  • At 07:43 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • spiderpig wrote:

I'd suggest you install ClamXav, but also Little Snitch which will alert you to any outgoing connections your mac is trying to make. If anything tries to send information from your mac that you are not sure about, deny the connection.

Also - make sure you switch on the firewall.

Finally - if you are prompted for your admin password when you don't expect to - don't enter it.

  • 57.
  • At 07:48 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

Hey guys with the lack of Decent gaming software out there for the Mac compared to all other platforms I figure that the virus Writers out there guess you are suffering enough already. Still they do come in trendy blue plastic.

  • 58.
  • At 07:50 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Alex Robinson wrote:

I like you Darren, don't use any anti-virus on any of my macs. The risk isn't there. As pointed out your going to need super user access to do any permenant damage, viruses in OS X are massively difficult to hide and to get to auto run once downloaded and I think I used one piece of virus software once back in the days of Mac OS 7.5 Your safe, enjoy the ride and when someone does get infected by a virus in the wild, then mull it over and think about whether you want to. After all it takes 19 minutes to re-install os X instead of the couple of hours it takes to install Vista and XP (maybe this is why our windows buddys hate virii so much)

Also in response to Mr J.Dyer, just because you have to delve into your system files and fix them more than a mac user doesn't give you 'tech' authority. Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher are two of the best F1 drivers the world has ever seen, you do not however see them poking around with the valve stem seals on their engines before a race though do you. Does this mean they don't have the 'authority' to win races?

I run an IT consulting company we are based on Macs but 90% of our clients use Windows.

Non of our Macs have anti virus. However we are very security minded, and use long passwords, encryption etc.

I believe that if a Windows machine is managed correctly you would not need antivirus. We have one client that has over 15 Machines. All windows XP Professional. NONE with a firewall or antivirus. And not 1 issue now in over 3 years. The only things we do differently is deny the use of Internet Explorer, and use FireFox. We have the client web host scan of eMail viruses.

I think it is a matter of poor management, and poor OS design making it easier for an attack on Windows.

There will be a Mac Virus, but there will not be an epidemic.

  • 60.
  • At 08:16 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Graham Mullan wrote:

As a PC user, I have to say: "What are these viruses of which you speak?"

Yes, all my machines run AVG (free, so where's the problem?)but I haven't actually seen a virus for about 10 years.

  • 61.
  • At 08:48 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Schofield wrote:

Any Mac user who does NOT use security software is a fool in today's age of cyber criminals. Security software is always a couple of steps behind the bad guys and I believe that it is better to be safe than very sorry later. I have security software installed on both my Macs - Symantec and Intego.

  • 62.
  • At 08:55 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • MacDaddy wrote:

I don't use AV software. Mac viruses would find it hard to propagate. I only have one other Mac user in my address book, at worst if I got a virus I would infect one other Mac and then the chain would end. Why would malicious developers bother writing virus code that could do little or no damage? In this respect Microsoft are a victim of their own success and with only 5% or so of the worlds computers being Macs a virus written for Apple machines would never spread far enough to be a significant threat.

  • 63.
  • At 10:04 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

I have been using macs every day for the past 9years.. I also grudgingly use pc's when i have to.

I will say that I have NEVER, NOT ONCE been effected by a virus of any description on my macs. PC's yes and its expected, hence the flood of anti-virus software.

I will say that there will be someone out there so determined to be the first person to cause havoc via a virus on Macs, that without a doubt it will happen.. But am i worried? Not yet.

  • 64.
  • At 10:29 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • ranaraptor wrote:

When I bought my MacBook, I realised that there wasn't any antivirus software. I called up Apple and they said that its Unix architecture makes it 100% and Virus free.

Macs totally rock.

  • 65.
  • At 10:30 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Conner Ryan wrote:

I think that macs are just as prone to viruses as pc's, it can be downloaded accidentally or unkownly those internet prize things,
pirated software may have a hidden virus that is installed with the game even if you want to watch a video clip online and you need a download a plugin to watch it it could be a virus instead.

So i think that you should just buy the
anti virus software

  • 66.
  • At 10:49 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Mark Nicholson wrote:

I use nothing on my Mac, all these 'Proof of concept' virus' that keep appearing require user interaction to get in. So I guess I do have anti-virus, but I like to refer to it as common sense.

  • 67.
  • At 11:13 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • David wrote:

I've had a Macbook for a while now and still haven't installed any anti-virus software. I just don't feel there is any need to, whereas with my PC I knew if I didn't then it wouldn't last very long.

  • 68.
  • At 11:20 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Iain W wrote:

I have a PC, no anti-virus, i let xp run it's firewall with my settings.
I have always had PC's, macs are to pretentious for me [and other technical reasons].
Since i was running 98se, win2000, now xp i have never installed AV.
Never have i had a virus, i tweak my OS properly, so it does not have standard know nothing user settings that leaves it free to the world.
I sometimes wonder what technicians in companys do, as i seem to know how to configure my OS better than they do.

  • 69.
  • At 11:31 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

How do I know my mac hasn't got a virus? One indication is that the Activity Monitor utility on the mac tells you exactly what every process is doing, what files are being accessed by which applications together with info about i/o and ports open etc. So tracking down what the machine is doing is very easy, and seeing if a process is accessing anything suspicious is easy. ctrl-alt-del task manager on the PC gives only the most basic info and you have to buy add on apps to find out what a PC is up to and even then it's not easy.

  • 70.
  • At 11:32 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • AppleMacGuy wrote:

I've been using Macs for 20 years now. I think the last virus any of the dozen or so Macs I've owned over the years was 18 years ago. Quite frankly at this time AV software for Mac is in my opinion is a complete waste of time.

The rock solid UNIX underpinnings of the OS X are a significant factor in the lack of viruses. Also, since the Mac comprises less than 5% of the installed desktop computer base it's clearly not profitable for hackers to target them, apart from the fact that in the hacking community it's not considered 'cool'.

Hackers are having a field day exploiting the thousands of security holes in Windows anyway! And there are tems of millions of unsecure PCs out there...

  • 71.
  • At 11:37 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Moign wrote:

Virus for a Mac? Never thought of having it on my macbook with Leopard installed. Even though security has never been an issue on Macs, I must say that Mac users must take it seriously to ward off future threats and retain the reputation of macs as the safest and reliable computers in the world.

  • 72.
  • At 11:38 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Dan Gower wrote:

Viruses? what are they?

Oh yes - let me think back to when I used to use 'PCs' back in the olden days.

Weren't they the things that caused those funny old 'blue screen' events?

Seriously though, 3 years with all my macs running quite happily with no anti virus software slowing my system down...

  • 73.
  • At 11:46 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Neil Phipps wrote:

Jeff Dyer - some of us make a very, very good living using Mac 'technology'. it's a no brainer why - it works and is extremely productive, surely that's the aim. I'm sure you get a lot of pleasure fiddling with your boards, tweaking your GHz and talking up old school OS ideology but times have changed but not it seems when it comes to Mac viruses. If often amuses me when I hear the anti Mac fanboys assuming that the Mac is a 'Fisher Price toy' and usually not even used one in a productive way.

  • 74.
  • At 11:51 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • braxious wrote:

just because its not happened yet does not mean it wont.

its best to have an anti virus in place and then your safe rather than sorry

  • 75.
  • At 11:57 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Ray McAllister wrote:

I've been using Macs since 1988 and been online since 1996.
I used to have anti-virus installed on my System 9 but since the switch to Mac OSX I haven't bothered. There is simply no need.

I have also used Windows based PC's since 1992. I have yet to find an anti-virus system that doesn't get caught out at some time and usually catastrophically.

Someone mentioned building an operating system properly in the first place, this is something I believe Apple have achieved with Mac OSX and something that Microsoft need to start paying some real attention to, after all they're the people who leave the holes in Windows for exploitation/damage in the first place.

  • 76.
  • At 11:58 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Scott wrote:

As a Mac user, I can assure you that we are not 'smug'. I have had Norton antivirus on my Macs for years. Never caught anything though. Remember, a new virus will likely catch out everyone, even those with AV software - until said software is updated to counteract it.

  • 77.
  • At 12:02 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • James wrote:

When you mac users fall off your pedestal you are going to fall a long way...

Do you maybe not wonder why every goverment in the world isnt purely mac based if they are so 'elite' to pc's ?

They are not invulnerable to attacks,it is simply they havent been the main target.If you dont use microsoft software on a pc its 99% safer so dont spout off over things you have no facts to subtantiate.

  • 78.
  • At 12:28 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Karl Thomas wrote:

I use Intego antivirus. I use it mainly to protect my PC user friends. If I receive a email that had a virus attached and forward it to a PC user, I could infect them. But with antivirus on my Mac it would detect it and remove it. I think thats right anyway.

  • 79.
  • At 12:32 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Reynolds wrote:

I'm a Mac user, and have been asking myself the same questions of late. I'm open to taking advice so if anyone would like to give any on this topic (except comments such as Jeff Dyer's post which just show the poster to be the sort of person they believe they are deriding)

  • 80.
  • At 12:32 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • FW wrote:

Until I can really see the need, I'm not going to. What is the point of having processes constantly running in the background for no reason?
I don't think it's being smug - it was one of the main reasons I bought a Mac in the first place, as well as for my music etc. The beauty of OSX is that it doesn't (for the most part anyway, it's certainly not flawless!) break, and it is inherently more secure against viruses that Windows anyway.

  • 81.
  • At 12:41 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • J. Knight wrote:

"Jeff Dyer wrote:

By admitted using Macs, you have automatically revoked any authority you may have ever had to write about "technology". Having a Mac user write about technology is about as relevant as Richard Hammond writing about safe driving"

It's the 2000's now, Jeff, and you have no idea what you are talking about - unless your outdated and inaccurate opinion is based on any kind of experience...? I doubt it.

  • 82.
  • At 12:42 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Alexis Vallance wrote:

OS X has been around since 2001. Seven years, no viruses and millions of OS X users without any virus protection whatsoever.

We're still waiting for the predicted apocalypse...

  • 83.
  • At 12:42 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • OThomas wrote:

I have both a PC and an iMAC. The PC is constantly getting attacked and as such is protected with a hardware and software firewall (belt and braces approach), plus the latest update of Norton anti-virus software. The Mac has nothing apart from the hardware firewall.

I get my antivirus software from my ISP (BT), they supply for the PC, but nothing for the Mac. I assume they also think it unnecessary.

  • 84.
  • At 12:43 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Brian Steere wrote:

OSX anti virus may do more harm than good. As and when a a virus hits OSX we'll know it! Solutions will be shared by Apple Mac community. OSX=8yrs=0. Windows seems to mirror the fear/control issues in the larger world. Intel Macs can run Windows native - which isnt a Mac virus as such as it depends on user to install but sure opens the door to a world of frustration.

  • 85.
  • At 12:45 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • George Johnson wrote:

No it's a good idea, if you work/play in in a mixed environement that includes the MS range. I use Mac, Linux and Windows at home so I kit the Mac and Linux with AV just in case I pull anything down for use on the Win boxes. Maybe a little paranoid but better safe than sorry, especially in this world of shared drives and resources.

  • 86.
  • At 12:52 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Roger wrote:

If you were a virus writer would you bother to create one that would only affect a small percentage of the worlds computer base or aim for a much wider audience. Perhaps the reason that no one has written any viruses for Macs.

On another note I have been using windows based PCs for years and have never contacted a virus to date. They can be easy enough to avoid if you are carfeful what you download from the web or what e-mails you open.

  • 87.
  • At 12:53 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Glenn Lawrence wrote:

Anyone using a computer should have protection. Whilst you as an individual mac user will not have to be too concerned about infections, if you are using email you can still act as a carrier and effectively pass on infected emails to those on less sensible, Windows users. This alone is the reason I believe macs users should protect themselves.

the users who still insist that apples are inferior should really wake up. The software built into the mac OS is far superior. iphoto, idvd, garageband..etc, etc, etc. They really do wipe the floor when compared to any other 'ships with the OS' platform apps.

  • 88.
  • At 12:55 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • ander wrote:

i always though of using one, but like with everyone I only learn with mistakes and act only if something has happened, like I used to with my PC.

Now with my mac i dont use anti-viruses. Is it because I have got the Apple Total Care? not sure if this covers it.

But my answer is no, and I am not planning to have one just yet.

  • 89.
  • At 12:56 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Scott wrote:

I use Intego's software for both virus detection and internet security. Never had any problem but as more people are moving to Mac's the risk increases, thus feel more comfortable with the additional protection (OSX does have some protection already built in but I like the idea of having third party software also). PC's will always be the easier target. They are more numerous and always have major security flaws that the macs aren't subject to. Mac operating system is still way ahead of the microsoft platform. I hope it stays this way so that the hackers remain concentrated on the Microsoft platform.

All i can say is "Be safe than sorry". Install AV just in case you need it

  • 91.
  • At 01:00 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Sean wrote:

Mac users sheesh! Continuously (possibly even continually) going on and on about how wonderful their machines are. It can only come from chronic insecurity which may be a behavioural virus you all acquire as you pay for your pretty boxes.

  • 92.
  • At 01:04 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Tone wrote:

Been using Macs since 1987 at work and home. Connected to the internet since the start. Had one virus once on one of 5 machines back in the early days (WDEF I think) and that needed MS applications to propagate.

Work insist on anti-virus still (they have more to loose) but at home (2 machines) - nah!

  • 93.
  • At 01:04 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Phil Dagnan wrote:

Does this ring any (mac alarm) bells...

"This ship is unsinkable!"

  • 94.
  • At 01:11 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Jonathan Ellis wrote:

While Macs may not yet have fallen victim to the type of assaults that we see on PCs, the fact is that all Mac users will inevitably be sharing files with friends, family and colleagues who may be using a PC. I see it as part of our wider social responsibility to play our part in also protecting those with whom we communicate

  • 95.
  • At 01:12 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Cliff wrote:

Yes, I use Macs and I do use antivirus software. It is only a matter of time before we users get hit with viruses; even more so now with the Intel processors being used in more and more Macs.

When we just had the Motorola chips in them I must admit I felt a lot safer (in terms of a threat from a virus) but I was still running anti-virus software then.

On the basis that you are attached to the rest of us don't you think that being smug might also be damaging the rest of the network (and I use that term in the very widest sense)? I assume that you get emails, receive files from other people and pass them on? By not having anti-virus software you may well be passing on/keeping viruses in circulation. Sometimes it feels a bit like 'I'm alright Jack, pull up the ladder' amongst Mac users - we are working in the same arena - spare a thought for the rest of us sometimes?

  • 97.
  • At 01:16 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • James Douglas wrote:

Never had Anti-Virus installed on my PC, and in 8 years and fourteen computers, have never had a single virus/Trojan/Worm.
The reason for this is common sense. I don't visit dodgy porn sites, I don't randomly click on any link that apears on my screen/email. I suppose that having the basic Windows Firewall with default settings on has helped.
Occasionally I visit online virus checkers to scan the PC, and being a gaming geek I am well aware of what processes are and should be running.

  • 98.
  • At 01:17 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Jamie Rose wrote:

I've been a Mac user since 1998, I consider myself one of the original Switchers!

Using both Mac OS 9 & X (1 through to 5), I've never had a virus. When using Windows, yep, I do remember encountering a few. I was lucky, I had anti-virus software and it removed them.

I do have Norton anti-virus software installed on my MacBook Pro, why? Because I consider this part of being a good netizen. Yes, it's unlikely that my Mac will be infected, but I like to be protected (maybe because I'm an over cautious virgo!) and also because it's my duty as user of the Internet to not spread viruses, even if it hasn't affected my Mac.

Computing with a conscience!

  • 99.
  • At 01:20 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • louizagraham wrote:

I do run antivirus on my Mac. The main function is to try and eliminate any risk of passing on windows viruses from infected files we have received from clients. We run Antivirus in both OS X and XP running via bootcamp. I think it's prudent to use best practice no matter what platform you work on.

  • 100.
  • At 01:23 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • winuser wrote:

i've used windows without anti-virus for years and i've been fine, a bit of common sense is all you need, and if you use a mac which is targeted far less your probably fine even if you click every link that pops up

  • 101.
  • At 01:26 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • John Allen wrote:

I don't have any anti-virus installed on my Mac, but I'm not complacent about its health and security either. I upgraded to Leopard. I run a non-admin account for my day-to-day use. My firewall settings are strong and I have disabled the services I don't use. My system preferences are locked by default. Software updates are checked for every day. Time Machine maintains a complete backup of my hard drive.

I used to lock the keychain on sleep and require an account password on wake, but this got too tedious. I revert to these extras if I'm on the road. My iBook G4 is almost 3 years old and I've never, ever, had an unusual failure or problem.

All of this is possible out of the box. Why spend money on antivirus boondoggles whilst there is clearly no need?

  • 102.
  • At 01:28 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Bob wrote:

It would be interesting to see if any Mac owners reading this forum have ever had problems with a virus on their Mac's?
I do not have anti-virus software on any of the Mac's I own. BUT, anti-virus software is like insurance policies; it is very likely you will not need it but if you do not take it out and something happens you wish you did.

  • 103.
  • At 01:30 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • A Cross wrote:

I have used Macs for over 20 years and only ever had a virus once back in the early 90's which never did anything malicious despite it being on my machine for at least 2 months.

Someone here asked how a Mac user would know if they had a virus without protection software. Surely this is obvious?

My current Mac is unprotected and has been connected to the internet for at least 4 years without any of the 'side effects' that my PC (protected) has experienced. Now I am not suggesting that the protection software people are in cahoots with the virus writers (despite there being a symbiotic relationship of sorts) but maybe if the Windows environment was not constructed of so much coded sticking plasters to patch its multitude of holes, viruse writerss would not have such an easy time.

  • 104.
  • At 01:31 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Toby Greenwood wrote:

Why write a virus for say 10% of of computers out there when you can write one for 90% and cause more chaos?

  • 105.
  • At 01:33 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Rob Davies wrote:

I have both a MacBook (no idea why) and a laptop, I don't run AV software on either but then I know what I'm doing so I must be really smug :-)

  • 106.
  • At 01:34 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Is it not the OS manufacturer's responsibility to make anti-virus software, seeing as its flaws in the OS that make the virus effective? As a user of both Mac and a PC, I reluctantlty pay for anti-virus software on the PC, but feel that if there ever was a threat on the Mac, Apple would and should take care of it.

  • 107.
  • At 01:35 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • chris carter wrote:

Macs, Love them or hate them ?
Running a graphics company means I have to run PC's along side macs. offline PC's do the donkey work, but macs deal with any email and internet stuff, and act as a safe gateway to the world.
My firewall is an eight foot airgap between the two systems ! - In five years no virus has managed to jump through the air and our PC's have remained intact. Prior to this attacks were daily, and sometimes very damaging, and NO antivirus software is 100% reliable as we found out.

Long live the Mac.

  • 108.
  • At 01:44 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

No anti virus software on my 2 macs. If I do need it, do I need it for my iPhone as well? Same OS.

  • 109.
  • At 01:44 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Adam wrote:

I have a Mac and the antivirus/firewall software was one of my first purchases for it.

I'm an old-school IT professional and fully support the notion that just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't.

Fine, if you're happy with the risk (and I agree it's small) then don't bother. But on my Mac I have my life : my financial accounts, my documents, my music, videos etc. I also have a Windows partition - and that also has AV software.

Oh yes, and I have a regular backup schedule for everything.

And I feel smug.

  • 110.
  • At 01:45 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

I am a mac convert since 2006. I'm the worst kind of mac user aparently because all I do is tell my PC user friends how good my mac is. Since buying my mac my girlfriends PC has died through viruses and my flatmate is now on his second PC after the first one gave up the ghost after being riddled with viruses.

I dont use virus protection and until significant evidence comes out to suggest I should then I wont.

Long live the mac!

  • 111.
  • At 01:47 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Ben West wrote:

MAC OSX is just as vulnerable to malicious code as any MS windows based machine, the only reason it enjoys such a relatively virus free life is through obscurity and it's lack of use in industry. This may well not always be the case however and as Macs become more popular then more viruses are being produced that attack them, indeed there is already a steadily rising number of them out there. If you look at the security patches from apple vs. Microsoft and what issues these fix it becomes pretty clear that OSX has just as many, if not more vulnerabilities as windows, these are just not as well publicised or as slated as "evil" Microsoft’s. So yes as a Mac user an antivirus is becoming essential to keep your system safe.

  • 112.
  • At 01:47 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Toby Greenwood wrote:

Why write a virus for say 10% of of computers out there when you can write one for 90% and cause more chaos?

I don't hate Mac users, I don't hate Macs but I do get a bit fed up of the smug 'we don't viruses so we won't bother with antivirus software' attitude.

It might be worth bearing in mind that you are connected to the rest of the world and that you send and receive emails, files etc and that you might be transporting viruses even if you aren't affected by them.

  • 114.
  • At 01:48 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • dylan hyndman wrote:

David Irvine and Kris Lint, have hit the nail on the head, and their comments should be enough to sum up and conclude this thread.

  • 115.
  • At 01:48 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Mark Stokes wrote:

I have used macs for 20 years and never needed anti-virus software. Having seen the irritation it causes for PC users thank goodness it don't need to.

  • 116.
  • At 01:49 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • jllunt wrote:

I was just wondering if Jeff Dyer has a particular reason for posting such an irrelevant comment - I am currently using both a Mac and PC for webtesting and find the Mac to be much more reliable and user friendly. Innovations such as the IPod, the IPhone and indeed the thinnest notebook to date are excellent examples of Apple's technological relevance. And to suggest that Richard Hammond did not follow all safety regulations in a horrific crash caused by a tyre blowout is just in bad taste.

  • 117.
  • At 01:50 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Roger Carter wrote:

ClamXAV, it's free, but I have never encountered a virus in 15 years. Used to run Norton Anti-Virus when this was available but this caused more conflicts and errors than a virus.

  • 118.
  • At 01:50 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Gregg wrote:

I use ClamXAV - it's free, reliable and all I need. I don't have it running in the background, but do use it to give downloaded files the once over....

  • 119.
  • At 01:51 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • M Richardson wrote:

A PC user saying that Mac users writing about technology are as relevant as Richard Hammond on safe driving, is himself as relevant as the Spice Girls claiming that Beethoven knew nothing about music.

I don't have anti-virus on my Mac, but then I practice "safe surfing" through other means: my firewall is always on, I only open attachments from known sources, pop-up blocker is activated and I'm careful about what I download from the Internet.

I wonder how many PCs really need anti-virus software if a user takes proper precautions?

  • 121.
  • At 01:51 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Steve W wrote:

My machine is backed up automatically every day so even if there was a virus infecting it, its a couple of clicks to revert to before the virus and recover the most recent work files as well. Tried to do the same on a PC and it was a nightmare.

By the way I'm a s/w consulatant and the guy who replied 1st to the post doesn't have a clue what he is talking about. A large % of developers use macs because its a robust, slick platform and properly thought out.

  • 122.
  • At 01:52 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Dominic wrote:

Well I have a rather powerful Quad core PC(self built)with NO antivirus software at present, I'm a heavy internet user and im yet to have any viruses. Its all down to knowning what sort of site your going to. Most people are happy to click here and click there without reading what there actualy clicking on. People need to be alot more careful when browsing thats all. theres no need to get caught up into the hype of buying the latest virus protection. most of them dont actually stop viruses untill 2weeks after and the latest fix is out. but by then your computer would be toast anyway.

  • 123.
  • At 01:55 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Craig wrote:

Regarding the flu vaccine analogy.

You doctor offers your a new vaccine, telling you that it's for a disease which doesn't actually exist. But if the disease did exist, its symptoms would almost certainly be worse than the side effects of the vaccine, and the vaccine would be reasonably likely to stop you getting the disease. Would you bother?

Since no OS X viruses exist, we don't know how they'd be transmitted, so it's not clear that any anti-virus technology written could stop them without being updated after the virus was seen in the wild. I got anti-virus software on my first Mac, but it was so annoying that I didn't bother the renew the subscription, without which it wasn't worth running anyway. There's probably not much of a penalty to running good anti-virus software, so perhaps the side-effects of vaccination aren't that bad, but the disease nevertheless remains hypothetical.

  • 124.
  • At 01:55 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Chris Johnson wrote:

Anyone that believes that they are immune to viral attack deserves everything they get. MAC OSX may have less in the way of attacks at the moment, but it is only a matter of some virus jockey out there deciding that this is a good target, or that they might get something out of it.

The only reason why MACs are less affected is that the virus writers of the world have realised that there are a lot more idiots out there running Microsoft. Obscurity is no defence.

  • 125.
  • At 01:59 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Mick wrote:

I don't use virus software on my PC nevermind my Mac.

  • 126.
  • At 02:00 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Roberts wrote:

Does ayone else think Poster No. 1, Jeff Dyer' reaction is a little over the top?

I'm guessing he's one of those PC fanboys I've heard tell of.

Regarding Macs, my laptop (G4 powerbook) is 8 years old and still running audio and graphics apps as fast as my wife's 2 year old pc laptop and my 3 year old iMac is currently powering through 10801 HDV video editing in Final Cut Pro. Neither have ever given me a sniff of trouble as far as viruses are concerned.

  • 127.
  • At 02:02 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Mike Roberts wrote:

I've been using Macs since 1994.

I *have* bought anti-virus software in the past - a waste of money because I've never come across a single virus in 14 years.

  • 128.
  • At 02:03 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • jon wrote:

As a long time Mac user I don't like the Anti-Virus debate...

the more we bleet on about how great Macs are for not needing anti-virus software... the more chance their is of attracting the attention of virus writers...

So lets stop talking about it and stay 'under the radar'

Personally... I use ClamXAV, its free and whilst there may be no viri for Macs... it stops me from passing on any nasties my friends with Wintel boxes.

  • 129.
  • At 02:11 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Alan wrote:

I upgraded from OS X 10.2 to 10.4 and most of my Adobe software stopped working properly - because Apple dont build in backward compatability to their almost annual OS updates (which have to be paid for). So you dont need to get a virus the OS does the job for you.

  • 130.
  • At 02:23 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Simon H wrote:

I'm new to Apple and run anti-virus software. Better to be safe than sorry. Note to Jeff Dyer - if you are going to preach to Apple users not having authority to comment on technology - then please get your grammar correct. I think you meant to say 'admitting' not 'admitted'. Or perhaps your PC's spell check is broke.

  • 131.
  • At 02:39 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • andrew wrote:

I use Linux and Unix, what's a virus?

I use both Macs and PC's, all that are networked or internet facing have anti-virus, though to be honest the Macs only ever pick up PC virus files sent through email.

Many predicted a rise iin virus attacks with the transition to intel processors, which showed just how clued up some of these tech people really are. The processor makes no difference, it's the operating system and the user that makes a difference. Even though it would be harder to do a virus on the mac due to the way security works, as on Windows it is the user who is the weak link.

  • 133.
  • At 02:49 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Another Nick wrote:

I powered up for the first time my daughters brand new out of the box laptop the other night and without asking and with no warning it logged onto my neighbours unprotected wireless router and proceeded to download updates even though the security centre was flagging up the lack of any security,virus checker etc.
Now surely thats not a very good idea ?

Re Jeff Dyer message. I thought the old mac Vs PC debate died long ago... I like Mac's you like PC's - mac now run on Intel (the better Chip) and Window interface is now pretty close in terms of usability to mac's... Whats the problem? snobbery on either side is very very boring...

Ta Mark H

  • 135.
  • At 03:14 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Gordon Sinclair wrote:

I use av software on my Linux box, and that is argueably less likely to be infected that a Mac.

Being ignorant to the threat of viruses probably helped to facilitate the massive spread / increase of viruses that has been been by Microsoft users.

Be smug at your peril!

  • 136.
  • At 03:16 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Biggin wrote:

I am a heavy Microsoft user and I would never dream of using any of the gammit of MS OS's without some form of AV protection.

However, I am also a MAC user - perfering the MAC to Windows - and strangely enough, I've never even worried about not running AV. I agree it is only a matter of time now before MACs are targeted and I guess I should really be looking at some AV soon.

Jeff Dyers comments at the top of this page (No 1. I believe) are indicitive of un-educated windows users who see Microsoft as the Holy Grail. Brach out a little my son and see that the grass is indeed greener on the other side. Out of all the mainstream OS's out there, I would class OSX among the top of the heap. As an Enterprise Administrator of MS products and a fully quallified MCSE I would class Windows as pretty much bottom of the pile but a necessary evil.

  • 137.
  • At 03:17 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Ash wrote:

Of course this is very smug and stupid. Typical of many MAC users to be honest, thinking they are all-powerful and invulnerable.

There may be very little in the way of viruses for MACs, and certainly nothing major yet (either because of the secure OS, or it being a waste of developers time coding for the minority - though probably both) but just because you haven't been affected yet it doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare.

It's like saying I have never been burgled, why should I lock my windows and doors?

No matter how secure you make something, someone will eventually compromise it and in my opinion as the MAC population increases, it's only a matter of time.

  • 138.
  • At 03:18 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Ed Skinner wrote:

Those people saying Mac users should have anti-virus software to stop forwarding viruses to PC users are slightly wide of the mark in my opinion. If the 90% of computers that run Windows had decent anti-virus software then the odd dodgy email from the 10% of Mac users wouldn't have the slightest effect on anyone at all.

I run OS X and XP on my Macbook. I have no anti-virus protection on my Mac (when/if a real threat develops it'll be massively publicised and I'll download ClamXAV). In the meantime, protection would be a waste of HDD space. However the moment I boot my Macbook into XP I've got anti-virus protection working constantly. I may be smug, but I'm not stupid.

I have a Mac, and got a virus on it last month. The virus was on my Windows virtual-machine, which I promptly removed and reinstalled.

As for the OS X side.. nothing!

Having been a PC user since 1989, one of the biggest reasons for me switching to a Mac last year was because I wouldn't have to suffer the constant annoyances of viruses and anti-virus software.

I've been happily surfing for over a year now on my iMac and Macbook. It's not perfect, but at least I don't have to worry about viruses.

BTW: I've tried, but I can't figure out a way to write my comment without sounding smug.

  • 140.
  • At 03:19 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

I have used Macs for 15 years and for the first ten years bought Norton Anti-Virus for Mac. It was a complete waste of money and used to cause a lot of disruption to the OS. In that time I have had one worm, about 10 years ago. When OS X came out I had to upgrade all my software. Norton could not be bothered making an OS X anti-virus product available, so I have happily not used any for 5 years, to no ill effect so far. If there suddenly is a raft of viruses, I will reconsider, but until then I will remain complacent and irresponsible.

  • 141.
  • At 03:20 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • James Stevens wrote:

Realistically, the bigger threat now-a-days is malware, not viruses, which often rely on the user to actually approve the installation - which they do, believe me - as such I would think the MAC is, in principal, just as vulnerable as the PC. This is also something you can't block in the O/S cos the user has asked for it to be installed.

I have anti-virus on my PC, but it has *NEVER* detected a virus, but the kids installed some nasty adware on their, which I've had to clean out.

We also have anti-virus on the (linux) mail server (ClamAV), but it mostly blocks Phishing stuff these days.

"I wonder how many PCs really need anti-virus software if a user takes proper precautions?" - good point, Ross, but then how many Americans wear seat belts?

Anti-Virus s/w is the airbag of the PC s/w market - its there to save you from yourself.

My experience is that (on average) MAC users are brighter than PC users, but that's just a numbers game (there are way, way more PC users).

Also I work in tech support, so tend to meet the bottom 10% :)

Most computers that have anti-virus software on it are crippled by the very software that is trying to protect it.
Apple puts out security updates and typically solve all virus problems that they encounter.
Installing anti-virus software on a Mac is like getting a vaccination for diseases that don't exist...

  • 143.
  • At 03:34 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Brian Mentor wrote:

What appalling bad taste the posting No.1 is from Jeff Dyer. First he puts down Darren Waters along with all Mac users as being technical illiterates, and not being content, goes on to insult Richard Hammond. I have used both PCs and Macs, and having acquired a working knowledge of both systems I am satisfied that Mac OSX wins hands down when it comes down to security. Perhaps Jeff Dyer would care to make a more educated and less insulting comment in any further discussions.

  • 144.
  • At 03:38 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Adam wrote:

I've used Macs for some years now, and never seen any problem.
Even when our entire suite of PCs (about 100 of them) got infected about 5 years ago - the Mac's were fine.

The only "virus" I had was part of a Macro in Word... But then again, use OpenOffice and it is no problem.

  • 145.
  • At 03:57 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • paul wrote:

I will never ever in the whole wide world get a virus on one of my computers.

It runs from a READ ONLY cdrom - its a linux ubuntu live cd. As the cd-rom is read only , nothing can change it.

Google docs looks after the files I need to store.

Perhaps a more sophisticated version of this is needed for Joe Blogs.


Mac users dribbling on about how wonderful the Mac is.

Just for the record, I've used a PC since 1990 and have NEVER had a virus either.

Just because you haven't had one doesn't mean that isn't one out there.

  • 147.
  • At 04:25 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Nick wrote:

I'm an admin for a marketing company and we have about a 50/50 environment mac and pc. I use symantec AV on the mac side of the network, but it's not so much for mac viruses. Rather, it also looks for PC based viruses and will remove those as well. Also, rarely I have seen the occasional macro virus infect MS word on the mac.

  • 148.
  • At 04:33 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Wellard wrote:

RE At 01:52 PM on 05 Mar 2008, Dominic:

How do you know you don't have any viruses since you're not running any kind of AV? In a hostile public network such as the Internet, simply knowing what you're downloading doesn't cut it. Viruses and malware just don't come packaged in executables, it also comes in using security holes, jpegs, quicktime videos, javascript, etc.

  • 149.
  • At 04:45 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • suresh wrote:

i have never had any problems with viruses or malware on my Mac.

There is something so supreme about the Mac OS X....

I pity those PC/Windows uses who have to put up with mediocrity...

  • 150.
  • At 04:47 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Farshad wrote:

Recently I installed Norton on my Mac, and honestly I am thinking to remove it because so far nothing was found and it bothers me a lot when I connect an external memory or Disk. It was an unnecessary test, at least until now.

  • 151.
  • At 04:49 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • John Payne wrote:

I too own a Mac and I do not have any anti-virus software installed. I accept there may come a time when it will be necessary but until then I will continue to bask in my smugness.

  • 152.
  • At 04:52 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Neil Skinner wrote:

I run Intego Anti Virus software on my Mac. Not so much to protect the Mac from viruses - are there any? - but to stop me inadvertently passing on something from a PC user to another PC user.

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