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Anti-virus?
Posted by: Dik2
Date: May 29, 2021 09:31AM
A friend asked what anti-virus she should get for her Mac. I Told her none was needed for Macs. Her husband is freaking out, wants to see it in writing. Any references?
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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 29, 2021 11:06AM
For the typical user, doing manual scans periodically with the free-for-personal-use Malwarebytes is appropriate.

For people who indiscriminately download Flash installers at every prompt to do so, the paid version of Malwarebytes that does automatic scans is appropriate.

For households with kids, a product such as Bitdefender or Sophos is appropriate.

For Macs in mixed enterprise environments or government, it's appropriate to use enterprise antivirus such as Symantec Endpoint Protection. (Not "Norton" and god-willing never McAfee or Webroot.)

Not because of viruses. There are no "viruses" per se on the Mac in the wild. Because of trojans and other types of malware, and in the case of enterprise machines, to avoid being the middle-man spreading PC viruses and ransomware via email or corporate servers.

Wanna see Apple's opinion on the matter?
[www.theverge.com]

“If you took Mac security techniques and applied them to the iOS ecosystem, with all those devices, all that value, it would get run over to a degree dramatically worse than is already happening on the Mac,” Federighi said in the testimony. “And as I say, today, we have a level of malware on the Mac that we don’t find acceptable and is much worse than iOS.”



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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Dik2
Date: May 29, 2021 11:20AM
Thank You!!
Info relayed.
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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Dik2
Date: May 29, 2021 11:23AM
Oh yea, what about all those cookie notices?
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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Dik2
Date: May 29, 2021 11:27AM
And does the paid version prevent ransomware on Macs?
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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 29, 2021 11:33AM
Quote
Dik2
Oh yea, what about all those cookie notices?

Click "Accept" or don't accept as you will. Most of the time, your answer doesn't actually make a difference. Use a script-blocker to hide them if they really annoy you, or kill sticky.



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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 29, 2021 11:44AM
Quote
Dik2
And does the paid version prevent ransomware on Macs?

Malwarebytes?

It catches a lot of Mac malware, including ransomware, but nothing is 100%. Look up "zero day" some time.

Ransomware is rare on Macs, but does exist.

The only reliable protection against ransomware is to have good backups.

I mentioned the 1, 2, 3 rule in a previous thread: One "local" backup to a separate device such as a clone on an external hard drive, one local backup on another device such as a network Time Machine backup, and the third is an off-site or cloud backup to protect against loss of data if you lose your home to a disaster.

But if all you feel that you can do is Time Machine, that will do in a pinch.



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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Dik2
Date: May 29, 2021 12:02PM
OK, thanks some more.
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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 29, 2021 01:01PM
Of course he would. IM going to make some broad @#$%&umptions -- but her husband is clearly a life long windows user. Where every single time something went wrong with his PC -- the first and pretty much the only diagnoses is/was "sounds like you have a virus, is your software up to date?..." and then a mad scramble to check. I know these people.

Sarcany's experience is far great than many people here, because of the volume of macs he works with, and I certainly do not want to minimize it. Its sound. Especially the backups. Its the same principle I use, and when my main drive went down I had zero anxiety over it because I have 3 backups. IMHO, TM is plenty for a normal home user.

This is sound advice as well: For the typical user, doing manual scans periodically with the free-for-personal-use Malwarebytes is appropriate.

Im assuming the husband, if he were to follow this suggestion, would want to run it far more than "periodically" And any time (if ever) her mac has a hiccup, even with the knowledge that viruses/malware is non-existant on macs, his first question will be "did you run malware software?" -- cause that's all he knows.

But here in our small 4 person household we have never -- and never will -- install or use any virus or malware software. In fact, I have never used anything since my first mac in 1989. When I started my studio 5 years later, with a handful of macs... none then either. Got my wife her first mac in 2006... none. Kids have been using macs since day one of they computer using days... none. Never an issue.

I consult for maybe 50 designers, setting up systems, networks, backups -- usually just single or maybe a small cluster of 3-4 peeps. Again, just my opinion based on 30 years of doing this -- but I never suggest virus/malware software.

Tens of thousands of articles on this. And we have this same discussion about every 6 months, and my answer is always the same. Skip it.

Of course, MB is free, and running it won't do any harm, so if it gives the hubby piece of mind, pfft. Maybe after months of using it with zero issues it will just be forgotten.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: May 29, 2021 01:27PM
Great advice and comments, Sarcany & jdc.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2021 01:28PM by Article Accelerator.
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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Lew Zealand
Date: May 29, 2021 01:40PM
FYI for more data points anecdotes:

1) in our corp environment we just ditched AV (Symantec EP) for managed Macs as it's never done anything detectable other than slow down the computers or heat up the laptops on occasion. Didn't use it for >5 years, nothing. Then used it for >5 years, nothing. Not using it anymore now. I personally never used it on my managed Mac- installed it then turned it off.

*Remember that Apple already has built-in Antivirus*

1a) also in our corp environment we ditched SEP years ago on the managed PCs and just use Windows' built-in MS Defender. We haven't had any issues with it though one machine did get ransomware-infected through an MS Office macro, which SEP wouldn't have blocked any more than MSD. We have 4x daily backups so that was just an inconvenience.

*Remember that Windows already has built-in Antivirus*

2) in our home environment, we have 4 regularly used PCs and a number of Macs which only have MS's and Apple's built-in AV on them and have never had a problem. We have school age kids on them much of the day and I block nothing at the router. No issues.

2a) about 3 years ago Chrome on the kids' PCs did get bogged down in Chrome-specific malware after about 4-6 months of use but that was easily cleared out and I recommended using Firefox. They did but slowly moved back to Chrome and no issues since then. It seems Chrome has cleaned up their act.
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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Ca Bob
Date: May 29, 2021 03:35PM
Sarcany: What is the safe or appropriate way to use Malwarbytes?
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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 29, 2021 05:18PM
Quote
Ca Bob
Sarcany: What is the safe or appropriate way to use Malwarbytes?

Install it, click the appropriate buttons when prompted to set it up for free/personal use. Give it "full disk access" in the Security & Privacy options if you're running a recent version of the macOS.

The little "M" icon sits in your menu bar. When your Mac is unusually slow or you see a lot of unexpected pop-ups in your browser, click the icon in the menu bar to run a scan.

If you find that it's finding a lot of malware, or you want to support the maker's efforts, upgrade to the pro version which will scan active files and do scheduled scans of your drive.



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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 29, 2021 05:19PM
Quote
Ca Bob
Sarcany: What is the safe or appropriate way to use Malwarbytes?

Double click the icon and hit "scan".

There are only 14 day trials, or $40/year. Unless you are super concerned about malware cause you are torrenting all day... meh.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 29, 2021 06:19PM
Quote
jdc
Unless you are super concerned about malware cause you are torrenting all day... meh.

I come across 5-6 Macs with malware every week.



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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 29, 2021 06:38PM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
jdc
Unless you are super concerned about malware cause you are torrenting all day... meh.

I come across 5-6 Macs with malware every week.

It must be the volume you see. Ive *never* see malware on any of my macs or my clients.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Rolando
Date: May 30, 2021 09:37AM
How about "Don't use the Admin user for daily use"?



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Re: Anti-virus?
Posted by: Acer
Date: May 30, 2021 09:39AM
I temporarily installed a trial of Avast on my Mac in the wake of a (thankfully ineffective) ransomware attack on my home network QNAP. It bogged things down something awful with its live scanning. After a week or two of not finding any problems, I ripped it back out.
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