Mac, anti-virus and ad-ware

  Gems_ca 04:31 25 Nov 2008

Hi, I just bought my first Apple Mac. Brilliant machine, although it takes some getting used to.

Anyway, the sales guy told me that I wouldn't need any anti-virus software. I guess I believed him, because I didn't buy any, but I'm wondering...

Would any of you suggest buying anti-virus protection anyway? And what about Ad- + spy-ware?

Or are these machines really as secure as this guy told me?

  MAJ 11:09 25 Nov 2008

Mac-heads will tell you that there's no need for any protection, in fact they'll tell you it ad nauseum and then they'll tell you it again in case you missed it the first/nTH time. The fact is, there are Mac viruses but as I've never used a Mac, I can't advise how they are dealt with.

  Belatucadrus 11:23 25 Nov 2008

While there is much less chance of getting a virus with a MAC, it's more secure than Windows and numbers wise still a niche product so gets targeted far less by the idiots.
But unless you can guarantee that you only ever communicate with other MAC users, there's always the chance an unprotected MAC can pass on infected files and in doing so become as popular with Windows users as a plague of lice in the armpit. Fortunately there are a couple of freebies worth a try if you feel the need iAntiVirus from PCtools click here and ClamXav click here

  Yogie 15:52 25 Nov 2008

Hi Gems_ca
I own a MacBookPro17 over one year now and I also bought an I-Mac 20inch 3 Month ago. I don't have any Anti virus installed, never been infected or had a problem, maybe I'm lucky also a few friends with macs no problem. If you concerned then I would advice to get a free one.
and to MAJ, thanks for the Mac-heads, you know, as an Engineer and designer i'm looking for the best finish and reliability and only Apple is able to give me that, but end of the day ,many people like to buy one Mac but can't afford it, is not negative just fact of life.

  MAJ 16:14 25 Nov 2008

As an ex engineer and ex designer part of my requirement is also finish, but mostly it's reliability, easily upgradeable, ease of use, aquisition of parts etc. all for a reasonable price. I found Apple didn't offer all that so I went for my Windows box, it has yet to let me down. But this is an old boring argument and usually dosn't go anywhere.

  Gems_ca 16:59 25 Nov 2008

So, I get that I should be okay with regard to viruses. does the same go for Ad and spyware then? Just wanting to confirm.

  Belatucadrus 02:28 26 Nov 2008

The free version of PCTools iAntiVirus also claims to protect from Spyware. More details on the program main page click here
Not owning a MAC I have no idea how effective it may be, though their Windows antivirus seems pretty good.
As has been said, while you personally are probably OK for viruses as MAC specific viruses are a bit thin on the ground. Being unprotected is still a risk as it only takes the one. Also being a potential vector for Windows viruses could leave you the typhoid Annie of the computer world, personally OK, but spreading nasties to any Windows equipped correspondents and friends. A good way of getting your e-mail address added to peoples block lists.

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