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157 posts

Master Geek

Topic # 30594 14-Feb-2009 13:31
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Need some advice/information about Mac's and viruses/antivirus, I don't have much experince with Mac's on a network and want to know what the industry standard is for Mac's on a network and antivirus software or virus protection? Should I install antivirus on a Mac OR do network scans on the networked Mac's OR purchase some form of security hardware?
At this stage there are 6 Mac's on the network, mostly OS X 10.4 and 10.5

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258 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 68

  Reply # 195831 14-Feb-2009 15:49
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iantivirus for the mac is free. The views on wether it is needed is much debated. I personally don't bother. What specific network issues do you want to know?

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Master Geek


  Reply # 195847 14-Feb-2009 20:45
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plod: iantivirus for the mac is free. The views on wether it is needed is much debated. I personally don't bother.

Me neither.

I've been using a mac for 12 years . I have yet to catch a virus. Even during the OS 9 days when you actually needed one.
The problem with getting a Virus on a mac today is how the operating system is set up. To make any sort of changes to the system files you need an admin password. Anything in a Users folder or the Users library folder is fair game but usually nothing of wide reaching impact is installed there. 

For a mac virus to do any damage you need to put in a password for it to run. There has been 1 case (yes 1!) of this actually happening. It was a worm that asked you to install some software to view a video codec. You would put in your password and *bang* it would alter your DNS settings so you couldn't get on the internet. Fairly easy to fix so fairly low impact.

I've also been on a macintosh mailing list for the last few years as well as checking an apple oriented web log. I haven't heard of any virus or worm figuring out a way around the whole "you need to enter an admin password" to make system changes thing. Now I do admit that my experiences may be different from someone elses but in my experience I don't think you need a virus checker on a mac.

- Hone , Often accused of Excess Verbosity

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 195857 14-Feb-2009 23:12
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I agree, I've used Macs for a long time, and am currently an Apple certified technician (ACMT).I don't have any anti-virus installed. These are some simple ideas...

1. Ensure your password is non-trivial!
2. Turn off unused services.
3. Restrict physical access to machines, if you have physical access there's no way to prevent logical access.
4. DON'T use Norton products, I can't imagine there's any Mac user that will recommend it!
5. Don't enter your Admin password if you don't know why you're being asked for it!

I also think, even if you are using anti-virus, if an actual virus hits, your virus definitions are unlikely to be up-to-date enough to know about it anyway.


157 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 195970 15-Feb-2009 23:00
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Thanks for your time & advice.
Don't have any specific Mac network problems but would like to know what the recommended/best security setting is for Airport e.g. WEP/WPA/WPA2 etc.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 195974 16-Feb-2009 01:32
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It's trival for your neighbours teenager to brute force crack WEP and WPA.

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  Reply # 198705 2-Mar-2009 09:42
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2. Turn off unused services.


Can you tell me which ones to turn off?


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