Antivirus Software

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Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Antivirus Software

Postby Kilkis » Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:16 am

For those who like to make sure their computer is as safe as possible, Computer Shopper has published the results of its Annual Test. As usual Kapersky is the best paid for version. Avast Free is now the best free version and is much improved over previous versions. As pointed out in the article, it does try to push you towards the paid-for version or paid-for add-ons but its not hard to just close the pop-ups.

Warwick

SatCure
Posts: 1920
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Location: Apokoronas

Re: Antivirus Software

Postby SatCure » Thu Dec 29, 2016 1:30 pm

I'm now approaching my 30th year of using Apple Macs without any form of AV software. So my advice to Mac users is that you don't need it - yet.

Many have tried to convince me that it ought to be necessary - just in case. (They were telling me this 20 years ago.) However, most of the Mac users I know, who have installed AV software, have ended up with problems (especially slow-downs and crashes) and have eventually uninstalled it.

Of course, with any computer, you have to be sensible. Don't click on unknown or suspicious links, etc. Don't install anything without knowing what it is. Don't type your password on "automatic pilot".

Danny
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Location: Vamos

Re: Antivirus Software

Postby Danny » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:04 pm

You've been lucky then Satcure, I've had a Mac for many years I think about ten or eleven and until a couple of years ago had never been affected with a virus and then wham one got me, whilst many Mac users always think they can not be affected they can, go on the forums and you'll see more and more Mac users saying this, my advice is get an anti virus whilst Kaspersky is one of the best there are a few as good maybe better and cheaper. Look on the web sites advising which are best and you'll find Kaspersky always recommended and usually in the top two or three but a couple of other sites place other anti virus manufacturers higher than them and cheaper.

Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Antivirus Software

Postby Kilkis » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:57 pm

A lot depends on how they do the test and also the results do seem to vary from year to year.

A few years ago AVG was rated the best free one. Now it is Avast and AVG has dropped back. I can remember when McAfee had the top paid for rating but a couple of years later it was amongst the worst.

Computer Shopper uses a third party firm to carry out the tests, although it is part of the Dennis publishing group, and they rate the software on how it protects against viruses, if it reacts to genuine software installations and the impact on performance. It also breaks down the protection section. Three points are scored for not allowing a virus to run. Two points for neutralising a running threat and one point for allowing a virus to run but then neutralising it. It awards -5 points if it allows a virus to compromise the PC. Obviously that can lead to different results from a firm that just rates it on stopping viruses.

In SatCure's world there are never any Mac viruses, Danny. Never have been; never will be. It is a physical impossibility.

Warwick

George
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Location: Scotland

Re: Antivirus Software

Postby George » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:55 pm

He's right you know, there were only the 5000 new viruses written specifically for Mac last year - what could possibly go wrong?

SatCure
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Re: Antivirus Software

Postby SatCure » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:35 am

Now I'm worried. Please provide a link to information about any Mac virus.
(Definition: a virus is software that downloads and installs itself and self-replicates to infect other computers.)

I think what you are discussing is simply malware - "trojan horses", "ransomeware" and the like - which require a certain amount of carelessness and/or gullibility on the part of the user. In all cases, the user has to take an action to install the malware himself. A typical example was a "ransomeware" exploit that was combined with "Transmission" software in March 2016.

For the Mac, ensuring "immunity" is relatively simple: don't bypass the built-in protection (Gatekeeper, etc.) Don't install Flash or Java. Don't install any software not approved by Apple. Keep your software up to date. Don't open unknown files in "Word" and similar. Don't type your password without knowing exactly why you are doing so. Avoid p0rn sites!
Finally, you should join a Mac User email group that discusses such matters in order to get a timely warning.

See http://www.thesafemac.com/mmg-threats/
It doesn't cover the last year but I haven't heard of anything particularly sinister, recently (other than the one mentioned above).

Here's an explanation of a typical malware exploit that requires a modicum of user stupidity or at least ignorance:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202225

Those exploits that have arisen have been killed fairly promptly by Apple updates. Such updates invariably appear before any AV software includes a specific remedy.

Kilkis
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Re: Antivirus Software

Postby Kilkis » Sat Dec 31, 2016 11:33 am

So there is no misunderstanding, all the software in the review I referenced in the first post on this thread is Anti-Malware software and deals with many different kinds of security threats, not just viruses.

Martin implies that you have to be a complete moron to allow any other form of malware to infect your machine. Sadly that is not true. Yahoo have admitted that 1.3 million internet accounts have been hacked. I believe it is more and dates back well before the ones they have owned up to. Is there anybody on your contact list with a Yahoo or btinternet email address? The next time you receive an email from them is it really from them? If not, what might it contain? As an example, you can infect a computer with malware hidden as a single pixel image in an email and you don't need to carry out any action at all, other than open the email, for it to infect a computer. I have no idea if this technique will work on a Mac or not but it illustrates that techniques exist that do not rely on the user doing anything silly. While it is possible to prevent most threats by configuring a computer correctly, is every owner of a Mac as computer savvy as SatCure? As Danny points out, there are real threats out there and intelligent Mac users can get hit by them.

Warwick

Jean
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Re: Antivirus Software

Postby Jean » Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:53 pm

Yahoo have admitted that 1.3 million internet accounts have been hacked

I think that it's billlion, not million See http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/14/techn ... .html?_r=0

Kilkis
Posts: 9576
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Antivirus Software

Postby Kilkis » Sat Dec 31, 2016 2:29 pm

Well three orders of magnitude error is pretty good for an astronomer. Must remember to check figures before posting and not rely on memory. Thanks for correcting that, Jean.

The earliest hack they are admitting to is in 2012 but I have evidence that accounts were hacked before that and harvested email addresses used for both spam and scam emails. Also, they never, or at least rarely, seem to mention in the articles the other companies that have been compromised because Yahoo hosts their emails. Btinternet is one example that I know of but I bet there are others. People I have contacted in the past to warn them that their email account had been hacked were completely unaware of it so Yahoo certainly didn't bother to tell their customers what had happened back then. Protecting reputation more important than protecting customers?

Warwick

George
Posts: 239
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:59 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Antivirus Software

Postby George » Sat Dec 31, 2016 8:11 pm

Nobody really bothered much about writing viruses for the mac os due to the limited number of users and market share. As this has increased then the threat increases with it. Mac systems are coming under more attacks as time goes on and the worry is that this trend will continue. I do not run anti virus software on my Linux system but am having to re appraise that decision as well. Bottom line is that no one is safe online and to pretend otherwise is naive at best.

sorry, forgot the link:http://www.ibtimes.com/nope-apple-computers-arent-more-secure-windows-theyre-just-attacked-less-2334220

Danny
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:37 pm
Location: Vamos

Re: Antivirus Software

Postby Danny » Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:43 am

SatCure , being an IT type guy I would have thought it very simple for you to qualify that mac computers are attacked and infected because even if you use some 'common sense ' you are still at risk. For anyone not having anti virus protection for a minimal outlay is simply asking for trouble.

SatCure
Posts: 1920
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:57 pm
Location: Apokoronas

Re: Antivirus Software

Postby SatCure » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:50 pm

I'm a member of a Mac users email group. If there's any problem, someone will send an email and we'll all receive it within a minute.
In contrast, you'd be lucky if your Anti-Malware is updated within a week.

As you obviously don't believe me, here's what an American Attorney (mac expert) has just written to the group:-

Here is what I've been recommending recently...

There has been a scourge of adware lately. Adware isn't at all malicious or dangerous, but it is very annoying. To deal with adware, download and run this free product occasionally (it's not interactive, you have to run it manually):

MalwareBytes (free)
https://www.malwarebytes.com/mac-download/
will check for, and remove if necessary, all known adware. Don't be taken in by their advertising; this is not a solution for dealing with malware.

Now, I know that some Mac users are really worried about malware, despite what others tell them. I also know that they want something to deal with malware that is free. So, if, at any time, you are concerned that you might be infected with a virus (and I can tell you that you more than likely will *never* be infected with a virus, at least not a Macintosh virus), download this free product and do a scan:

Avira for Mac (free)
https://www.avira.com/en/free-antivirus-mac
is a competent free anti-virus program. And at least it doesn't install malware of its own, like Avast does.

Whether or not Avira finds anything, after running it and having it fix anything if necessary, **UNINSTALL IT**. It is not good to have anti-virus software continually installed and running on your Macintosh. Anti-virus software can, and usually does, cause some really nasty problems of its own. Here are instructions on how to uninstall Avira:
<https://answers.avira.com/en/question/how-to-uninstall-avira-free-antivirus-for-mac-9749>

How often do you need to run Avira? I'd say never. However, I know that some users get paranoid, and they have to prove to themselves that whatever problem they are experiencing isn't due to a virus. So, there you go, Avira is a free product that will allow you to prove to yourself that you don't have a virus on your Mac. (Don't be misled by self-serving reports from anti-virus software that something that it finds is dangerous. You may have one or more viruses that arrived attached to e-mail messages. But they are Windows viruses that can't run and are completely benign on a Macintosh.)


So far, as I stated, I haven't been bothered by any form of malware or adware (and adware is just a nuisance - not a threat) so I won't be installing anything soon. Apple, in any case, are pretty responsive when it comes to OS security updates and they'll probably update the OS before the Anti-Malware companies update their software.

As for Yahoo! and other free email services, you get what you pay for. I wouldn't use them. They have uneducated masses using them and are prime targets. I strongly recommend avoiding the likes of Yahoo!, Gmail, Hotmail, et al if you are concerned about security. They all harvest your data, purportedly to make adverts "more relevant" but probably for more nefarious reasons, too. I'll get my tin hat! :)


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