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View Full Version : New to Mac, What should I do for security/malware protection?



filipesantos
02-05-2014,
Hey friends!

I just bought my first Mac. It is an 11" Macbook air (2014). I have never owned a Mac and could use some help deciding what to do for security and malware protection.

Thank you for the support!

dekock
02-10-2014,
First off: welcome to the community, and congratulations on your choice (as that also means you will have much less to worry about security-wise than if you had gone with a Windows PC). ;)

That being said, Macs are not impervious to malware; however, OS X has some pretty nifty security measures already put in place, active out of the box at various levels, namely a malware blacklist and a system-wide binary blocking mechanism named Gatekeeper. If you wish for extra levels of security (and the occasional exception if you do need to run the odd unsigned software for some reason), you may wish to check this Apple Knowledge Base article: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5290?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

Also: while Macs are impervious to Windows malware, they may still serve as a vehicle to its inadvertent transmission by the user (and, admittedly, there are in fact some OS X trojans), so you may also wish to run a dependable, low-overhead anti-virus solution. My personal advice? Stay clear of big, brand-name AV packages and go for the über-lean, donation-ware (and F/OSS based) ClamXav: http://www.clamxav.com

I might as well add that keeping a Time Machine backup always current is a smart move; restoring your system is as easy as using the recovery partition on your Mac and selecting the latest backup as a restore source (you can still access your backups through the Finder on other Macs if you wish to restore individual files). As long as you never catch some hard-drive-wiping/corrupting virus, you should always be fine…

Finally, as a bonus: while it’s also true that Macs are pretty low-maitenance, some cache-dumping and other maintenance routines may preserve your system’s performance. And while OS X is much more locked-down, settings-wise, than Windows, it’s way more customizable than Apple makes it seem (Apple usually keeps a lot of preference flags hidden from the UI, which you can activate through Terminal commands or dedicated, user-friendlier tools). For both maintenance tasks and UI/UX customization, the software packages by Titanium Software (a french developer) are definitely the way to go: http://www.titanium.free.fr . While on this page, I should also stress this (and I can’t really stress it enough): stay absolutely clear from the scammy, aggressive-marketing buffoons from ZeoBit (creators of MacKeeper; you may have heard of it, the ads are all over the web… as are the fake reviews planted by its very developers. For shame!).

Good luck with your Mac adventure and, as Apple says in their packaging, enjoy! :)

dekock
02-15-2014,
Thanks so much for the info and extra guidance joaofrgomes! It is very much appreciated. I look forward to finally switching from a PC, and you have helped to confirm that I have made the right choice.

Have a great day buddy!

Abhay11
02-20-2014,
Hey,
I just figured out a problem with my mac. Whenever i use pendrive (transcend) or hard disk (seagate) on my mac – scanned with Clamxav – transferred data – deleted all files – when used in other system (other than mac) shows some hidden files (which i think are viruses)
. Any idea?
I have already scanned mac using Clamxav still facing this issue..can you please help me out with this?