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Fending off viruses

Published on March 8, 2012 by in Uncategorized

Huh, what? The Mac has no viruses. What’s the point of this post?

Well yes, unlike some other operating systems, Mac OS X is fairly virus-free – there are some proof-of-concept viruses out there, and some not particularly nice hacks etc, but not the constant bombardment that goes on elsewhere. But – and there had to be a but – the pretty, shiny, iPhone and iPad candy released by Apple over the last few years has increased the number of Macs sold as well.  That makes Macs a bit more tempting as a target; the operating system is still reasonably secure, and you’ve all made sure that the firewall is running, right?

Nevertheless, on the basis that prevention is better than cure, and even with the security of backups (post on this coming soon!) you should think about putting some anti-virus software in place.  It doesn’t hurt, and it can stop you passing on some of the Office-type macro nasties that might come in (these don’t generally affect Macs, but can be passed on if you forward the document, which could be a little anti-social).

Software to look at:

  • Sophos: updated regularly, and doesn’t get in my way, from a reputable company. Irritatingly difficult to buy a single-user licence for (there’s a free home version, but the licence agreement doesn’t permit use in business.  Well, it tries to exclude that use. I have some nitpicks over the wording, but that’s clearly what it’s trying to do. If you use a Mac at home, get this though).
  • Norton: I haven’t used Norton in years, so can’t comment from personal experience.  Anyone out there use it?
  • McAfee: again, not something I’ve used in years, so can’t comment – let me know what you think if you use it.

If I get any comments on these programs (or any others that people use), I’ll update this.


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