It’s one thing to practice safe sex. It’s something else to practice safe computing. Is your Mac locked down, secure, and malware free?
Would you use a Mac malware protection app if it was free? There are Mac apps that detect, quarantine, and delete Mac malware to keep your Mac safe. If they’re free and they work, what’s not to like? What else can you do to protect your Mac?
Protection From Invisible Threats
I’m sure you’ve read the headlines over the past few years. Macs attacked. Macs hacked. Mac virus on the loose. Macs less secure than Windows. Who says such things?
The people who sell software to protect computers.
Somehow, the business model for Mac anti-virus apps just got turned upside down.
The problem here is the name. It’s anti-virus software for a line of computers that doesn’t really have viruses. Why bother? Because viruses exist for other platforms (Windows, I’m lookin’ at you!) and Macs can become carriers.
And, there’s still the threat from Trojans and worms. Macs can get Trojans, too. What you want is some way to find those nasty, pesky, despicable bugs that can infect your Mac and squash them, bash them, annihilate them, and give them dirty looks.
Why Not Use Something Else?
If virus infection bothers you, there’s also ClamXav (for anti-virus) which is open source (as in free). Even these guys know there are no viruses for the Mac, but recognize the need to scan anyway, if anything, to make the world a better, cleaner place.
If you send files back and forth to Windows PC users, having some form of protection might be worthwhile. Your chances of getting your Mac infected are slim, but forwarding an infected file to someone else isn’t good form.
Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition (I just hate saying that) sits on your Mac and scans for known malware.
When it finds something, you get an alert, the potentially offending file is quarantined. You can customize the scan, right-click to scan a specific file, and maybe sleep better at night knowing you’ve helped make the bits of the world a little safer.
The SAVMHE installs easily and, unlike some Windows PC anti-virus apps, seemed to run unobtrusively in the background, without causing a notable slowdown on my Mac. It’s free, probably worth a try and trial, but I question the business model. It’s free software to scan for viruses which don’t exist. At least, yet.
For a little more detail on Mac malware, read my friend Kate MacKenzie’s primer on Mac security, Danger. Your Mac can be hacked. Again. How?