MacMost Now 561: How To Protect Your Mac From Malware

You can protect your Mac from malware by following three simple rules. First, keep your Mac up-to-date. Second, only download from sites you trust. Third, stay informed. This videos shows you how to accomplish each of these steps.



Also see the MacMost Mac Virus and Malware Information Center.

Comments: 29 Responses to “MacMost Now 561: How To Protect Your Mac From Malware”

    Jimbo
    8 years ago

    Avast!anti-virus (which I do acknowledge as being the best for Windows PCs) is on a social engineering campaign trumpeting what they percieve as a neccessary need for Mac owners to install their Beta Mac anti-virus program. However, they cant seem to be able to differentiate the difference between a virus and malware. What I dont get is why now? Is it because of MacDefender? So now a big flame war has erupted between Mac and PC users. I guess the more things change, the more, well, you know.

    Gary Mencimer
    8 years ago

    Great video about checking for Apple Software Updates.
    I am an advocate of making my user account a “Standard Account” and not an “Administrator Account”. As a result, even though I have “check for updates daily” selected OS 10.6.7 does not. This is not a problem for me, because I follow most of the sites you recommend in your video – so I know when Apple releases a software update. Interestingly the malware signatures seem to be updating automatically. I thought that would have been an issue.
    I hope, OS 10.7 (Lion) changes the parameters for automatically checking for software updates from the Standard Account.
    I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on Users not having Admin privileges.

      8 years ago

      I’m not a fan of that technique. I don’t see any advantage to being a non-admin if you really are the admin user. I only use standard accounts for “other people” like kids who are using the same computer. Otherwise, it gets in the way and really offers no extra protection.

    Mary Jo
    8 years ago

    How can I get the information in this video (in writing)?
    There were a couple of things I would like to check, but it went by too fast.

    Vicki B
    8 years ago

    What if you can’t afford to keep it updated. Like say you can’t afford to get iTunes ’11. I have two jobs, but I STILL can’t afford every single updated program.

      8 years ago

      It isn’t about buying new versions of software. It is about keeping versions that you have up-to-date. Run Software Update. Run Adobe Updater (if you have Adobe stuff). Things like that.

    Vicki B
    8 years ago

    I guess I should listen to what he says, the guy I know who’s a system’s analyst. But he once told me I don’t really need anti-virus, whatever that is. I can’t remember why, but I remember having a PC, and I didn’t understand how one system could need virus protection while the other doesn’t.
    I could be wrong about what he said, but that’s how I remember it.
    Note: He doesn’t like when I misremember information and then repeat to other people who know about computers, that’s why I’m saying I could be remembering it wrong.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    8 years ago

    I have Mac OS X Version 10.6.8 . I had a hotmail account, and i must point out i have never had any trouble since i joined. Then Problem, back end of June i kept getting these emails from the Apple Forum site. I checked it out,and sure enough the site was genuine,but the emails kept coming. I tried about five different avenues to sort this out, no go! I was sick of keep logging on just to delete these emails. Someone pointed out that this was Spam. I left Hotmail has you can see buy my email address. I have just watched your two videos,and it`s got me baffled. Is there a way of getting rid of this Spam. I am new to all this.

      8 years ago

      It sounds like you may have simply signed up to get updates from Apple discussions. All you need to do is change your preferences with your account there to stop getting those emails.

    Yogesh Mohan
    8 years ago

    Hi Gary, I am a new Mac user and have found your videos very insightful. So thanks! Anyway, can you make a video about the security features in Lion (the new as well as the old ones) what they do and how to configure them? Thanks!

    Yogesh Mohan
    8 years ago

    Hi Gary, Yogesh again. I almost forgot. Can you make an updated video about the security features in the new version of Safari as well if you haven’t already? Thanks!

      8 years ago

      Which features are you interested in? The idea of “security” is a big one. The basics are the same between Lion and SL, but there are some new things. Not sure if that is a good topic for a video — I like to do “how to” as much as I can. I video on “Lion security” might be too vague. Maybe you have a more specific idea?
      As for Safari, I recommend just using things as set, except for “download safe files automatically” which you should turn off.

    Allen Cox
    8 years ago

    Hi Gary, I am thinking of purchasing Apple’s Airport Extreme Base Station. But I noticed that it only comes with a NAT Firewall and not a SPI Firewall (stateful packet inspection) unlike most router’s which do I believe come with both. So if I use the Apple router, will I still be safe behind a NAT Firewall? From say Hackers, etc.

      8 years ago

      I would consult a firewall expert for a real answer. I don’t know much about either type of firewall. If you concerns are that specific, you must have some very important work to protect — so I would definitely consult an expert.

        Allen Cox
        8 years ago

        Thanks for the tip, Gary. Now one last question for you. Do you use the Airport Extreme Base Station? If yes, have you ever had any security problems with it?

    Simon Should
    8 years ago

    I keep all of the 3rd party software (MS Office 2011 for Mac, Java and Adobe Flash) on my Mac updated as well as the Mac itself. But I’ve heard from several hardcore Mac users that the Mac can still get infected with Viruses/Malware, etc if you use any of these 3 applications and that I should consider using Anti-virus software for my Mac. Thing is though they didn’t get into specifics and I’m actually quite niave about this sort of stuff. So my question to you is am I at risk of infection from the using these applications and should I use AV software? I really would your take on this, Gary.

      8 years ago

      Office, Java and Flash? No. There are currently no threats that are transmitted to Macs using any of this 3rd party software.

    Inchan Song
    8 years ago

    I have a Macbook Pro and use Airport Extreme Base Station as my router. I have the NAT Firewall built into the router on and the Firewall within OX Lion on as well. Some experienced MAC users have said to me that if I have the NAT Firewall within AEBS on then I don’t need the one in Lion on. What is your take on this? Aren’t I safer by having both firewalls on or is there some sort of conflict between both?

      8 years ago

      I’d say that you don’t need both. If traffic can’t come in on a port past the router, then it is redundant to stop it at your computer level too.

    Teri Polo
    8 years ago

    Will the firewalls in the Airport Extreme Base Station and/or OS X Lion block Mac related Malware which has not yet been patched by Apple? Or do firewalls not do this sort of thing? I ask because I am new to this whole security thing.

      8 years ago

      Firewalls don’t really do that. They are usually used for protecting yourself from a direct attack from a hacker — a whole different thing. That’s much more rare than simply getting malware (downloading a trojan). They can provide some security benefits against malware, such as not letting the malware call out to servers to get instructions. But in general malware gets in through the same way that you surf the web and do other things, so a firewall is not blocking that.

    Steve Kress
    8 years ago

    I am currently running Lion on my IMAC and run software updates weekly. My kids use the IMAC daily. What if they download and install some software that has a virus or malware? How will I know? Is there any software out there I can use just to check and see if there are any viruses or malware on my IMAC?

      8 years ago

      I would turn on parental controls for the user accounts that your kids use if you don’t trust them. You can prevent them from installing anything at all, so you don’t have to worry.

    Win
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary, Do you have any thoughts on this trojan recently reported in an article? I turned Java off as recommended (until and if I need it in the future). Article:
    http://goo.gl/nS4cA

    Win
    7 years ago

    Thanks Gary. I see that Apple released a patch on April 3. An antivirus SW company was reporting large numbers of infections. I can’t help feeling skeptical when no one without a financial incentive (to report large numbers) had such a large estimate.

      7 years ago

      I know what you mean. And how many of those infected simply removed it (it is easy to remove).

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