General Question

Emmy1234's avatar

Need some sort of virus scan for my mac. What is available and the best?

Asked by Emmy1234 (878 points ) October 28th, 2013

Haven’t had this Mac long and don’t know much about it yet. Something is going on with Safari it keeps freezing up. Is there any free virus scan for Macs?

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9 Answers

Smitha's avatar

Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition is probably the best choice for most users.

johnpowell's avatar

A virus scan probably isn’t your best bet here. OS X includes a virus/malware remover that you never see that catches the major things. There just isn’t a lot out there trying to infect you.

Did you buy the Mac new? How long ago? Do you know what the specs of the machine are and what OS it runs?

DeanV's avatar

I was going to write something about how you don’t need a virus scan here, but I think @johnpowell will likely cover it for me.

Clear your cache, history, saved passwords, turn the machine off and on again, and see if the problem persists. If it does, look into software update and see if there are any, and then as a very last resort scan it. But IMO installing crap like Sophos onto your computer will slow it down a hell of a lot more than a virus.

johnpowell's avatar

Oh, and can we define freeze? Does it just pause for a second and recover or does the application crash?

You could always install Firefox and see if that has the same problem.

Smitha's avatar

I too agree that you do NOT need any anti-virus software to protect your Mac. However, if you choose to install anyway, Sophos is one of the higher rated AV software by users.

bolwerk's avatar

No other applications are freezing?

I concur with @DeanV‘s skepticism about the virus. A smart virus doesn’t want you to know it’s there, and is unlikely to deliberately freeze you. It could be some strange problem with Safari, but the safe money is on a configuration problem or hardware problem – maybe the latter if other applications are having problems. I never used Sophos, but I see no reason not to check for the virus, but it’s probably not the problem.

I don’t know if I totally agree with blanket statements that you don’t need a virus scanner. That depends on you. Normally you don’t, on any modern platform, but that depends on how you use the computer and how many other people use the computer and how they use it. Macs don’t have the security by obscurity “immunity” they used to have – nowadays they have that sweet combination of ubiquity and a largely stupid userbase that Windows traditionally had and still has, so they are being targeted by virus makers.

Emmy1234's avatar

@johnpowell and @bolwerk – sorry my stellar internet connection was down. I guess the whole computer freezes but it only happens when I’m on the net. I have to shut the thing down completely and restart with the power button. It wont let me shut it down from the screen becuse I can’t get it away from the net. I just did the update and thats when I noticed this happening. You need some sort of virus protection for macs don’t you? They aren’t immune to the viruses just less likely to get them right?

Emmy1234's avatar

@johnpowell – I bought it new about 3 months ago I can tell you the specs if you can tell me where to find that info at because I don’t remeber what all I had put on it.

bolwerk's avatar

@Emmy1234: probably these days, if you know what you’re doing and what others are doing, you don’t need persistent virus protection on any modern platform (even Windows). I certainly wouldn’t discourage checking though. At worst, you rule out a problem.

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