OS X “Virus” Hysteria

At the risk of unleashing a massive virus attack on University High School, let me admit that we stopped installing antivirus software on our Macintosh computers three years ago. Our copy of Norton at the time requires root privileges to install correctly and incessantly bugged (pun not intended) users with requests to authenticate in order to update virus definitions. Add to that hassle the fact that Norton never, ever identified a single virus for us, probably because none existed at the time.

The responses of the press and grassroots sources differ widely on the impact of new worms that target iChat and Bluetooth users. So far, it appears to cause more trouble to have antivirus protection than not.

I sincerely hope that we do not end up either wasting loads of time maintaining Mac antivirus software that does not work properly or responding to virus/worm attacks that cause significant damage. At least it is easier to re-image a Mac system than Windows — let’s hope we don’t reach that point.

The up side is that we recently bought Computer Associates antivirus software, that appears to offer both a Mac version and an easier update system than some other products. Proof will hit the pudding in June.

One comment

  1. Ben Casnocha says:

    Since you/we installed Norton on my computer, it’s been a total pain, attempting to start up at start-up every day and failing, making me click "ok" each morning. Try to turn it off but it’s so fucked up I gave up. I do run virus scan but always have to donwload latest definitions via root which is a pain. keep me posted on what you do with other software.