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Buy mac solely for security?

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nukenorman    44

Hi I am thinking about switching to Mac. My main reason would be for security. I only visit legit websites on my WIndows laptop but every once in awhile I get pop ups from Sophos Antivirus that it blocked an attack. It is scary seeing as I do not visit any unusual websites and just thinking about switching to a mac over it.

Do you get these kind of warnings on your antivirus programs on Mac OS X?

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shockz    5,143
Posted (edited)

getspopcorn.gif

 

- In before security through obscurity.

- In before macs aren't secure at all and the citations of 2 or 3 exploits that require user elevation.

 

Macs are a pretty secure platform for every day computer use. You don't need to bother with a virus scanner, especially if you're a responsible downloader. But Windows isn't insecure either, stay patched and don't download stupid things. If you're buying a mac for the sake of feeling secure, it's probably a waste of money.

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Brandon H    2,520

it's not that Macs are more secure; more that they're less targeted compared to windows because the people pushing these malicious codes know Windows is more popular

 

more and more malicious scripts/exploits have been popping up not only on OSX but Linux as well in the past couple years; so while yes you'll be less likely to get hacked for now, it won't be long before all OSs are in the same boat.

Heck not even Android is secure; it's almost in a worse state than Windows when you think about it...

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+warwagon    12,605
35 minutes ago, Brandon H said:

it's not that Macs are more secure; more that they're less targeted compared to windows because the people pushing these malicious codes know Windows is more popular

 

What I always tell people "It's not that Mac's can't get infected, it's just that they don't enough about the Mac to create one. They don't want to target the 20% they want to target the 90% The few infections that did get released got quite a few people because nobody was running Av.

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Riva    1,076
13 minutes ago, warwagon said:

What I always tell people "It's not that Mac's can't get infected, it's just that they don't enough about the Mac to create one. They don't want to target the 20% they want to target the 90% The few infections that did get released got quite a few people because nobody was running Av.

Impressive math! :p

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Nick H.    9,317

It's a silly idea to think that any OS is locked down. Microsoft has their faults, Linux and OS X have theirs. The question is, "if I were going to attack a system, what would I go for?"

 

Microsoft (Windows) is the biggest player for consumers and enterprises. Therefore you would target your attack there to get the better gains.

 

Linux would be next, only because of servers. You can distribute a lot of malicious code if you hit the right box that isn't protected.

 

And then there is OS X...from an attack point of view it makes no sense. While the marketshare is growing, given that there is no easy interaction between Mac and Windows we shut them out from the overall system (corporate-wise). From an attack point of view it's not worth the time.

 

The above is just from my experience, though. The takeaway is that if you want to buy a Mac solely for security, you might be okay. But don't consider yourself safe just because you have a Mac.

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virtorio    2,976

What kind of attack is your AV blocking? The main issue I see here is your security software is giving you information you don't really need to know. You can get AV and Firewall software on macOS that will show alerts for every little thing too.

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Riva    1,076
Posted (edited)

In all fairness you could have a ###### AV with too many false-positives and also notifying you all the time. As long as its protecting me why does it have to let me know it did something if its not affecting me? For example kaspersky will only tell me it blocked something when it affects my activities like visiting a dodge site.

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Gotenks98    490

Just as the others have said, its not that it is more secure its just isn't worth the effort. Think of it this way. If you leave your door to your home unlocked but you live in the ghetto or you leave your door unlocked and you live in the boonies who is going to get robbed first? Statistically its just less likely the happen in the boonies because its harder to find the target.

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Brandon H    2,520

as much as I love the OSX working environment it's just not worth it for how much it costs to get into (darn you Apple locking OSX to their hardware lol); especially if you're just switching for security reasons.

not really worth the arm/leg IMO

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Circaflex    3,487

Absolutely not.

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techbeck    6,657
Posted (edited)

 Educate yourself, be smart, and you will be fine.  Security can, and is, compromised by the ignorant .  Not calling you ignorant, but I have read, and seen, many instances where an ignorant person compromises security that is set in place.  If you get messages that are suspicious, run antimalware software (few diff ones) and see if you have issues.  If so, deal with them and move on.

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n_K    2,199

It's blocked an attack, sounds like your security is working then. If you're talking about why you're getting a lot of notifications then the answer is probably what you are doing on your computer that's causing it, switching to another OS isn't going to fix that.

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adrynalyne    10,895
1 hour ago, shockz said:

getspopcorn.gif

 

- In before security through obscurity.

- In before macs aren't secure at all and the citations of 2 or 3 exploits that require user elevation.

 

Macs are a pretty secure platform for every day computer use. You don't need to bother with a virus scanner, especially if you're a responsible downloader. But Windows isn't insecure either, stay patched and don't download stupid things. If you're buying a mac for the sake of feeling secure, it's probably a waste of money.

You’d be surprised how many Windows attacks require elevated privs and yet... ;)

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nukenorman    44

Sorry for late responses I have been at work. 

7 hours ago, Riva said:

In all fairness you could have a ###### AV with too many false-positives and also notifying you all the time. As long as its protecting me why does it have to let me know it did something if its not affecting me? For example kaspersky will only tell me it blocked something when it affects my activities like visiting a dodge site.


No this anti virus hardly ever pops up and forget it is there most of the time. Usually only spots up if Sophos interceps an attack. I will take screen shot next time it does it. It only does it every 2 months I think or every month and a half.

I am usually aware of clickbait and false pop ups. I do not get most pop ups because I browser carefully and know the signs to look for. I was going to switch to linux but I every time I use it my video drivers never work correctly for video calls and its a pity since I am am good at getting linux to do anthing I want it to do except for that. 

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atleeit    77
8 hours ago, Brandon H said:

it's not that Macs are more secure; more that they're less targeted compared to windows because the people pushing these malicious codes know Windows is more popular

 

more and more malicious scripts/exploits have been popping up not only on OSX but Linux as well in the past couple years; so while yes you'll be less likely to get hacked for now, it won't be long before all OSs are in the same boat.

Heck not even Android is secure; it's almost in a worse state than Windows when you think about it...

Yep totally agree, they were less targeted but now all platforms have seen a major rise in the release of malicious code.

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goretsky    995

Hello,

There is a lot less malware for macOS than there is for Windows, but there are still attacks done via web pages (HTML, JavaScript, php, etc.) which are platform-independent.  There can also be things which are not malware, per se, like potentially unwanted applications which you may not want on your Mac. 

 

Most security software vendors have a macOS version of their programs.  Check with one you use/trust on Windows and ask what macOS options they have available.  If you have a license for something, perhaps they will switch it from Windows to macOS for you.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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cork1958    1,543
Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, nukenorman said:

Hi I am thinking about switching to Mac. My main reason would be for security. I only visit legit websites on my WIndows laptop but every once in awhile I get pop ups from Sophos Antivirus that it blocked an attack. It is scary seeing as I do not visit any unusual websites and just thinking about switching to a mac over it.

Do you get these kind of warnings on your antivirus programs on Mac OS X?

If you want security through obscurity, just download Linux, as it's free, if that's your sole reason for switching OS's!

 

I have no problems with Windows or infections, even without running an AV, but I just flat out don't like Windows 10, so I switched to Linux quite some time ago.

 

Oh, did I mention Linux is free? :)

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+fusi0n    1,909

Let's clarify some misinformation in this thread. 

 

1. Using MacOS or Linux isn't "Security by Obscurity". 

  • There are a ton of Linux exploits \ attacks due to Linux being the dominant OS for web servers. This fact alone brings more pentesters that constantly find bugs\vulns to secure the platform. There are lot of "freelance" good guys on the Linux side to protect open source projects.
  • MacOS is more secure by design. The architecture it uses is a security first approach (thanks BSD). 

There are probably more attacks on Linux than Windows and Mac, you just don't hear about them due to the fact most are server based. Linux Desktop stays out of a lot of the mess due to the fact of who is using it. Developers, Enthusiast, Security Professionals, ect..

 

2. You absolutely should run some sort of AV\Malware protection on Mac and Linux. 

  • If you download something that has a Windows virus\exploit and sends it to someone, that could be bad. Mac and Linux AVs scan for Windows Viruses as well. 
  • If you download a program that tries to modify system files, connect to rogue servers, the right AV can notify you. 

 

3. Windows is a secure platform, however, due to the sheer volume of Windows PCs in the workplace and home, there are more attacks to the end users. If you are a going to take a security first approach, the biggest reason to avoid Windows is due to the horrible gross lack of Privacy. There are a lot more "0-Day" exploits for Windows as well that sell for pretty high prices on the Dark Markets. If you had an APT after you or your business, they'll have a much easier and cheaper option if you're on a Windows PC.

 

 

If you are concerned about Privacy, I would avoid Windows at all cost. Privacy and Security are two different things. But, with security, you can harden a Windows box pretty well, it just isn't OOB. 

 

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+InsaneNutter    1,260

OSX might be less targeted, however I've seen enough infected MacBooks over the years to learn you can't protect someone from themselves when they have admin / root access with an internet connection.

 

You do seem like your quite sensible when browsing the internet, so I honestly wouldn't worry too much.

 

Sophos is very good and will occasionally alert you about a malicious advert or something of that nature. If you keep your web browser up to date, don't download files from random websites, or install random plugins, you will be about as safe as you can be.

 

More than anything you as the end user are the weakest link, regardless of the OS.

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CrossCheck    317

If you are going for security, get a Chromebook. Malicious code writers target the higher population(Windows). So with that theory, get a chromebook. Barely anyone uses those

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dead.cell    3,856
11 minutes ago, CrossCheck said:

If you are going for security, get a Chromebook. Malicious code writers target the higher population(Windows). So with that theory, get a chromebook. Barely anyone uses those

Yeah, but then... you're stuck with a Chromebook. :laugh:

 

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Jim K    12,286

Buy solely for security?  No

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Astra.Xtreme    2,664

It's pretty unlikely that these "attack attempts" are occurring from simply browsing websites.  Internet browsers do a decent job at blocking shady websites and popups.  An ad blocker will go a step further.

I think there's more to the story here.  Unless you're downloading stuff, there's little reason for AV to even notify you of anything.

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+BudMan    3,349

I would be curious to what exactly was blocked/stopped.. For all you know it blocked a harmless ad for Viagra or something..  If just going to say stopped "attack" without the details of what actually stopped then its nothing more than noise.

 

You can setup script blocker to "notify" you of every single script it blocks - doesn't mean the script that was blocked as an actual attempted "attack" 

 

Quite often these notifications are nothing more than hey look user - that money you paid is doing something... Be it useful or not.. If it didn't pop up anything - most users would say why do I need this software for, it doesn't do anything ;)

 

There is a learning curve going from any OS to any other OS.. Have you or do you actually use MAC?  While in the big picture for many users its icons you click on screen..  How you do X quite possible changed, or might not even be able to do X, etc. 

 

If your moving to the OS for the sole fact that you believe its more secure - prob not a good reason.  If that was the case you should prob be running OpenBSD.. Which is FREE and not going to cost you the Apple tax..

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