Advice on using Kaspersky on a Mac

Posted on 2013-01-16
Last Modified: 2013-11-22
Hello Experts,

For X-Mas someone got me Kaspersky Security for Mac... I have used Macs for almost 20 years now and have never used any sort of antivirus or other protection.

With all the talk about new viruses, Java problems,  and other security issues, would you say this is a good idea? Is the security stuff built into OS Lion enough? (Firewall, only install from know sources, etc...)

I'm always concerned that this sort of thing will slow down the computer and not really provide that much benefit.

I'm not sure, so before installing it I want to get Experts Advice...  There's a lot of talk on the web so I'm looking for real advice.

Question by:Jacko_Pinto
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Accepted Solution

Coffinated earned 150 total points
ID: 38785375
I would suggest installing it, for a long time MAC users thought their computers are virus free (which was true for some time). The bad guys however found a way to infect unprotected MAC computers with rootkits.
This article goes back to 2009,

Here's more recent article, 600,000 MACs got infected with Flashback Trojan.

It is your responsibility to keep your computers secure, if someone hacked to your computer and performed other malicious activities you could be held responsible or at least it'd create problems.
LVL 83

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 38785396
I would install it.  Apple has been in denial about the vulnerability of their computers and some have called them on it recently.  I have Avast on my MacBook Pro.

Expert Comment

ID: 38785409
I Agree, reinstall it, install AV. Kaspersky is a better AV than Avast at least on Windows7 platform. Any AV is better than no AV.
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LVL 40

Assisted Solution

by:Eoin OSullivan
Eoin OSullivan earned 200 total points
ID: 38786343
Different AV products have different strengths & weaknesses.  It is often the case that AV products can have a detrimental impact on the speed & performance of your computer as they can hog the processor when scanning or when checking every opening application.

While OSX is NOT virus/trojan/spyware/malware free the quantity and severity of such infections are much less than in the Windows realm.  This means that the risks are lower and it depends on how you want to handle those risks.

It is a good idea to have an AV product if you work & share files with Windows users on a local network or via email on a regular basis as you can help prevent passing infected files to Windows users (even if they will not affect OSX).  I'd run an AV solution to scan your computer regularly at off-peak times such as overnight and disable the LIVE scanning features which tend to have the biggest impact on performance.  There are FREE products such as ClamXAV and Avast! FREE which I tend to recommend as they are well maintained.

If your Mac is largely stand-alone then a good set of backups using TimeMachine or a similar solution and a cautious policy when it comes to downloading and installing files from emails or the Internet is my recommendation.

I'd prefer a good backup policy with double redundancy i.e. 2 backup devices instead of an AV product.  If you have a FREE copy of Kaspersky for 2013 then try it out .. if it affects performance more than you are willing to accept .. delete it and try ClamXAV or avast! FREE .. and otherwise remain cautious.  REmember to only have one AV product installed and active ant any time as they can really conflict with each other if running in parallel.

Assisted Solution

Madnhain earned 150 total points
ID: 38787292
It's a toss-up. AV can give you piece of mind at the cost of processing power. There is a remote chance you could get a virus, though personally I find that it's not worth it. About once a year I'll download AV and scan my system, and have not come up with a single threat yet. (all my work is done online with heavy file transfers) I find that AV software boggs down my system more than I'm willing to tolerate, and my system is backed up nightly.

I suggest you install it, try it out, see if it works for you. I am not familiar with Kaspersky, but you may be able to have it turned off so it doesn't hog your resources all the time, and just turn it on and scan on a weekly basis, or whatever might work for you.

Expert Comment

ID: 38788600
If a system gets infected with a kernel-mode rootkit rootkit, any anti virus scan cannot be trusted as the rootkit most likely will intercept and change all messages sent to AV by the system.
Kernel rootkits can be especially difficult to detect and remove because they operate at the same security level as the operating system itself, and are thus able to intercept or subvert the most trusted operating system operations. Any software, such as antivirus software, running on the compromised system is equally vulnerable. In this situation, no part of the system can be trusted.

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