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After 7 Mac Years: Trying out virus protection


For over seven years of Mac ownership I have held out against installing virus protection software. Before 2005 I wouldn’t have dreamed of running Windows without active protection. When I got my first Mac I was strongly advised that protection was unnecessary.

Recently, however, malware threats have increased and I have decided that now could be time for action[1]. For two or three years I have used the free Virus Barrier Express from Intego, running it occasionally to scan the computer. It takes forever, recently a full 18 hours, but has never flagged up any worries.

After reading this article and seeing that the paid-for, big-brother version of my free Virus Barrier Express (Virus Barrier X6) is highly recommended, I decided to take a 30-day trial. If I decide to buy it will cost €59.95 per year, for two Macs. A further €10 adds Windows protection for users of Parallels or VM Ware. It’s a relatively small price to pay for peace of mind, provided I can live with it.

We are now up and running. The first thing I noticed was that the initial scan took minutes instead of hours. It crosses my mind that the free version could be deliberately throttled back. I am expecting the usual hassles and firewall nonsense that I was used to with Windows, but I will reserve judgment until the end of the trial period. When, or if, I decide to complete the union with a €60 dowry I will let you know.

by Mike Evans, 27 August 2012

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  1. This week I had a worrying incident that set me thinking. When waking the MacBook Air from sleep two days ago I heard the distinctive swish, swish, swish of several emails being sent in quick succession. I investigated and found that the old email account which is linked to my cable TV subscription had taken upon itself to send several spam mails. This account receives a lot of spam but I like to monitor it in Apple Mail and to clear out the inbox periodically. Following this incident I immediately disabled the POP 3 feed and there have been no more problems. As far as I can see this was specific to the particular email account. I have no idea why or how this could happen, but it worried me. My new security protection has discovered no threats.  ↩