View Full Version : Norton Utilities for OS X -- necessary?
04-22-2002, 03:18 PM
I thought that with Unix there was no need for Virus checkers -- is that true? Also, couldn't Unix commands do what Norton Utilities does? If so, what are those commands?
04-22-2002, 05:03 PM
I don't think you could handle virus checking with the command line, as the tools tend to work by comparing files to a list which contains the code "signatures" of a large number of known viruses. You need that list as a starting point. Perhaps there are some freeware CLI virus checkers??, but I doubt that there are any that find Mac-specific viruses (as they would have been developed for other UNIX platforms).
As for whether they're needed or not, that's a completely different subject ;-). It really depends on what you do, how you use your computer, how your computer is connected to the world, how often you receive things from other people, etc.
If you are concerned that your system could become infected due to a large number of files you receive from others, than by all means, you should invest in a virus checker. All that UNIX adds is a layer of protection - most hacks would probably damage your user level, but not the system (as they could not gain access). Then again, you keep all your important documents at the user level, so this isn't much in the way of reassurance.
Personally, I have never installed one of those "runs all the time" virus checkers; I used to use one of the freebies (Virex?) in OS 9, which I would run occasionally to test my machine. I found a few Word macro viruses on occasion, but that was it.
In OS X, I haven't run anything as of yet, as I haven't been overly impressed with the reports on the currently available packages.
But the decision you make about your machine must be just that -- your decision. Do what makes you feel most comfortable about the information stored on your machine. In this day and age, a virus checker is probably cheap insturance...
04-29-2002, 12:49 PM
I'm only familiar with NU for Windows, so I can't comment on those directly. On Virus Scanning, I would say that for the safety of your own machine, there is little, if any, need. Where it becomes important is if you share files with a Windows machine. The Mac side is safe, but you don't want to host viruses via your file share.
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