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Norton AntiVirus 11 ships for Leopard – huh?

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AntiVirus software?!?


Ok, look – I’ll be the first to say that no computer Mac or PC will ever be 100% virus proof – but, to me anyway, virus protection software for your Mac is like buying an extended warranty plan for a book. It’s just plain unnecessary.

This Yahoo article almost makes it sound like there are Mac viruses running loose in the wild out to get us. But there aren’t. It’s one of those articles that acts like it has some really damning evidence from Apple’s official site – when really all the text is saying is “viruses might be possible.”

If you have $49.95 to spend on anti-virus software for your Mac, please do me a favor. Take that $49.95 and drop it in a Salvation Army bucket, buy some Toys for Tots, or just give it to someone who’s having a rougher time than you are right now.

There is no reason to spend that money on this product.

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

16 thoughts on “Norton AntiVirus 11 ships for Leopard – huh?

  1. especially not for a norton product, for bobs sake. norton antivirus stopped being a good product like, 8 years ago. there are perfectly good open source scanners for macs out there.

    i think the purpose of a virus scanner on a mac is less the protection of the mac itself, but more of windows machines in the same network. there may be files, mails and the likes on your mac containing viruses that can’t harm osx, but if you send those files/forward a mail/whatever to a windows box, that might be a problem. so in a way, mac virus protection does make some amount of sense.

  2. Yeh, I think by now virus makers know that the most popular virus software out there is norton and macafee. So, they all know how to backdoor around them.

    One thing people don’t talk about is the Mac being used as a host. Someone could send you a file that is infected with a virus. It may sit dormant on your Mac for years. Of course, that virus does not execute on a Mac, but once you send it to a coworker or friend who has a PC, you unknowingly infect them with a virus. So even though you are not infected, you may still be carrying the disease. This is probably the reason why someone would want virus protection for the Mac.

    I’m sure we Mac users get files from PC users all the time. They could be filled by macros and all kinds of malware w/o us ever knowing it.

    Am I right? Could this happen? Could a virus remain attached to a file on a Mac, to later do it’s dirty work when passed back to a PC user?

  3. This is a clear case of the cure being worse than the illness.
    NAV is a dangerous dog of a product that causes harm itself.

  4. 1) Jonathan, try not to be an ass even if your attention is focused there.

    2) I wonder if Norton AV will even be effective at all when a Mac virus does eventually make the rounds. I think it will eventually happen, and I doubt this software will help at all.

  5. People have mentioned the necessity of antivirus for Mac shops that use Word Macros.

    My question about passing on worms and viruses, shouldn’t the Windows machines have antivirus software to filter that out. Do you really need it on the Macs too?

    Maybe, but not an incredibly compelling argument IMHO.


  6. I had the same reaction as Jonathan about the suggestion to give to the Salvation Army. I agree with the sentiment of giving to charity, but I choose others to give to, rather than the anti-gay S.A.

    Clever homophobic comment, William.

  7. We have it on all our machines for years and now Version 11 and let me explain why as someone has stated because of others. We are an Advertisement Agency, all Macs except for 1 PC machine (not counting Parallels Machines). We received files from our International Corporate Clients who one would think has a handle on Virus’s? Not so. I cannot tell you how many times we received by email or CD’s or even ftp download from these corporations, files that are infected! Norton not only recognizes them and removes them, but it allows us to inform our clients that they have a virus! Many have thanked us for this… so for us it works, part of our daily routine and it works in the background. It is installed on every mac.. and we have never had issues and with our production (design) departments they would have said something.


  8. William is not necessarily homophobic – he’s simply pointing out that Jonathan’s comments are out of place here.

    Jonathan has chosen to voice an opinion which does not belong in this forum and bears no relevance to this article. The author merely picked the most popular charity (in his mind, during this relative season of giving) as an alternative for well-spent money.

    Please, keep your political and moral viewpoints to yourselves and let’s remain on topic here.

  9. Thank you Jeff. Well put. I don’t think S.A. is about sexual preferences, and I don’t think much about sexual preferences other than my own.

    I’d like to add another comment ON topic:
    I think it’s a very good thing that Symantec has chosen to stay in this market, which doesn’t seem terribly lucrative at the moment. If a Mac virus should emerge in the “wild,” it may turn out that we need this software and we’ll be glad to have some choices other than ClamAV. In the MS world, it’s generally thought to be foolish to go without AV software. There once was a time when Windows users thought they were ok without malware protection because they were unaware of the vulnerabilities and threats. It’s naive to think that the Mac world won’t evolve in a similar way with bad actors choosing to exploit already known vulnerabilities and finding many others. The Mac seems to have a generally good design and market share and the way Macs are used (generally not corporate environment, etc.) have made it both harder to target Macs and less lucrative even if one did succeed. We can see with Apple’s success that these circumstances are changing. It may turn out there are sufficient Macs out there and Windows machines sufficiently well protected that the Macs become the low-hanging fruit. In addition, some folks out there are probably motivated to attack Macs by the boasting of both Apple and the Mac user community even if the economic payoff isn’t necessarily there.

    All that said, I don’t use AV on my Macs and don’t plan to anytime soon. The cost of the “cure” in terms of money and system performance/stability outweighs the loss expectancy for me. Circumstances may change though.

  10. Even w/ donating the money to charity, you still can get very decent anti-virus software for free on Macs. It’s a mature UNIX solution that developers have created a rather simple, straightforward OS X interface for.

    It’s ClamXav (

  11. Time’s are changing. Running around saying Mac doesn’t need a virus protection program is just plain stupid. Bad guys are starting to take a loot at Mac right now and arrogance of Mac users doesn’t make things any better. There will be viruses for Mac. Believe me. Sooner than later it will hit you.

  12. @Macmies

    Bad guys can look at the Mac all they want. Bad guys will write a virus for the Mac one day, I’m sure. I have no doubt about that one bit.

    That doesn’t change the fact that Norton Antivirus is bloated, useless, crapware.

    Do you honestly think if someone is clever enough to write the first real virus for the Mac that they’re not also going to be able to completely bypass Norton?

    If you must use a antivirus on the Mac, use Clamxav

  13. Not that I do not agree with you. But I just read that the Army is implementing Mac’s into their system because Windows server’s are too unsafe. But the bad guy’s will certainly not give up and will start to work on attacks for the Mac. My only question is why does Norton charge more for Mac AV software then it does for Windows? Let’s hope AVG does a version for Mac! $50 is too much for a piece of AV software. These AV software makers have always worked on a users fear of a total computer crash to get them to buy their software and pay the yearly fee for updates to virus signatures. I would much rather trust Apple to come up with a AV program like Microsofts One Care.

  14. Jonathan, Jesus Chris IS Gods son, who was sent to die on a cross to save All of US from our sins. God says that if we belive in his SON, We will have ever lasting life. Think about it… in your heart, you know what is right and wrong!

  15. I agree with Stephen. Even if Macs (knowingly) do not have a major problem with viruses, it is important to detect any that you receive from what ever other sources.

    I think the Mac environment is fortunate in two ways when it comes to viruses. Firstly, why would any one bother to infect such a small part of the market? If you are a malicious virus creator it would make more sense to target the biggest market (Windows) than such a small market that Macs hold. Secondly, the Mac OS does make it more difficult for viruses but there is no cure for a user that does not understand the implications of allowing a process to run that may be malicious.

    Personally I do use Norton AV and it has not caused me any issues and I feel somewhat better that at least there is that extra level of security.

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