Your Questions About Virus Protection For Mac

Posted by softwareguru on August 6, 2014

William asks…

What software would you recommend for a new Mac Book?

for virus protection and for word processing. I though about Microsoft Office but wouldn’t it make sense to stick with apples for apples if you know what I mean?
This is for my son who is off to college on Wednesday.

softwareguru answers:

There are virtually no viruses for Mac file system and OS X. You can try the free ClamX or pay for one of the others, links below. I haven’t had a virus on any Mac I have used for the past 15 years.

Office for the Mac is good. IWork is just as good but not precisely the same. In iWork, he needs to know about the “File > Export” option that saves a Pages file as a Word file and saves a Keynote file as a PowerPoint file, sort of. By that I mean that the multi-media files associated with the Keynote presentation will end up in a folder that must accompany the PowerPoint file. Whoever gets the PowerPoint file can embed the multi-media files if they choose but Keynote can’t export a fully embedded PowerPoint file. When someone plays the PT file with the multi-media folder located in the same directory, the sound and video will play fine. It’s just a bit annoying to have to keep the extra media folder with the PPT file, like a tagalong little brother. By the way, a Keynote presentation file is fully embedded; it’s just the exported PPT file that has the “sidecar” folder.

Also, some alignment of objects in text boxes for a Pages document may not remain precise when exported as a .doc document. We all know PDF is the better choice and iWork has that export option, too.

There is also the new issue of Open XML files. The latest version of iWork always saves in Open XML format which in Apple’s design is a kind of package file. That means any embedded multi-media data can be seen and played separately in the OS X Finder by usinmg the “Show Package Contents” trick. MS Office can save files as old-style (.doc and .ppt) or as “Open XML” style (.docx and .pptx) but they are not natively usable by iWork. MS has a proprietary method of creating these types of files. If he has iWork but no Office, he should download the free converter from MS, link below. Note that the actual download link may be hidden in the frame, bottom right, so scroll to find “English (.dmg)”. With that installed, Pages can open .docx files and Keynote can open .pptx files. These files are not in common use yet but I will bet MS will slowly phase out the old style files after a couple of years. Office cannot open any version of any iWork format file, such as “filename.pages” or “filename.key”.

Personally, I have both Office and iWork and I use .doc files when sharing with a Windows user. IWork has the ease of use, better options and features that I want when I don’t have to deal with the limits of Windows users so I use it for Mac only use such as printing or presenting from my Mac. The Keynote transitions and themes alone are so awsome you can hardly bear to touch PowerPoint after seeing them.

Sandy asks…

I have recently acquired a iBook G4 and have no experience with macs. Is there any knowledge you can offer?

Especially regarding virus protection. Do I need it? If so, what kind do you recommend?

This is my first transition from a PC to a Mac, so any sort of information you could share with me would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
This is my first transition from a PC to a Mac, so any sort of information (either random or related to the question) you could share with me would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so very much for ANY help at all.

softwareguru answers:

First of all, congrats on your iBook! All Mac computers are wonderful, they’re very easy to adapt to and quite a joy to use.

No, you do not need Anti-Virus protection. There is an extremely slim chance of getting a virus or trojan on a Mac.

Also, unlike a PC, you do not need to Defragment your computer or run any type of programs like that. As long as you don’t go on stupid websites and download everything you see, you’ll be good!

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