I'm using ClamXav on my Mac. I've read this, and I am aware of the whole Macs-need-no-AV-but-they-do-anyway discussion. I guess that's why I would feel like a real jerk if I somehow managed to compromise my system!

So ClamXav has been downloaded and ClamXav Sentry set up to start on log-in, but it doesn't really do anything before you tell it to. Specifically, you have to tell it which folders to watch for virusses/vira so I'm wondering, where are good places to look?

Currently it's been set up to look the following places:

In the home folder:

  1. ~/Downloads
  2. ~/Library/Caches
  3. ~/Library/Contextual Menu Items
  4. ~/Library/Cookies
  5. ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins
  6. ~/Library/LaunchAgents

In my system folder:

  1. /Library/Application Support
  2. /Library/Caches
  3. /Library/Contextual Menu Items
  4. /Library/Cookies
  5. /Library/Internet Plug-Ins
  6. /Library/LaunchAgents
  7. /Library/LaunchDaemons
  8. /Library/Startupitems

Basically, this is 100% conjecture. All (most of) the folders have something to do with the Internet and things that start up automatically, so I'm guessing that's where vira go. But still, the qustion:

  • Which folders should ClamXav Sentry watch, if any?

FYI, I'm not using any mail applications, but please include that in your answer for anyone who might be interested.

  • this is actually an excellent question. +1. it's applicable to other AV software as well, and i wouldn't mind seeing the same question for Win (and Linux) systems as well, just to round out the collection. – quack quixote Apr 23 '10 at 21:58

It should probably watch everything in ~/.

This will cover downloads, user specific Library items, personal items (Documents, Music, etc), and the Desktop.

Modifying system files requires root access or a place in the sudoers file, so while it would be nice to check there it's highly unlikely anything will land there unless you typed in your password for it.

  • Sorry for the wait! Is it necessary to watch your entire home folder? – trolle3000 Mar 8 '10 at 22:00
  • Your home folder is completely touchable by you, meaning if you download something it could hide itself in there somewhere. If you decide you need AV software why not use it effectively? – Josh K Mar 9 '10 at 5:02
  • @trolle3000, @josh: it's worthwhile to schedule a regular scan of the system folders as well, but that doesn't need to be watched as often. once a day, or week, or even month. – quack quixote Apr 23 '10 at 22:01

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