Normally, when we talk about Macs, we do not discuss the world of viruses much, it is more of a Windows thing. It could be because Macs are not common enough yet to attract attention from virus creators, or maybe because the OS is just that secure, or some other reason we cannot quite yet fathom. However, even if viruses and malware infections are uncommon, it does not mean they do not exist. Certain web infections are platform independent. For such concerns, VirusTotal works as a free web service that analyzes suspicious files (upto 64MBs), URLs and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, trojans, and all kinds of malware. Now, VirusTotal has a Desktop App for Mac
Originally, you uploaded files to the VirusTotal website. There, these files were analyzed and checked against online virus databases. If you give it a try, you’ll see how it is quite thorough in its search. It may not look like [enter windows antivirus software], but it does the job well enough to let you know whether or not your uploaded file or linked URL is affected.
The desktop app gets the job done, it may not be the prettiest, but that’s not its job. Simply drag and drop a file onto the VirusTotal Desktop App’s window. The rest of the process is the same as a web service, but it will certainly save you the time it would have to upload and check each individual file. Alternatively, you can right click in the main Virus Total Desktop App window and select a file from there.
The limitation is that you are bound by 4 files (requests)/minute, this is to manage web traffic efficiently. Since I didn’t have any infected files – which, I maintain is a good thing – I received negative results for the files I tested.
Keep in mind that Virus Total is only a scanner and not a virus cleaner, you might have to look elsewhere for that, or possibly delete the file in question if an infection is discovered. People who deal with alien files frequently can benefit from this app greatly as they will know if the files they are about to interact with are safe or not.