My feelings and thoughts on Macs are fairly well known (I appreciate the hardware, I don’t appreciate the users), so last week I posted a slightly frustrated sigh on my personal Facebook page after dealing with a Mac user. Note I said user, not the Mac itself. No need to get into the details but in my frustration I let out a very short ARGH! at the Mac World. Now one of my best friends in the world has been a Mac user for years. She and I have been verbally jousting about Mac vs. PC (sometimes humourously, sometimes not) for ages. My friend, Kim, saw my post and sighed back at me, quite rightfully for how often I’ve ranted I admit.
This lead to a discussion over FB chat later that night where I explained what happened…and we got into a long talk about things like…viruses on Macs. Yes, for the umpteenth time, there are viruses and Malware on the Mac, no matter what the Geniuses tell you. As another friend pointed out, we’d been cleaning viruses off Mac’s since the Mac Plus was out in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
What I haven’t been able to understand, and what I asked my Mac friend about…was what the long held disdain for something as simple as an antivirus program was for Mac users. Why was it such a big deal? Mac users are rightfully proud of their iPhone and iPads, and the MacBooks, etc. They are gaining market share as their products and more importantly, computer culture, have grown in sophistication and dominance. With that comes the peril that hit PC’s so hard in the internet era.
Viruses and malware.
The Mac IS without a doubt, more secure then Windows XP was. It’s even more secure then Windows 7 which is a MUCH better OS than anything Microsoft has put out before it. It is NOT however, invulnerable. 600,000 people learned that in the US alone last month with a mass infection on Mac’s. Yet, if you go into an Apple store…you’ll quite often be told there is no need for antivirus on a Mac.
So if that’s the case…then why do reputable Antivirus companies (and no I don’t mean Mcafee or Norton…grumble) put out excellent protection software for the Mac…if there is no need for it? There is software out there for free, just as there is for the PC, that will give you basic protection and scanning and be updated regularly and it will have no discernible impact on the performance of your Mac (which I could joke about…but I won’t).
Go ahead. Pause in your reading and go do a quick search for “Free Mac antivirus software”. One of the first ones you hit will be from a company called Sophos.
Kim and I had a long chat and she finally agreed to install it…and without my knowing it, even tweeted a recommendation of it (thanks Kim!). So despite the snide asides I still managed to sneak into this blog, I will thank her for the small victory. One more Mac user with antivirus means that much less chance of a major infection being spread (the same goes for PC users of course!) So do yourself a favor…remember that while antivirus software isn’t infallible…it is an extra layer to protect yourself…and everyone else on the net.
A small victory…for both a PC and a Mac user. Thanks Kim!