The quiet news from Apple is that their computers are no longer impervious to harm. Truthfully, they never were, but that didn’t stop them from throwing rocks at Microsoft over their virus problem.
So now, Apple is quietly suggesting that users install multiple virus scans to protect their machines.
RUN FOR THE HILLS!!! GET IN THE BOMB SHELTER!!! DUCK AND COVER!!!
Or you can be rational.
Here’s the deal. There aren’t any serious virus threats to Apples yet. Malicious software that is attached to download files that you have to install exist, but using a little common sense and only downloading things that come from trusted sources will completely prevent that. Virus scans won’t.
As I predicted in an earlier post, Apple is gaining market share. Consequently, they are becoming a target for hackers. So, in preparation for the viruses that will come in the future, Apple is making its users aware so that they don’t sue Apple into oblivion because they bought a computer that was “immune to viruses.”
For now, if you own a Mac, you probably don’t need to rush out and buy virus protection. What I recommend are two things.
1. Backup your computer regularly. This will always save you heartache because computers break, and not always from viruses.
2. Use some common sense when you browse the Internet.
If you have teenagers… your might want to get some virus scan, because your teenagers will do stupid things online because that’s just what they do. When I did in-home computer repair, families with teenagers were my bread & butter.
Why get multiple virus scans?
Basically, all virus scans work differently, but all of them are software. Any software can be circumvented, broken, or exploited by a virus. So, if you are using a single virus scan, it is possible for a virus to bypass, break, or exploit a specific virus scan as part of the damage that it does to your computer.
Also, when you update your virus scan, it is updating its library of viruses to block. Not all virus scans block the same viruses. They block almost all of the same ones, but it is possible for certain new viruses to slip through the cracks of one company for a couple of days.
Having two or more virus scans can help with both of these problems. It is difficult to make one virus that ignores a single virus scan. Building a virus that will bypass two or more is extremely rare. It also goes further towards making sure that your computer can ward off the latest viruses because you are getting updates from two or more different virus scan makers.
Apple has since removed their statement on virus scans (which is why the link above is dead). It doesn’t change much about this post. For the moment, Mac users don’t have a lot to worry about, but one day it will become a problem. Until then, please continue to practice safe computing.
So it seems that the page that Apple posted and then subsequently removed was an old post.
Once again, this doesn’t change my initial point.