Does Your Mac Need Virus Protection (Q1 2011 Edition)

Reader question:

What do you make of the threat that Macs and other devices will be the target of viruses in the new year? Any suggestions on virus software? Here are two articles – on warning of the threats, the other dismissing them:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20026667-83.html

http://www.macworld.com/article/156744/2010/12/2011_viruses.html

Answer

Contrary to the popular myth, Macs can get viruses. However there aren’t any significant Mac viruses in the wild.

I wouldn’t worry about Mac viruses yet. Even with Apple’s explosive growth and tremendous profits over the last few years, their operating system marketshare is a drop in the bucket compared with Windows. Have a look for yourself:

Malware & viruses are a volume game, and there aren’t enough Macs out there to make it anywhere near as profitable to code viruses for Mac as it is for Windows.

To best protect yourself, install the most current version of Mac OS X (Snow Leopard), and run your system updates on a regular basis. If you do that, you’re going to be just fine because those updates plug security vulnerabilities in Apple’s software.

(OS Stats)

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