Was Apple was being arrogant when it said Macs were immune to viruses?
Until recently Apple has marketed its computers as being immune to PC viruses. On the Apple website the page entitled ‘Why you’ll love a Mac’ used to say “A Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers. That’s thanks to built-in defences in Mac OS X that keep you safe without any work on your part.”
Apple has since had to remove this statement, as it is no longer true. The security of a Mac has long been a major selling point, but after more than half-a-million Macs were infected with the Flashback Trojan virus earlier this year, Apple has had to rethink its marketing.
Anti-virus software companies have stated that Mac security software sales have increased since the infection. Apple has also reported that it is building more security into the new operating system, Mountain Lion, which is scheduled to be released in the next few weeks.
Macs don’t get viruses? What a ridiculous thing to say. Of course Macs get viruses. Apple may think it is all powerful, but a Mac is still a computer, and all computers can be virtually attacked.
There are a number of reasons why, until recently, Macs rarely became infected with viruses. The first is that Macs used to be comparatively rare. Nobody bothered to create a virus which would only affect a small number of computers. Then the iPod and the iPhone were introduced, and more people flocked to the Apple brand. So recently there has been more incentive for people to create viruses for Macs.
The second reason there has been so few viruses infecting Macs is that Apple is right. The system on which Mac software is based, Unix, is a lot more difficult to hack into than the Windows system. So to create a Mac virus a hacker has to work a heck of a lot harder, and the end result is they infect far fewer computers. It’s similar to choosing between robbing the till at a milk bar, or going out the back and cracking the safe knowing that there’s twice as much cash out the front.
But people will always enjoy a challenge, so although there are far fewer viruses out there for Macs, they do exist. This means it is just as important to purchase anti-virus software no matter what type of computer you own.
Find out what you can do to protect your Mac.
Love them or loathe them, Macs are becoming increasingly popular. Do you think Apple was being arrogant when it said they were immune to viruses?
Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free
- Receive our daily enewsletter
- Enter competitions
- Comment on articles