I’m always serious and don’t call me Shirley.
As much as it pains me to admit, the much lauded era of Apple invulnerability is coming to an end. “But Mike”, you say, “Macs don’t get viruses.” Unfortunately, they do.
Since 2009, Apple computers have been purchased by more and more customers. We are not here to debate the superiority (or lack thereof) of the technology, although for full disclosure, I am writing this on my iMac. In 2009, Apple computers were still niche. They were mainly for artist types, they were fun. There were no viruses for Macs. There were several factors behind this.
First, Windows based computers dominated the markets, and as a result, almost all viruses and malware were written for them. Even with the iPhone and iPods acting as a gateway drug for customers to purchase more Apple products, the computers in comparison were a minor blip on the multi-billion dollar Virus and Malware industry radar. Since the lion’s share of computers were PC, all the viruses and malware were written for such. It wasn’t until 2011, and the Mac Defender Scareware/Malware, that Macs were starting to become infected.
Second, OSX (OS TEN) computers have a different setup as to how programs are run. Each program runs in its own little “sandbox” away from the rest of the operating system. While this does make the system more secure, it has also helped with infection. Apple customers have long since had the rallying cry “Macs don’t get viruses” and, have become a little vainglorious about that opinion. For a program to run or install on your computer, you have to authorize it the first time by giving your system password. This means that if you are tricked into thinking you are installing beneficial software on your computer, or a fun new version of Kandy Kush, and you install malware on your computer as a result of it being packaged with your neat new software, you are stuck with it. You can quarantine and have it removed of course, but that usually means you have to admit that A) you have malware on your mac, and B) you need it removed.
Lastly, the much vaunted 64-bit architecture was so advanced that it gave wanna be hackers a tough time. This is no longer the case, as they have had plenty of time to catch up and have good ol’ OSX in their sights.
Apple computers no longer have the luxury of not having an antivirus to protect them. Most computers are just as vulnerable as leaving your door open and unlocked in a high crime neighborhood. The best thing to do is to at least look into antivirus solutions. This week, I will be reviewing some antivirus solutions, and will post my findings. Until then, give us some of your virus horror stories below.