The tech news world was ablaze today after it was noted that Apple is now advising users to run antivirus software on their Macs. The company's reason is that by running AV software, the burgeoning market for Mac malware gets a whole lot tougher and future attacks will see a far lower success rate.
Apparently, this was big news in the eyes of many, though I'm not really sure why. Yes, there's the egg on Apple's face for harping on about how Windows PCs are so prone to attacks, but that's really it. Pretty ho-hum news material if you ask me, and nothing new.
Now, before the "Mac fanboy" monikers start getting thrown around, keep in mind my ongoing stance on the issue of Mac malware and security software. It's the same as many of the so-called "fear mongers" in the security world (and now Apple, it seems).
That's why it isn't big news. Anyone who has been paying attention for the last year or so sees that it's just about time to start looking for a good AV suite.
A couple of years ago, a researcher at one of the bigger security firms predicted that Mac malware would never come as a flood, but as a slow trickle. It appears as though the trickle is finally starting to get the floor wet in Cupertino, and the sandbags are being filled.
Of course, this isn't doomsday. Most of the threats are still obscure, social engineering threats that experienced users will easily avoid with common sense and up-to-date software. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't stay a step ahead of the trend, as Apple's recommending.
A quick word of advice: be a bit careful when picking your Mac security software. There are rogue Mac antivirus apps out there, so make sure you're downloading your software from a trusted source, such as a known vendor or download site.
In addition to the likes of Symantec and McAfee, a company called Intego produces Mac anti-malware products. If you're looking for something a bit more affordable, there's also the free ClamXav program.
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