Over 90 per cent of computer users believe that cyber-criminals will step up their attacks on Apple Macs in the future, according to a new poll.
However, half of respondents to the Sophos survey said that the problem will be as great as that faced by Windows users.
"Although we have seen the first attempts by criminal gangs to make money through Mac OS X malware, there are still only a tiny number of viruses and Trojans for Apple Macs compared to Windows," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
"It seems unlikely that the Mac virus problem will ever be as big as the Windows one. Yes, the Macintosh malware threat is a concern, but it is important to put it into perspective."
Commentators have pointed out that the threats are less about the inherent security of any given operating system and more down to economies of scale.
As the popularity of Macs increases, and Apple improves its market share, it becomes increasingly viable for professional hackers to target Mac users.
Cluley added that this represents the perfect opportunity for Mac users to learn from the mistakes of PC users.
"By resisting the urge to click on unsolicited web links or to download unknown code from the web, they can help to send a clear message to the cyber-criminals that it is just not financially rewarding to target Macs," he said.
A similar survey two years ago revealed that only 79 per cent of computer users believed that Macs would become more commonly targeted by hackers, indicating that users are now less optimistic about the likelihood of their computers being attacked in the future.
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