Mac users are no safer from the threat of viruses than Windows users, according to experts who have just shattered a long standing myth.
Antivirus firm Symantec said that over three quarters of Mac users are under the illusion that they are not a target for virus writers and hackers. It is a misconception commonly shared by users of the Linux operating system.
In fact, 62 per cent of Mac users said that increased security was the main reason for them moving to the platform, according to Symantec.
In the past even the US Army has moved its web servers over to MacOS in the mistaken belief that they will be more secure.
But Kevin Chapman of Symantec said: "It doesn't matter to a virus or a hacker what platform a machine is running on. If it has a vulnerability then it's a target.
"Obviously there are more PC-only viruses out there, but there are still over 7,000 macro viruses which can hit either Mac or PC platforms."
Chapman explained that, because of the Mac's age, some of the first viruses ever written were for a Mac and some writers still target the platform specifically.
There's even a release of the infamous Sub7 Trojan in Alpha development at the moment, he added.
"Another big problem Mac users don't think about is that they make perfect incubators for Windows viruses," said Chapman.
"A Mac user can get a virus from a Windows machine that won't affect them but, if it's attached to a document or a file, then they can pass it on to another Windows machine."
At the time of going to press Apple was unavailable for comment.
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