Remember the old “I’m a Mac” television commercials? Great marketing. Funny, memorable and made a point that stuck with you. Here’s one that focused on the common complaint with Windows-based systems’ exposure to malware…
Great stuff, huh? Well, except for the fact that the point it is making is really misleading. To be sure there are more viruses affecting Windows than Mac OS. No one would debate that point.
The misleading part is the impression that many Mac users had at the time (some still do) that because they were on a Mac that they were somehow immune to the affects of malware.
It wasn’t true then (as I told a reporter from the Raleigh News & Observer all the way back in October of 2005) and it isn’t true now as the following story from PC World demonstrates.
In fact, the threat is growing and, not surprisingly, it is happening as the market for Apple products is growing too. You see, hackers may lack ethics but they don’t lack the common sense that leads one to “follow the money” and that means that with increasing market share goes an increasingly large bull’s eye.
And, yes, you Linux guys need to pay attention too.
The truth is that any operational system is vulnerable and no commercial OS’s are beyond the reach of malware creators. There simply is no “free pass” when it comes to viruses, Trojan horses, worms and the like, so be careful about the links you click on, the software you install, the security patches that need to be applied and so forth. And by all means, make sure you back up any important data or risk the consequences.