For Windows users, installing an anti-virus is a standard operating procedure. Dealing with viruses, dodging them, and harboring virus paranoia almost feels like these things are being bundled with the operating system.
I should know. Iâ??ve been a Windows user all my life. Iâ??ve switched from one anti-virus to another, whichever has the best reviews, just to feel secure. And I have even taken the precaution of backing up my data into an external hard disk, just to be sure. Am I just naturally paranoid? Or is my fear a result of a massive scheme of anti-virus companies to make me feel threatened so they could cash in on their anti-virus products?
But why is it that it seems that only Windows users display this kind of behavior? If installing an anti-virus is a matter of standard operating procedure for Windows users, for Mac users, it is a matter of debate.
I once asked my Mac user husband why he didnâ??t install an anti-virus, his reply was simply, â??because Macs donâ??t get infected with viruses.â?
Why do Mac users feel this confident about the invulnerability of their Macs? Is it because Apple touts this superiority over viruses right there on their website? In Appleâ??s webpage, on their page about Why Youâ??ll Love a Mac, it states that, â??We designed OS X with powerful, advanced technologies that work together to constantly scrutinize, encrypt, update, and ultimately keep your Mac safer. For example, it thwarts hackers through a technique called â??sandboxingâ? â?? restricting what actions programs can perform on your Mac, what files they can access, and what other programs they can launch. Sandboxing is just one of the many ways OS X protects you and your data. Other security features include Library Randomization, which prevents malicious commands from finding their targets, and Execute Disable, which protects the memory in your Mac from attacks.â? It even boasts of Gatekeeper which, â??helps protect you from downloading and installing malicious software on your Mac, no matter where your apps come from. And it gives you even more control over which apps you install.â?
But the seemingly invulnerability of Mac against viruses was shattered in April this year when Dr. Web, a Russian anti-virus vendor, conducted a research and determined that there were 550,000 Macs that were infected by the Trojan virus BackDoor.Flashback.
This generated a buzz amongst Mac users on whether they should begin installing anti-virus software. And though many Mac loyalists still believe that Apple would find the means to take care of keeping their Macs safe, like it did when the malware MacDefender attacked users, some are now experiencing the vulnerability that Windows users have been feeling for years.
And most users of anti-virus are quick to tell Mac users to install one. Anti-virus companies are also saying that Mac users may be more susceptible to virus attacks because they lack the experience of dodging viruses. While Windows users would be more careful in clicking that â??anti-virus scan,â? it may not even cross the mind of Mac users that this â??anti-virus scanâ? will instead install a virus. Further, as more people begin to master Macâ??s OS X, chances are, the number of viruses will also increase.
So do you need virus protection for your Mac? Yes you do. Presently, Mac may have provided updates to stop BackDoor.Flashback, but this goes to show that Mac is no longer as invulnerable as it was during the precious years.