Help, Guides, and News on making the Switch To Apple Macintosh Computers
With today's cyber-threats and focus on computer security, it's no surprise that many people are ditching their Windows PCs for Macs running OS X. Even Apple's 'Get a Mac' ads highlight the security issues that plague Windows. The requirement to protect Windows installations from viruses, spyware and malware, have prompted many to make the switch.
No viruses for Mac OS X
It's well known that there are no known viruses for the Mac OS X operating system despite it being on the market for over seven years. As of this writing, Mac OS X is virus-free. There have been some attempted exploits in the past but those relied on social engineering. A prime example was the trojan in 2006. It required several actions to be undertaken by the user in order for the trojan to propagate. Viruses on the other hand accomplish their work without the end user knowing.
At a very high level, I'll highlight the two most common reasons I've come across that are used by those who attempt to explain that no viruses exist for Mac OS X.
Reason 1 - small market share
Some people say the reason no viruses exist for Macs is that it's not worth the time for writers to focus on creating viruses for the Mac OS X operating system because of its market share. There's no doubt that Mac OS X has a significantly smaller market share than Windows. A common argument is that writers would rather focus on creating viruses and malware for Windows.
Reason 2 - Mac OS X is a modern operating system
Some will say that OS X is a modern operating system that is built on a secure UNIX foundation. It is also argued that Apple has taken a big picture approach to security as it applies to operating system design and implementation. The fact that Mac OS X was created after the Internet gives it a more secure architecture that makes it less susceptible to unauthorized access and malicious attacks.
Apple's stance on virus protection
Apple as early as this year encouraged Mac users to install virus and security software on Macs. Note that the page on which the recommendation was made no longer exists on Apple's web site but it can be viewed at the Internet archive here.
What's your take?
The goal here is to not give my opinion but open it up to readers so that they can have their say. Also, do you think Mac users should run security software? Simply post your response or feedback in the comments section below.
Note that a more recent trend over the past few years is for attackers to exploit the software installed on an operating system and not necessarily the operating system itself.