Perhaps one of Apple's biggest selling points for Mac OS X is its seemingly invincible barrier against viruses and other malware. Not so fast, though. No operating system is perfect when it comes to avoiding malware, including the iron-clad Mac OS X.
The difference is in how much and what types of malware affects Macs. First, there just isn't a lot of malware out there designed for Mac OS X. Malware developers are typically looking to reach the largest audience possible with their efforts, and Mac OS X is not a prime target. There are a lot of reasons for this, including the following:
- PCs capable of running Microsoft Windows still account for nearly 90 percent of the quarterly market shares for new computer sales from U.S. vendors [source: Gartner].
- Microsoft Windows is supported on a wide range of inexpensive PC hardware.
- Server-optimized versions of Windows run on thousands of network servers worldwide while Macs are rarely used as servers.
Second, the types of malware that affect Mac rely less on OS vulnerabilities and more on the gullibility of the user. For example, one form of malware disguised itself as an anti-virus program for Macs. It advertised under the name Mac Protector, Mac Defender, Apple Security Center and other titles. The malware included everything you'd expect from a typical anti-virus program: installation, system scanning and even a prompt to register the product.
The best way to protect yourself from malware threats on a Mac is to keep the system up-to-date. Apple will likely find and address any Mac OS X vulnerabilities before they become a big problem. In addition, research any new software before you install it. That includes anything claiming to be an anti-virus program or a legitimate Apple product.
In our countdown, we've focused on 10 myths about Apple and its products. With the company's popularity, the increasing market share for Macs and the success of its mobile products, there will likely be more myths to come. In the meantime, check out lots more information about Apple myths below.
More Great Links
- Apple. "Apple Magic Mouse." (Dec. 6, 2011) http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB829LL/A?fnode=MTY1NDA1Mg
- Apple. "Apple Q&A on Location Data." Apr. 27, 2011. (Dec. 6, 2011) http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/04/27Apple-Q-A-on-Location-Data.html
- Apple. "Apple Reports First Quarter Results." January 21, 2009http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2009/01/21results.html
- Apple. "iPod Touch: Tech Specs." (Dec. 4, 2011) http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/specs.html
- Apple. "iPad: Tech Specs." (Dec. 4, 2011) http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/
- Apple. "Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter." (Dec. 6, 2011) http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB570Z/A?fnode=MTY1NDA4Mw
- Apple. "Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter." (Dec. 6, 2011) http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB572Z/A?fnode=MTY1NDA4Mw
- Arthur, Charles. "iPhone keeps record of everywhere you go." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Apr. 20, 2011. (Dec. 6, 2011) http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/apr/20/iphone-tracking-prompts-privacy-fears
- Arthur, Charles. "This would be a hard adjustment. It would be difficult to take Apple out of Steve. The company has defined him." The Guardian (UK). January 16, 2009http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/jan/16/steve-jobs-illness
- Asay, Matt. "Apple more proprietary than Microsoft, survey finds." CNET. December 4, 2008http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10113278-16.html
- Cheng, Jacqui. "Making sense of Mac market share figures." Ars Technica. February 24, 2009http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/02/mac-market-share.ars
- Cheng, Jacqui. "Can Apple survive without Steve Jobs?" The Guardian (UK). January 21, 2009http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/jan/21/steve-jobs-apple-illness
- Cubrilovic, Nik. "The New Apple Walled Garden." TechCrunchIT. July 15, 2008http://www.techcrunchit.com/2008/07/15/the-new-apple-walled-garden/
- Dannen, Chris. "Yes, Apple Can Survive Without Steve Jobs." Fast Company. December 17, 2008http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/chris-dannen/techwatch/apple-can-survive-without-steve-jobs
- Dilger, Daniel Eran. "Inside Apple's iPad: Adobe Flash." AppleInsider. Feb. 20, 2010. (Dec. 6, 2011) http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/02/20/inside_apples_ipad_adobe_flash.html
- Finkle, Jim. "Adobe throws in towel to Apple in Web software war." Reuters. Nov. 9, 2011. (Dec. 6, 2011) http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/09/us-adobe-apple-idUSTRE7A84NO20111109
- Foresman, Chris. "iPhone app rejection madness still hasn't stopped." Ars Technica. May 22, 2009http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/05/iphone-app-rejection-madness-still-hasnt-stopped.ars
- Foresman, Chris. "Ain't no money in Mac cloning; Psystar files for bankruptcy." Ars Technica. May 26, 2009http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/05/aint-no-money-in-mac-cloning-psystar-files-for-bankruptcy.ars
- Fox, Steve and Albro, Edward N. "No Second Coming: Apple's iPad Just a Big iPod Touch." PCWorld Communications, Inc. Jan. 27, 2010. (Dec. 4, 2011) http://www.pcworld.com/article/187888/no_second_coming_apples_ipad_just_a_big_ipod_touch.html
- Gartner. "Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments Grew 3.2 Percent in Third Quarter of 2011." Gartner, Inc. Oct. 12, 2011. (Dec. 6, 2011) http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=1821731
- Gonsalves, Antone. "Mac Sales Growing Faster than PCs." InformationWeek. July 2, 2009http://www.informationweek.com/news/hardware/mac/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=218400056&subSection=All+Stories
- Harris, Robert. "Can Apple survive Jobs?" ZDNet. February 26, 2009http://blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=406
- Jobs, Steve. "Thoughts on Flash." Apple Inc. Apr. 2010. (Dec. 6, 2011) http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/
- Keizer, Gregg. "Apple denies tracking iPhone users, but promises changes." ComputerWorld Inc. Apr. 27, 2011. (Dec. 6, 2011) http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9216210/Apple_denies_tracking_iPhone_users_but_promises_changes
- Keizer, Gregg. "Apple faces questions from Congress about iPhone tracking." ComputerWorld Inc. Apr. 21, 2011. (Dec. 6, 2011) http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9216058/Apple_faces_questions_from_Congress_about_iPhone_tracking
- Logitech. "Logitech V470 Cordless Laser Mouse for Bluetooth." (Dec. 6, 2011) http://www.logitech.com/en-us/mice-pointers/mice/devices/v470-cordless-laser-mouse-for-bluetooth
- Lynn, Matthew. "Apple iPhone Will Fail in a Late, Defensive Move." Bloomberg.com. January 15, 2007http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aRelVKWbMAv0
- McMillan, Robert. "Apple is Sued After Pressuring Open-source iTunes Project." PC World. April 27, 2009http://www.pcworld.com/article/163909/apple_is_sued_after_pressuring_opensource_itunes_project.html
- Siebold, Chris. "Five Reasons Why There Will Be No Macs in 2010." Apple Matters. March 7, 2006http://www.applematters.com/article/875/
- Sung, Dan. "Apple iPad vs. iPod touch: Is a tablet really what you're after?" Pocket-lint Ltd. Jan. 27, 2010. (Dec. 4, 2011) http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2362162,00.asp
- The Apple Museum. "1976-1979: The Beginning." (Accessed July 16, 2009)http://www.theapplemuseum.com/index.php?id=55
- The Apple Museum. "1980-1989: An Industrial Milestone." (Accessed July 16, 2009)http://www.theapplemuseum.com/index.php?id=56
- Wildstrom, Stephen. "Wow! Macs Really Are Overpriced." BusinessWeek. January 20, 2009http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/techbeat/archives/2009/01/wow_macs_really.html
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