When I first procured my Mac computer, I was informed that a virus attack on my machine was not likely and would not require any additional protection. What would you advise?
Remain calm and take care
Remaining calm implies that the Windows environment is threatened by virus attacks, spyware, and adware amongst a larger types of malware threats. It is commonly accepted that all machines are vulnerable to such attacks and it is unadvisable to operate your computer without protecting the machine with some type of anti-virus software. This is so widely accepted by Windows users that when they move to a Mac machine, they immediately invest in an anti-virus program.
However, this is not so critical in a Mac environment.
The logical explanation provided by experts is that although there are no visible virus attacks presently, these may arise on a future date. Therefore, we must arm our machines against such possibilities. This therefore implies modifying our attitude of I don’t need an anti-virus program to not needing one presently but may need it at a later date. After this we just keep waiting for some day when such an event occurs where the villagers arrive at our doorsteps with lighted torches and other forms of pitchfork.
Taking care implies that users are aware of the differences between the numerous cookies, which as commonly classified as viruses. These include
Such a program is capable of replicating itself either locally or even across various networking systems. Several virus programs become attached to another program. When the users activate the host program, the virus is activated along with the application, which then commences its notoriety.
These types of programs are very common in the Windows environment; however, these are not as common in Mac machines. Viruses are generally the common program where the not currently but at a later time rule is applied.
The shortened name for Trojan Horse, these are malwares that provide a different functionality from the one that is actually to be provided. As an example, say you download a program that would apparently provide you riches, cure baldness in men, or double the ring finger’s size. However, when you actually install this application, the information stored on your machine is directed to a remotely located information center in Kamchatka.
The biggest threat in this situation is the person who operates the machine. You can diminish this risk by not being tempted in running an accompanied application along with licensed software programs acquired through Version Tracker or Mac Updates.
For users who need an additional level of security against an unidentified threat to their Mac computers, it is recommended to purchase the USD30 Objective Development Little Snitch. This application warns the users when any unauthorized application tries to relay personal information from your machine. You can install applications that seem to be the good options while staying away from the ones that seem to be of no use.
To ensure protection of any threat arising through incoming mails, users can activate their machines firewall, which is available in the Leopard’s security system preference.
Adwares and spywares
Adware programs come with an in-built advertising element, which automatically displays or downloads advertisements while running the application. Some of these are rightful, which is a component of using free applications, such as Twitterific or Eudora. In comparison, spyware is a malware that collects information stored within your computer, which is then used for incorrect purposes, such as sending personal data to a baddle, or while surfing the Internet with the browser, or redirection of users to websites they do not wish to visit.
Some of the most bad kinds under this category to become operational require that the OS provide unlimited access to the machine’s remotest locations. The Mac OS does not provide such unrestricted accessibility. Therefore, the spywares and adware are not presently a threat to Mac users.
Just like a Trojan, phishing attacks encourage users to reveal their personal information and financial data. These attacks target the weakness of the users rather than the shortcomings of the machines. Most of the scamming schemes are passed through emails or an instant messaging alert. These generally ask users to provide their personal information, such as credit card details, social security number, passwords, and bank information to continue the maintenance of their account or another service or confirming any transaction.
As an example, the users may receive an email from their credit card provider asking for a confirmation on the username and password to be able to use undisrupted online banking services. You may click on the link provided in the email, which leads the users to a site that appears to be similar to the real bank site. However, the site is not the real site. You may then provide your personal information that is asked and you may end up losing the money from your account or have an unaccounted for huge credit card outstanding.
To protect yourself from a phishing attack, you must not fall prey to such messages. Most of the banking institutions, lenders, credit card providers, auctioning sites like eBay, online service providers, ISPs, and all other reputed companies have the personal data of their users and would never require you to provide this information through an email.
Is infection of my iPod or iPhone possible?
The answer is yes. When the company launched the application support for its iPod touch and iPhone devices, it exposed these devices to malware attacks specifically developed for these gadgets. Alternatively, we can say targeted towards the applications that run on these gadgets. Nonetheless, this possibility is presently more of a belief than a reality. Jailbroken gadgets are more vulnerable to such attacks in comparison to Apple gadgets and several instances of Jailbroken phones being under attack have been reported. Therefore, if you are planning to jailbreak the iPhone, you may run the additional risk of a malware attack.
How about the Windows on a Mac machine?
Several individuals run Windows software on their Mac machines, either with the aid of Apple’s Boot Camp or using other virtualization products, such as VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop available for Mac. Irrespective of what technique is used to run Windows, the OS being used is the actual consideration and is as vulnerable to cookies as a machine using Windows. Therefore, it would be foolish to run the machine without an anti-virus program to protect the Windows environment.
After this discussion, do you still need an anti-virus program or not? Although, I have decided not to use one, I have not regretted my decision till date. However, I ensure that I follow the safe computer practices. Therefore, if you are a user who clicks on unknown links or is tempted to open suspected files without consideration, leaving the machine unprotected, and use “password” as the admin password, then you would definitely need additional security for your machine.