Apple Admits: Macs Get Viruses Too
Apple has lifted its aura of invulnerability to viruses. It’s about time.
As reported in Computer World Australia this Monday, Apple swapped “It doesn’t get PC viruses” with “It’s built to be safe” and “Safeguard your data. By doing nothing” with “Safety. Built right in” on its website. Apple has long built a reputation for invulnerability to PC viruses with ads like this one. However, the company can no longer make this claim because unlike the early 2000s, more people are using Macs, making their computers an increasingly attractive target for cyber criminals.
The claim that Macs do not contract PC viruses technically still applies, since viruses, like other programs, run on specific platforms. But this has perpetuated the myth that “Macs don’t get viruses,” leading many Mac users to forgo anti-malware programs altogether.
The subtle shift in marketing rhetoric marks a greater change — Apple knows it has to take security more seriously, rather than relying on its position as the minority OS. The Flashback Trojan this April infected an estimated 600,000 Macs, highlighting the need for security regardless of the platform. Apple also changed its usual tight-lipped practices in response to security breaches. In 2008, Apple pulled its security response team out of the Black Hat conference, a prestigious gathering of information security experts, after the marketing department realized the company’s security team would be attending. At this year’s Black Hat in July, a member of the platform security team for Apple’s iOS will discuss Apple’s protective measures.
Apple finally admits that Macs, like other computers, get viruses too. Mac users should do the same.
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