and the Mac
24 February, 2006
This week has seen a lot of stories
about Mac OSX viruses and vulnerabilities.
While the risk to Mac users is still far less than that of Windows users,
its a reminder that NO computer system is immune from bugs
or security issues. All users should
be careful of what they open or
agree to download and must make sure their computers are up-to-date with the
latest security patches.
The main reason why Mac users are
less exposed to these risks is due to a fundamental difference between
most Windows and Mac users. In the Mac, and Linux, world users dont
normally have permission to make changes to the system. While in the Windows
world, most users do have that ability, if you restrict them many Windows programs
wont work properly.
Until Microsoft addresses this
issue of users having to run as
Administrators Windows will continue
to be far more prone to security
problems than others.
Mac users can still be
fooled into running some of this stuff. Weve seen some reasonable sophisticated
tricks designed to fool people into giving away passwords or installing viruses
onto computers. Theres no reason why some clever social engineer cant
fool some Mac users to install malware.
So the advice remains, be
careful before agreeing to install
or run anything on your computer, regardless of your operating system. Have
a virus scanner, the free ClamXav
is an excellent program for the Mac, get a firewall or router so your computer
isnt directly connected to
the net and make sure your system is fully up to date. Pretending your system
is immune from problems is a recipe
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