Apple Finally Recommends Antivirus Protection

Dennis Faas's picture

It seems as if the pot has finally called the kettle black. After routinely needling Microsoft and PC users for having to run antivirus programs, Apple has finally recommended that owners of its hardware use similar software to protect their computers.

Traditionally, Apple hardware and the Mac operating system have been free from viral or spyware attacks for one very simple reason: too few people actually use those systems. From a spyware goon's perspective: if only about 5 per cent of computer owners are Apply users, then why design a spyware program or hack for such a small segment of the population?

Now that Macbooks are becoming more popular and Apple's star is rising, so too is the chance of an infection. Thus, in an article issued last week, the Cupertino-based company recommended the "widespread use" of at least one -- preferably more than one -- antivirus program to protect against security threats.

The trick to using more than one program would be to avoid falling into the "one-trick pony" trap, with hackers learning the one program Apple users turn to for protection. Many hackers design virus programs that can easily circumvent one or two different types of defenses, but the more security formulas there are on the market, the harder cracks will be. (Source:

So, what does Apple recommend, specifically?

If users were to select one program, Apple recommends it be Intego's VirusBarrier X5, followed by McAfee VirusScan for Mac and Symantec Norton Antivirus 11.

Apple's ad campaign has changed with its position on the need for antivirus support. In 2006 it poked fun at Windows' weaknesses; now, it subtly adds to company frequently-asked-questions that users should users upgrade. Although it still markets the Macbook and Mac OS X as a safer bet for buyers seeking security, the prose has been toned down significantly.

Despite the safeguard policy, Apple computers are still less susceptible than PCs to outside attack. (Source:

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