Mac OS X Users Begin to Deal with Reality

For years, Apple enthusiasts have jeered at their Windows counterparts’ frustration and anger with viruses, as the Apple enthusiasts believed that Macs don’t get viruses. They do, but its very rare. When it comes to malware, Mac users are on the defense for once.

A couple of weeks ago Mac OS X, the operating system that Mac-lovers proudly proclaim is virus free and so safe and secure, was hit with some infectious malware in two batches, leaving many frustrated Apple users shocked posting their troubles on Apple’s forums. As the majority of Mac OS X users do not have anti-virus protection that continuously updates, Apple’s patch after the first outbreak required Snow Leopard,  which 34% of Mac OS X users do not have installed. While soon after the outbreak Apple’s Security Update 2011-003 added daily malware updates, Mac users no longer have the false sense of being 100% malware free.


Do Mac users now need anti-malware software installed on top of Mac OS X? Not yet. The MacDefender and MacGuard malware had a low threat level; it did not render the computer unusable like some Windows viruses. Apple has added daily malware protection updates, but the most important thing users should know is that Macs can be infected, and users should be vigilant and remember that Apple’s machines are not invincible. Mac OS  X market share is slowly but surely growing. Different reports range its market share anywhere from 8% to 15%, depending on the indicator.  They are also increasingly popular with college students, users who will likely remain loyal to their operating system until they save up to buy an iPad or Android tablet. As Mac OS X’s market share grows, it will become a more serious target for criminals and hackers.


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