By now you’ve heard of the Flashback virus, which has infiltrated hundreds of thousands of Macs worldwide. There’s a lot of talk about whether the Mac’s reputation for invulnerability is shot and what Flashback might mean for Apple’s business.
I have some news for you. Don’t worry about Flashback.
This happens every few years – a major virus outbreak combined with widespread media coverage. That’s why Flashback doesn’t worry me. It’s gotten enough coverage that there are ample removal tools and instructions on what to do if you’re infected:
It’s all the other Mac viruses out there that worry me.
I’ve been in Mac security a long time – over twenty years. And I see the furor rise now and then over one Mac virus or another. The truth is we need to be thinking about Mac security continuously and not just when one particular virus runs rampant.
Macs have never been invulnerable. They don’t suffer the same problems as Windows, but they definitely have their own issues. One, unfortunately, is user complacency. Most people don’t even run antivirus on their Macs. Look through my Tech Tips archives and see how many times I’ve begged folks to do that. It’s a blind spot in the Macintosh mentality, one that needs to change.
Apple tends to encourage rather than counter this complacency, probably because it works to their marketing advantage. Not that they ignore security, but it typically takes a back seat. In that respect Flashback is helping by bringing the problem to the foreground.
Mac users need to take matters into their own hands. Here are my best recommendations on Mac security:
- Triona’s Tech Tips: How To Protect Your Mac From Viruses
This has my antivirus recommendations for Mac plus some other key security tips.
- Apple Security Configuration Guides
These are technical but helpful if you really want to lock down your Mac.
- Sophos Free Antivirus For Mac
- Intego VirusBarrier (paid)
- ClamXav (free)