Apple is changing its tune when it comes to the prevalence of and problems posed by malware on their Mac platforms.
Remember the marketing Apple used to do for their Mac laptops and desktops? One of the key points they made was that Windows has thousands and millions of versions of malware and viruses to contend with, even making that point through their “Mac vs. PC” ads that aired on TV, which you can see here.
Even as recent as a few days ago, Apple was quick to point out that OS X doesn’t get PC viruses and that the operating system would defend against viruses and malware with “virtually no effort on your part.” If you go to the “Why you’ll love a Mac” webpage, you’ll see something different.
Previously, the website had listed these major points:
It doesn’t get PC viruses.
A Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers. That’s thanks to built-in defenses in Mac OS X that keep you safe, without any work on your part.
Safeguard your data. By doing nothing.
With virtually no effort on your part, OS X defends against viruses and other malicious applications, or malware. For example, it thwarts hackers through a technique called “sandboxing” — restricting what actions programs can perform on your Mac, what files they can access, and what other programs they can launch.
If you go to the site today, however, this is what you’ll see:
It’s built to be safe.
Built-in defenses in OS X keep you safe from unknowingly downloading malicious software on your Mac.
Safety. Built right in.
OS X is designed with powerful, advanced technologies that work hard to keep your Mac safe. For example, it thwarts hackers through a technique called “sandboxing” — restricting what actions programs can perform on your Mac, what files they can access, and what other programs they can launch.
It should be fairly obvious what caused the change in message from Apple. Just a few months ago, after all, researchers discovered that one particular piece of malware had infected over 600,000 Macs across the globe, including 274 in Cupertino, Apple’s hometown. In short, Apple realized that their claims would sound hollow now that their “hack-proof” systems had been definitively proven to be just as susceptible to malware as PCs.
Apple can no longer deny that Mac malware is a reality, and even mentioned it in a WWDC keynote address for the first time in the history of that conference. Hopefully, Apple’s users will follow Apple off the high horse of superiority towards PC and learn to follow standard security practices, like not downloading unknown files and installing anti-virus software.