Anti-virus on a Mac? Yup, it’s time.

March 13, 2012
It is sad to say, but Mac has become a target for malware. Mac Defender proved that.  So it’s time to start using an anti-virus.  There are many out there.  Sourcefire has ClamAV which Mark Allen has put a nice front end on to create ClamXav (open source and free, but please donate) which works well on a Mac.  Another good option is a slightly more user friendly Sophos http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-antivirus-for-mac-home-edition.aspx (again free).   I’ve tried using Norton and McAfee in the past but they were resource hogs. I don’t think it matters as much what you use, just that you are using one.  

Little Snitch is nice too, it’s not an anti-virus but it does alert you to all the apps that are talking across your network. Interesting to see if nothing else. 

 

No script is another tool to look at if you use Firefox (or not scripts for Chrome). Again, I allow most scripts to run, but it is good to see what scripts different websites are running and what they are tracking.

Move to a Mac for better security?

June 24, 2010
Should we all move to Macs or Linux for better security?  Google is doing just that. The FT.com article said "Google is phasing out the internal use of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows operating system because of security concerns, according to several Google employees."

Don't get me wrong, I am not slamming Microsoft.  I was a big Microsoft partner in the past.  And honestly most of their products are pretty decent, if you spend the time to learn how to use them. Unfortunately Microsoft too often falls into the "trying to please everyone, so they end up pleasing no one trap."  And Microsoft Windows is everywhere; they have the largest market share (about 91% to be exact) by far.  

But it is exactly because of that success that they are a target for hackers.  If you were a hacker would you focus on a small target or the biggest target out there with the most novice users? It also doesn't help that Microsoft seems to be more vulnerable to attacks by hackers and more susceptible to computer viruses than other operating systems.  This combination is like crack to hackers. 

Back in 2003 I switched to a Mac and honestly I haven't looked back.  I know I am paying more for comparable speed, memory, etc.  But to me it is so worth it! No viruses in 7 years.  No spyware.  No blue screens of death.  My laptop stays on all the time (yes, I know it uses energy even when it is sleeping. I am bad) and only reboots on the rare occasion Apple has a software update that actually requires a reboot.  Which brings up a good point – Apple doesn't send me multiple updates a day.   And those rare updates even more rarely require a reboot. 

Besides Google I personally know of at least one other corporation that has switched their entire staff over to Mac laptops and desktops.  After their users went through the scary time of change to the unknown they now have fewer help desk calls and reduced support requirements.  They are now able to do more with the same number of IT staff they had before.  I don't know if they have looked at the number of security related issues specifically. 

So is this going to be a trend?  Are more corporations going to move from Microsoft Windows to Mac OS X?  Is it the cheaper (safer) investment in the end?


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