Apple recommends a virus checker – the arrogance of some Mac users

Ok lets make this clear before anyone jumps on me. I am a Mac user. (2008 Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, and a 12″ Powerbook – and a Mini at work).

As a Domino developer I have to use Windows at work and I have various XP VMs on my Macs. I would never dream of running XP without a virus checker and it’s always the first piece of software I install when I get a new box. But now Apple are recommending all users install a virus checker.

A few weeks ago I had my first case of a user with a ‘Mac’ virus – actually a Windows Word macro virus that works on Office on OSX. So although it didn’t have a payload that damaged Macs it’s still a virus. The user has continued to post documents containing the virus despite being told to install a virus checker. So it’s clear that some people have bought into Apple’s marketing hype and believe that they will never catch a virus and it’s this category of Mac user who will be the targets of the first virulent Mac virus. So it’s good that Apple are being pragmatic.

If you’re interested in installing a virus checker but aren’t yet ready to let anything Norton produce sully your Macs, then you could try ClamAV, a free virus checker. At least it will ensure you don’t pass around Office macro virus.