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Switchers Guide: Understanding Mac security

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 05:50 AM

Post your comments for Switchers Guide: Understanding Mac security here
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#2 User is offline   Kennethfcooper 

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 08:29 AM

So, the ratio of PC to Mac malware is twenty-two million to five (a hand full) and this can all be explained by the fact that OS X represents less than ten percent of the market?
The Mac spellchecker objects to the word "malware" used above and suggests "malarkey".
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#3 User is offline   KPOM 

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 09:42 AM

This is info for switchers, most of whom aren't interested in all the technical details. Most of this advice is pretty sensible. Note he isn't suggesting going out and buying anti-malware software.

If we want to get technical, there probably aren't 22 million examples of malware that run on Windows 7 or even Vista (and certainly not on the 64-bit versions). XP is far more vulnerable.
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#4 User is offline   owmyheadhurts 

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 11:59 PM

FWIW, I've downloaded thousands of files from the internet over the past 14 years on a Mac and have never used anti-virus software and have never experienced a virus. I haven't even been that careful.
I wonder how much longer this will last with the Mac's increasing market share?
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#5 User is offline   snowysix 

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 06:46 PM

I switched to an iMac just a month or two ago after 19 years with a series of PCs. A handful of favorite small programs came long, and so I run WinXP under Bootcamp. But I do not allow Windows to go online! It exists strictly for those programs. If I eventually find Mac equivalents, I'll be happy to switch. Meanwhile, it's kinda neat running Windows in this sheltered environment, sort of like before buying my first modem.
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#6 User is offline   extract 

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  Posted 28 December 2010 - 08:39 AM

A couple of tips to keep your Mac safe: Lock the System Preferences in System Preference -> Security -> General, install Little Snitch(€ 29.95), 3rd party firewall for outgoing traffic and lock the Little Snitch Rules. That will effectively prevent any malware or backdoor app from taking over the computer and phoning home.
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#7 User is offline   HalSummers 

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  Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:52 PM

Set up a separate administrator account that's only used up update and install software.
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#8 User is offline   BambisMusings 

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  Posted 29 December 2010 - 06:59 PM

Little Snitch is a great investment, as well as using the built-in firewall.

ClamAVX for scanning on demand is pretty decent and one of the few that allows you to do on demand instead of 'real time' scanning.

Some security extensions using Firefox and/or Chrome, and Safari are a very good idea. Still prefer Firefox for day to day because of not only FlashBlock, Adblock, WOT, etc. but you can also use NoScript in Firefox like you can in Windows and Linux.
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#9 User is offline   wmarkjones 

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  Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:39 AM

You said, "When it comes to security, using Windows can feel like living in the heart of a big city—the kind of place where you can install all the locks and alarms you want, but you still worry."

Based on my many years of experience with Windows, especially the last decade, I would strongly dispute your statement, and I must conclude one of the following scenarios must explain why you said such a thing:

1) You're just a worrier, and you probably rely on some external sense of security to tell you everything's OK. You just need regular hugs.

2) You don't know what you're talking about; i.e. you have no real recent experience using Windows (maybe you live in a therapeutic hyperbaric tank made for people with your problem).

3) You're stretching the truth, fibbing, soft-shoeing, propagandizing, cult-preaching, whatever you want to call it. You just ain't tellin' the truth.

I would suggest:

1) Purchase a copy of Windows 7.
2) Install it.
3) Download and install the free Microsoft Security Essentials.
4) Don't change the Windows Update defaults.
5 Use Windows 7 regularly, for real work other than writing inane verbosity (i.e. escape your hyperbaric chamber and breath real air).
6) Stop worrying.
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#10 User is offline   docnash 

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 06:49 AM

View Postwmarkjones, on 01 June 2011 - 09:39 AM, said:

You said, "When it comes to security, using Windows can feel like living in the heart of a big city—the kind of place where you can install all the locks and alarms you want, but you still worry."

Based on my many years of experience with Windows, especially the last decade, I would strongly dispute your statement, and I must conclude one of the following scenarios must explain why you said such a thing:

1) You're just a worrier, and you probably rely on some external sense of security to tell you everything's OK. You just need regular hugs.

2) You don't know what you're talking about; i.e. you have no real recent experience using Windows (maybe you live in a therapeutic hyperbaric tank made for people with your problem).

3) You're stretching the truth, fibbing, soft-shoeing, propagandizing, cult-preaching, whatever you want to call it. You just ain't tellin' the truth.

I would suggest:

1) Purchase a copy of Windows 7.
2) Install it.
3) Download and install the free Microsoft Security Essentials.
4) Don't change the Windows Update defaults.
5 Use Windows 7 regularly, for real work other than writing inane verbosity (i.e. escape your hyperbaric chamber and breath real air).
6) Stop worrying.

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#11 User is offline   docnash 

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 07:35 AM




View Postwmarkjones, on 01 June 2011 - 09:39 AM, said:

You said, "When it comes to security, using Windows can feel like living in the heart of a big city—the kind of place where you can install all the locks and alarms you want, but you still worry."

Based on my many years of experience with Windows, especially the last decade, I would strongly dispute your statement, and I must conclude one of the following scenarios must explain why you said such a thing:

1) You're just a worrier, and you probably rely on some external sense of security to tell you everything's OK. You just need regular hugs.

2) You don't know what you're talking about; i.e. you have no real recent experience using Windows (maybe you live in a therapeutic hyperbaric tank made for people with your problem).

3) You're stretching the truth, fibbing, soft-shoeing, propagandizing, cult-preaching, whatever you want to call it. You just ain't tellin' the truth.

I would suggest:

1) Purchase a copy of Windows 7.
2) Install it.
3) Download and install the free Microsoft Security Essentials.
4) Don't change the Windows Update defaults.
5 Use Windows 7 regularly, for real work other than writing inane verbosity (i.e. escape your hyperbaric chamber and breath real air).
6) Stop worrying.


A newbie here, I am. But not to computing or to platforms or operating systems. Four decades ago I was time sharing on a DEC-10 and CDC-6000 and, what else, writing my own programs. I have known several generations/iterations of DOS/Windows as I have of Mac OSs. I've actually used each family, so I feel qualified to make my personal choice.

You say, "Based on my many years of experience with Windows," but you do not tell us of acquaintance with Mac OS. Have you any? If so, please enlighten us. May I assume that you are of the business community? I do so because if you are from the arts and/or sciences, particularly of the academic ends, you might find greater facility and productivity using Mac.

You dispute the statement that Windows is more frequently, and easily, hacked than Mac and cite your "many years of experience with Windows." Can you provide us with data so that we may evaluate the strength of your position?

If I may, "I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of Science, whatever the matter may be." [Sir William Thompson, Lord Kelvin. "Electrical Units of Measurement", 1883-05-03]
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