Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Shields up, Mac users

I'm virus proof on my Mac! Oops...
Even though I am now a Mac user, I have to admit that, as a species, they have their problems. Specifically, they have always had a tendency to be smug. Infuriatingly so.

Perhaps the biggest example of this, bigger still than their certainty that their machines had more style and flair, or were better at arty things, was the assurance that computer viruses were not a problem for them. They sneered at the poor PC user, scrambling to update their anti-virus every year. They sniggered behind their hands as friends computers succumbed to worms and trojans. Because, on the whole, Macs were virus proof. Not because they were so technically sophisticated, but because they were simply too small a market to make it worth virus writers targeting them.

However, though Macs still have a relatively small market share, it has steadily grown. And guess what? Viruses are out there. What's more, since hardly any Macs are protected against them, they are easy pickings.

I've taken the plunge and installed AV software. I haven't done a scientific survey or anything, but I've gone for Sophos. There are a couple of reasons for this. I have an affection for the company as they helped me out free of charge a number of times in the early days of PCs at British Airways. Their software has never been the slickest, but it has always had an industrial strength feel to it. The other reason, frankly, is that it is free. Eat that, PC users.

How has the experience been? Pretty good. The initial scan was a bit of a nightmare - it ground to a halt a couple of times and I had to restart it, but eventually I got the 6 million files (gulp) scanned. But since then, in background mode it has been trundling away nicely, occasionally spotting nasties in my emails and generally being a good egg.

If you are a Mac user and want to give it a try you can find it here. I would recommend giving it a thought. The world, it is a-changeing.

I ought to stress there are other products, this isn't a comprehensive test and (sadly) Sophos are not paying me anything to say this.

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