Macs given clean bill of health

3 Dec 2008

It seems the recent hoohah over an Apple security document recommending that users install multiple antivirus programmes was much ado about nothing. The document itself was nothing new because it had existed on the Apple site for over a year, and besides which, it was out of date and inaccurate, said an official spokesperson.

As is the way with the viral nature of stories from both bloggers and journalists alike on the web, one small story has the potential to set off a Mexican wave of panic, especially when it is Apple-related.

The document on Apple’s site, which has since been removed, had recommended Intego’s VirusBarrier X5, McAfee’s VirusScan for Mac, and Symantec’s Norton AntiVirus 11.

Speaking to, an Apple spokesperson said the article advising this particular type of antivirus installation was removed because it was “old and inaccurate”, but it was mistakenly picked up as a new development.

Historically, the Mac has been the Fort Knox of the virus world, while the PC has been targeted by and vulnerable to threats.

If this antivirus recommendation document had indeed been brand new and quietly slipped in under our noses by Apple, it would have been a hypocritical move on the company’s part, especially given that the Mac v PC ads make known the Mac’s superiority when it comes to security.

However, Apple spokesperson Bill Evans said the Mac is “designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right “out of the box”, rendering installation of antivirus packages unnecessary.

By Marie Boran

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