Mac users can often be heard to say “I don’t need antivirus software, I have an Apple”. Unfortunately, this is a misguided conclusion. Whilst the dangers are certainly much less than with Windows computers, they do exist nonetheless. If nothing else, the recent spread of Mac Trojans proves this. Mac users who think they do not need to concern themselves have created an illusion. The claim that Apple users are less threatened than Windows users is currently still correct, but could change rapidly. It was the low market share of Macs that limited the attentions of online criminals; now that Macs are becoming more popular, this state of affairs is changing. Something that many people forget is that phishing works equally well on any device with an integrated browser, regardless of whether this is Windows, Mac, Apple TV, Android, Symbian or Internet TV; phishing affects everyone equally.
The largest single case was the Flashback-Botnet, which affected over half a million Macs at the beginning of 2012. This may not sound like much, and indeed is not very much compared to the world of Windows computers, but only shows the tip of the iceberg. Macs are being attacked more and more by cybercriminals, who take advantage of the complacency towards malware threats amongst Mac users. Unlike Windows users, most Mac users do not have any additional protection against viruses on their computers.
As in the world of Windows, free antivirus programs are available for the Mac. However, the security of personal data should be worth paying for, just as with backup services.