Heres a piece of news you may not know: There are currently no viruses or malware that specifically target Mac OS X lurking "in the wild," ready to infect your Macintosh.
What? You dont have a Macintosh? Maybe thats just as well. After all, if lots of people did have Macs, the platform would be much more attractive to the evildoers of the world.
People in the Macintosh community know they are virus-free, but dont make a big deal about it, lest they attract unwanted attention. So lets just make this our secret.
And the evil-doers who read my columns must likewise promise not to create something new just to prove me wrong.
Bad guys: Please follow your existing development roadmap and forget this column exists.
How do I know there are no Mac OS X viruses and malware out there?
Because the Mac product manager of one of the major security software companies told me so.
And when people tell me I dont need their product, I usually take them at their word.
I wont identify the person since he thought he was talking to me for a book project, but people at Apple were happy to confirm this to me.
They dont put it in their advertising for obvious reasons.
Despite the good news, I am not telling you to turn off the anti-virus software thats running on your Macintosh.
And I still encourage you to purchase anti-virus protection for all your machines.
Why spend the money?
First, because its possible the guy was wrong. Second, someone may have created a threat in the two weeks since I spoke to him (or may be about to). Third, your Mac probably has some Windows viruses or malware on it.
While these wont damage the Mac, if you are on a network or just send e-mail, you can innocently send the pathogenic software to Windows users.
No, that is not the point of owning a Mac.
Ive already alluded to why Mac OS X is essentially virus-free: because almost nobody uses it.
I hear the gnashing of teeth from Mac users and book publishers already.
But lets face it: In the grand scheme of things, Mac OS X users are a statistical rounding error.
If youre in the business of creating malware of profit, which platform would you choose?