Say It Ain't So: Apple Encourages Antivirus Software

After years of belittling-and rightfully so-Windows' lame security, Apple is quietly "encouraging" OSX users to try a little protection themselves. In a brief knowledge base article on its support site, Apple suggests that running security software is probably a good idea.

"Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult," the article states. It goes on to recommend three security apps, including Intego VirusBarrier X5, Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 11 for Macintosh, and McAfee VirusScan for Mac.

While it remains true that Macs are safer overall, experts contend that Macintosh security breaches are bound to rise along with Apple's market share. Perhaps that's the reason for the security heads-up to Mac users.

You've got to love this recommendation, though, particularly in light of Apple's gratingly smug tone over the years. One of its early "Get a Mac" TV ads from 2006 even implies that Macs are invulnerable to viruses. Apple appears to have softened its message recently, however. It's Get a Mac FAQ, for instance, says that "no computer connected to the Internet is 100 percent immune to viruses and spyware," while adding that the Mac is a fairly safe bet overall.

Safer than Windows, yes, but certainly not immune.

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