When a PC user meets a Mac enthusiast

Security

I travel quite a lot. Though usually I enjoy seeing the world, sitting and waiting at airports can get very tiresome.

A recent  snow storm left me particularly bored. It was late in the evening and I was waiting at Helsinki airport for my flight to Munich to finally take off. When the smiling lady at the Lufthansa check-in desk announced that the flight would be delayed for at least 2.5 hours, people  began pulling their laptops from their bags to open them. And so did I.

While my PC was booting, I looked around and realized that I was surrounded – by Macs!

Normally, I’m quite ok with my PC. It fits in my handbag and that’s what really matters. But amidst those stylish flat MacBooks and their glossy screens, I felt a little bit embarrassed by my unspectacular boxy, black laptop. And just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I got Windows’ famous blue screen. Thank you very much, Bill Gates!

I got an understanding glance from my neighbor and we started a conversation about Apple’s steady march toward victory. Undeniably Macs are becoming more and more popular, and not only with designers and other creatives. This gentleman, for example, runs his own consultant company and has equipped his whole staff with Macs. Now he was giving me a lecture about why Macs are so much better than PCs.

After some time, we got to the point where he asked me what I do for a living. When I told him that I work for an IT security company, I knew it was my turn to give a little lecture. 🙂 Like every other Mac user I’ve ever met, he felt he was magically safe from malware. Well… sorry, but this perception needs a little revision.

Yes, Macs are safer because cyber criminals can make so much more money with PC malware. PCs dominate our online world. But – and this goes out to all Mac users – this doesn’t mean Macs are more secure than PCs.

It’s like living in a safe neighborhood. Just because there aren’t as many thieves about doesn’t mean that your windows are any less easy to break. There is more and more malware with cryptic names that could infect your Mac… Zlob codec trojans just being one example.

Another consideration is that malware is increasingly browser-based and Mac users can be hit by phishing scams social engineering exploits just like any PC user. Just recently the criminal “Koobface” gang specifically targeted Mac users and tried to make profit. Go to Dancho Danchev’s blog if you want to know more about the technical details.

Macs’ growing popularity is so overwhelming that we decided that it’s time for our own Mac solution. Just as I recommended to my Mac enthusiast neighbor, I recommend you checking out F-Secure Mac Protection, free for six months. Register for our Beta program now.

We’d love to know if F-Secure Mac Protection found anything on your Mac.  😉 Please leave a comment below.

Have a safe onward journey – in the online and offline world!

Sandra

12 Comments

>Another consideration is that malware is increasingly browser-based and Mac users can be hit >by phishing scams social engineering exploits just like any PC user.

Very true. How come your mac AV does not offer Browser protection, like FSIS for PC does ?

Hi Sebastien,

we see browsing protection as a natural extension. However, to have our solution we needed to concentrate onto having an almost invisible, fast performing, updateable and upgradeable & easy solution in place. And that is what we now have: our current solution already now prevents users from downloading malicious applications, and is easy whether it is about installation, use or upgrades. We have a service in place, and thanks for it being versionless, we continue to upgrade the features and functionality there at constant rate without sacrificing the slick performance Mac users are used to 🙂

Cheers,
Sandra

You cannot believe how long ive been looking for something like this. Scrolled through 5 pages of Yahoo results without finding anything. Very first page on Bing. There was this…. Really have to start using it more often!

“Like every other Mac user I’ve ever met, he felt he was magically safe from malware.” This idea will never be erased from a mac user. From 20 people I know that have mac, 17 of them don’t care and will never care about antivirus, the rest of them have already an out date antivirus thinking they are protected.

“I felt a little bit embarrassed by my unspectacular boxy, black laptop.” No way.

Sandra,

Thank you for your post. I’ve been a Mac user without antivirus for the past 2 years. When I saw your post I decided to enroll in the beta program and scan my computer.
The result: nothing was found. (this doesn’t mean there’s nothing there, just that nothing was detected :-D).
I work as a software tester, and I’ve been use this machine for almost all my projects (I’m 10-12 hours a day on internet and I install all the applications needed to get things done).
I know Macs are not perfectly safe, but I definitely think that, at this time, it’s harder to get infected if you use a Mac than if you use a PC (I know the work use is relative, not everybody goes to the same sites, or downloads the same things). Don’t know what’s gonna be in a few years, but this is the current situation, at least for me.

I’ll keep F-secure on my Mac till the end of the beta program, and already consider buying one afterwards.

AlexR

Hi AlexR,
good to hear your Mac was clean. Keep on scanning from time to time and let us know the result!

And hey, great you are considering buying the solution after the beta test phase 🙂

Cheers,
Sandra

My fiance (who is an IT person for the school district) doesn’t feel that I need to download this – but I did to see if his ‘no bad things in 13 years of using them’ things was good, or needed revisions. 🙂 I’m about 1/3 through the scan and nothing yet – but I will let you know if something comes up!

OK, did the scan, too. I love the product already and hope, you’ll be pricing it at a competitive level, so we all can afford it 🙂
And, btw: Nothing found in the scan. Will post again if that ever changes.

@ajbest: Well, your fiance might be an IT person but he surely doesn’t know every threat out there. In fact, nobody (even F-Secure) does. The fact that there hasn’t been found anything on a Mac yet surely doesn’t mean that there is nothing around!
I am an “IT Pro” too and we all use AV solutions here in the datacenter, although we haven’t found any virus yet. But we see it as a way of protecting PC users. Think of an infected Word document which doesn’t do any harm on your Mac but will certainly get a PC into trouble. And, hey! I installed it on my ole Mac Book at home and didn’t notice any speed loss. So you got absolutely nothing to loose!

Installed this on my mac to check and see whether there was anything there.
Fsecure found nothing.

I’m sorry to say I didn’t much like the program either so I don’t think i’ll be using it again.
Seemed quite bloated like most antivirus software out there (one of my main reasons for buying a mac was to get rid of it and allow my computer to run unhindered)
I’m happy enough being sensible with what I run and activating mac firewall and little snitch to detect problems early.

Thanks for allowing the free trial though, it was good to know that after 2 years my mac is still problem free and running smoothly.

Hello!
For me the free trial ends at October 30 and I wonder if I after that will be offered to buy a license…?

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