The more mature among us may remember elderly Clara Peller asking, “Where’s The Beef?” in a bunch of Wendy’s TV commercials in the 1980s.
Clara’s gone, but the question can still be asked about SecureMac’s MacScan security software. Where’s the beef?
Normally, we’re a pretty forgiving bunch at Mac360. We have our list of favorite Mac applications and we’re willing to share the wealth and tell you about them.
If you haven’t heard about a Mac application from us, then we’re probably not too excited about it, so you’re not missing much.
From time to time we get excited about an application that no one should really get too excited about. MacScan is one such Mac application. Please. Hold your applause until after the article.
Security on a computer is an important issue, as any Windows user will tell you. They’re inundated daily with spyware, adware, viruses, trojan horses, and more; all thanks to the richest human on earth and his Swiss Cheese secure Windows operating system.
Mac users have a different life. There are no known spyware applications for the Mac. Or, viruses. Or, trojan horses. In fact, the Mac is arguably considered the most secure desktop operating system around.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that people engaged in creating software to enhance your computer’s security have to resort to tabloid newspaper tactics to get people to buy their software.
Take SecureMac. Please. Their home page asks the question, “How secure is your Mac?”
Then they list news items from the past few years about all the security vulnerability of the Mac. From QuickTime to Widgets to all of Apple’s security updates, SecureMac is only interested in telling you about the problems you face in keeping your Mac secure.
Oh, and they sell a Mac application called MacScan which will help you maintain maximum security on your Mac. Why? Because there are so many spyware, viruses, trojan horses, and the like trying to take over your Mac. Or not.
What does MacScan do? It runs through the Mac’s file system and searches for spyware, trojan horses, and keystroke loggers. I can only assume that it’s an extremely fast Mac application because there’s probably few stops during the search process.
At the end of the search, MacScan provides a detailed instructive list about each file it finds. That’s handy. Probably doesn’t take up too much screen space with the report, either?
Why? Maybe it’s because there are no known spyware applications for the Mac. Maybe it’s because there’s no known trojan horses for the Mac (we’re talking Mac OS X).
Keyboard loggers? Puhleeeze. Is there one? I mean, besides the one you buy to record your own keystrokes. That’s handy.
MacScan says it “audits the computer for any known remote administration programs, some of which are commercial applications others are shareware or freeware.”
Ah ha! MacScan will find commercial applications that handle remote administration. That should be a short list, but might make you think MacScan actually did something worthwhile.
Handy is MacScan’s ability to give instructions about the ‘bad applications’ it finds, and list actions for you to take to remove it. Isn’t that nice?
The SecureMac home page is a wonder for the uninitiated Mac user and directs readers to all the basic Mac applications that have anything to do with security. In that regard, the home page is handy simply for the links to other applications.
I don’t want to be put in the position of pooh-poohing security. It’s a serious issue for any computer user, including Mac users. An application that looks for what’s not there probably doesn’t help users too much.
There are probably a few million Windows PCs that have been turned into ‘zombie PCs’ and are remotely controlled by spammers. These computers spew forth spam, referrer spam, and spyware by the gazillions, and many PC users never even know what’s going on in their own computer.
But that’s a Windows problem. On the Mac side of the fence I want serious considerations and concerns addressed quickly and efficiently. I don’t want scare tactics and that’s what is less than subtle about SecureMac’s MacScan.
MacScan is a solution looking for a problem.
I keep my Mac updated with Apple’s security upates. I lock down the firewall. I don’t give out passwords and I keep the screen locked when I’m away. Do I need to do more?
Are you saying this is an application for Mac OS X that finds spyware, trojan horses, and keystroke loggers, but there aren’t any of those for Mac OS X?