Macs get malware. Surprise. Despite the fear mongering headlines, Macs don’t get much malware.
What malware our Macs attract usually doesn’t cause much grief (often, it’s our own fault) and isn’t easily passed along to others. So, why worry about it? Better safe than sorry? Or, do Mac users just need a little practice for that so-called inevitable day when catastrophe strikes?
What Me Worry?
Alfred E. Neuman said it best. We shouldn’t worry. First, there are no Mac viruses propagating in the wild, so all those expensive anti-virus apps don’t do much.
Second, maybe malware will get worse. Someday.
After all, the chicken little security app sellers all say that the malware wave is coming.
They’ve been saying that for 10 years. They want Mac users to feel insecure. They want us to buy their wares. They pray for the day that Mac users have a real scare or two.
Maybe then we’ll succumb to the cry wolf mentality and enrich their coffers. Maybe. For now, if you’re so inclined, here are two Mac apps to help you overcome your fear of the past (recent past) and the future.
Kill Malware, Vol. I and Vol. 2
Just this month there was hysteria about the MacDefender, new malware which could be downloaded and installed on your Mac. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Necessity is the mother of invention.
MacDefenderKiller is a donationware free Mac app that, well, kills MacDefender (a trojan horse, not a virus) if you so desire, and if you were so unlucky or unknowing as to download it and installed it on your Mac.
The Killer digs through various folders and sends the criminally culprit files to the Trash.
ClamXav is also donationware free, but it does more than just kill the recently birthed MacDefender. This is a real live anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-trojan horse, anti-phishing app (based on the popular ClamAV open source anti-virus scanning engine) that tracks and secures both Mac and Windows PC malware.
Unlike MacDefenderKiller, which looks for a specific strain of a specific trojan horse threat, ClamXav checks every file on your Mac, even digging into email attachments, text files, specific files, everything on your hard disk drive, and everything you download.
One click and suspect files can be quarantined or trashed. For new Mac users, there’s a helpful FAQ. For example, it answers What is the difference between malware, viruses, and trojans?
As I’ve said before, malware of any kind, Mac or Windows, is bad for everyone. Exercise some care. Watch what you click. Watch more closely what you download and install on your Mac.