This weekend I blogged that when it comes to security on your computer — whether it’s a Mac or a PC — it pays to be prepared no matter what platform you use. I received feedback in comments and via email on the post. Today I received a link in the mail to the article “No Immunity for Macs,” by Mitchell Ashley on both Linux Insider.com and Mac News World.com, who writes…
“The fact of the matter is that despite Apple’s work to maintain the image of Macs as secure devices, researchers are concentrating much more heavily on finding underlying security vulnerabilities in Mac software. As a result, we are seeing security patches for Apple software now on a regular basis.”
The point I made this weekend is that no one is immune, and everyone should protect themselves, Mac or PC. IMHO, there is no “safer” computer. I have both at home and I wouldn’t think of hooking either computer up to the network without adequate protection.
The author of the article also includes his top things to do Mac OS X users should do to secure their computers, which I’ll suggest applies across the board (and some look familiar, having made similar suggestions in past posts):
- Don’t be complacent. Don’t be a victim: be prepared.
- Apply security updates. With Windows, turn on Microsoft Update and Automatic Updates. With Macs, apply any OS security patches as available.
- Use a bi-directional personal firewall.
- Practice good WiFi security connections. See my post on What’s so bad about unprotected wireless?
- Use AntiVirus (AV) software.
- Use good security practices with Windows virtualization.
I noticed that PC Magazine has a Security Suite Smackdown, Part I on their site: “These apps aim to give you an impregnable defense, protecting you from every threat under the connected sun. Antimalware—antivirus, antispam, antispyware, antiphishing—if it’s out there, they’re against it. Add in firewalls, content filtering, parental controls and keylogger detection, and you’ve got a online suit of armor that’s theoretically proof against any and all threats. And the armor has done a reasonably good job, by and large.”
- See this recent article in the Seattle Times on cybersafety
- Create strong passwords
- If you use a PC, protect yourself with one of the popular security suites from CA, Kaspersky, McAfee, Norton, Panda, Trend Micro, ZoneAlarm, and Microsoft’s own Windows Live OneCare protection software. (Disclaimer: I use CA, Norton and OneCare products for protection and maintenance.)
- Here’s another online review of OneCare, and this one from PC World.
- Four reasons you need Windows XP SP2: Ensure you have the latest service pack installed on your computer
- Barb Bowman’s article on how to secure your wireless home network with Windows XP
- Back up your computer so that you don’t lose important files
- Sign up for our security newsletter and receive monthly advice
- Get more online safety tips here, the Microsoft Security At Home Website