Antivirus software makers have feasted for years on Windows PC customers. The scourge of malware is a fact of life for most PC users. Meanwhile, Mac users bask in relative security. So, why does a maker of Mac software continue to push and prod customers to buy their latest malware products?
Follow The Money Trail
Intego promotes two Mac software packages to protect Mac users from, well, I’m not sure. The latest is VirusBarrier X6, a strong, imposing name for a medicine your Mac may not need.
The best antivirus for Mac: protects your Mac from all known Mac viruses and malware
Really? It would be more impressive if the snake oil salesmen would actually list the malware they protect against instead of crying out, “We protect you against everything (except the unknown).”
Only VirusBarrier X6 provides comprehensive protection from malware and network threats. VirusBarrier X6 is the only antivirus program for Mac that includes full anti-malware protection together with firewall, network protection, anti-phishing, anti-spyware features and more.
Sigh. Yes, there are threats out there. Windows users know full well the problems malware can cause. Often, their problems are worse than the malware protection software. In their never ending quest for more revenue and profits, malware protection software makers have targeted the Mac, and claim that nefarious virus makers are stepping up their efforts to attack the Mac.
Where’s the evidence?
Protect Me Against What?
To be fair, your Mac might have a virus. That’s especially true if you have a lot of email attachments from infected Windows PC users. If that’s the case, some Mac antivirus software may detect and eliminate the threat on your Mac.
Threat? It’s more of a threat to pass along a Windows virus to other Windows PC users. Such malware is not likely to harm your Mac. After all, Apple ships every new Mac with Mac OS X’s built-in firewall off. That’s right. it’s not turned on. Why?
No viable threats.
The Pretty Package
Knowing that most Mac users know there are few threats against the Mac, malware protection software makers have turned to packages to entice Mac users. Look at all the color and buttons and dials and features in VirusBarrier X6.
How can a control panel that is so attractive and colorful and important looking not be of benefit to my Mac? After all, it’s got antivirus protection, anti-spyware protection, a firewall, even anti-phishing software.
This is an exercise in better safe than sorry marketing. By packaging seemingly valuable components together, the software makers hope to separate you from some of you money, even if the value the provide is dubious.
Who can say that parental control tools are bad? Or, that backup software is not useful? Or, that we don’t need spam protection? By rolling all those components together, malware protection software makers expand their market from Windows users to Mac users.
While viruses, Trojan horses, worms and other forms of malware are a constant threat to computers of all kinds, cyber-criminals are turning to new techniques to infect and control your Mac.
The problem with such advertising copy is that cyber-criminals have been very, very unsuccessful against the Mac. All computer systems have vulnerabilities, including the Mac. Not every vulnerability has an exploit. And, not every exploit works. And, most of those that might work, don’t cause damage. That’s why the number of actual, in-the-wild, publicly dangerous Mac malware can be counted on one hand.
For more details on the world of malware and what it means to Mac users, check out Kate MacKenzie’s Mac Malware Primer.