McAfee wants your money – how to stay free of viruses and malware

Oh, how I despise anti-virus programs. Not just because they are often resource-intensive, annoying to set up or a terror to navigate, but mostly because they are just so unnecessary. I’ve been a Mac user since 1986, and I’ve only once, EVER, had any trouble with a virus (or at least what I thought was a virus). Since Mac OS X came out, I’ve had exactly ZERO issues with any malware, spyware or viruses.

And it’s not just me. My parents, siblings and older friends that I help out haven’t had any issues either. Let’s start with a few simple issues that Mac users face when it comes to this kind of crap software.

This time I pity YOU, Mr. T.

1. There has never been a widespread Mac OS X virus
Nope, never. Viruses can be activated without passwords or explicit install by the user and that kind of malicious software has never existed outside of proof-of-concept or controlled environments. While I certainly don’t recommend you click on everything online, it’s fairly safe (for you computer) to do so.

2. Facebook/Twitter viruses are not the same as computer viruses
There’s been a bunch of crappy Facebook scams going around, but no matter how often you click on it, nothing from Facebook can harm your computer. Sure, you can screw up your Facebook account and have stuff posted randomly to your wall, but your computer is safe.

3. Stop clicking on stupid links from your friends
This applies to any computer user. STOP CLICKING ON FLASHING LINKS TO TAWDRY STORIES! I’m not kidding about this. Nearly every fast-spreading virus is because people won’t stop clicking on crap that they can’t believe is true. Well, no shit. It’s not true, it’s a scam.

4. Don’t bother with anti-virus software
McAfee makes no sense on a Mac. Note that you seldom see any independent studies on widespread Mac exploits. While it’s certainly possible to infiltrate a Mac via security exploits, it’s not a problem now nor will it be for a while.

5. Only buy/download from trusted sources
Hate the walled garden approach practiced by the iTunes and Mac App Store? Too bad, because pre-approved applications mean a helluva lot more security for the applications we use most. 99% of Mac users can get everything they need from these two sources. If you want to venture outside, feel free, just be sure to check up on the developers a bit.

Any Mac or iOS users ever had problems with malicious software that you DIDN’T install yourself? Ever?