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What do MacBooks and Viruses Have in Common?

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Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) was once famous for manufacturing computers that were impervious to viruses. But the Cupertino, California-based corporation is no longer promoting this feature, a move that some are referring to as the end of an era.

According to PCWorld, Apple updated its website over the weekend, replacing the old promo line (in which the company said that Macs don't get viruses) with a softer promise.

Up until now, Apple made the following claim: "A Mac isn't susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers. That's thanks to built-in defenses in Mac OS X that keep you safe, without any work on your part."

As of Sunday, Apple has updated its message: "Built-in defenses in OS X keep you safe from unknowingly downloading malicious software on your Mac."

While Apple has softened its claim that Macs are safe from all viruses, the company still promotes the fact that Macs are not harmed by Windows viruses. As of this morning, the FAQ page on still contains the question, "Is a Mac safe from PC viruses?"

Apple's answer: "Yes. The OS X operating system isn't susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers. And although no computer connected to the Internet is completely immune to all viruses and spyware, OS X has built-in defenses designed with your safety in mind. The Mac web browser, Safari, alerts you whenever you're downloading an application -- even if it's disguised as a picture or movie file. And Apple continually makes free security updates available for Mac owners. You can even have them download automatically."

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which developed the Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus and anti-malware software for Windows, has continually offered free security updates since the product's inception. Microsoft also offers security patches via standard Windows updates.

In April, more than 600,000 Macs were infected with the Flashback Trojan, prompting some users to question the safety of Apple's devices.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Apple Mac MacBook Microsoft Microsoft Security Essentials PCWorldNews Tech Best of Benzinga


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