“Need a Virus Free Computer? Get a Mac“. You probably must have heard this old cliche whenever you find yourself wanting to get a Computer (Desktop or Laptop) for your basic computing tasks, but this is not exactly the truth. Before I’ll let you into facts about it, let us understand what Viruses are and why they are created in the first place.
A computer virus according to Wikipedia “is a malware program that, when executed, replicates by inserting copies of itself (possibly modified) into other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of the hard drive; when this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be infected“.
I hope you noted that fact that a virus is a computer program. Now the reason why people create computer viruses is all about making money. Yeah, the computer programmer basically codes the virus for instances such as stealing sensitive information, taking control of someone’s computers and would most likely have to extort the attacked individual to have things put back in place. Though there are many more reasons too, but the fact remains that the attacker creates the Virus in order to make money, and as much as we know, every business man seeks for opportunities with higher Return on Investment and that’s where computer operating systems come in to play.
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According to information made available on Wikipedia, over 80% of computers run Windows while a little over 9% run the Mac OS. Now as with every business minded coder as the virus creators would be called in this essence, they definitely would target the operating systems that have a higher market share in order to make more money since they’ll get more culprits down the lane. With the MAC OS having just 9% of the operating system market space, computer programmers who write this virus tend not to often write these Virus programs for the OS as they often would for Windows and this makes Virus available for Windows higher than on MAC.
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Clearly, this means that MACs can in fact be infected with virus (since viruses are simply computer programs), but not exactly the Windows viruses since these two operating systems don’t run same extensions of software. In fact, there are a bunch of known viruses for the MAC which would be beyond the scope of this article to list and having an Anti-Virus protect your MAC wouldn’t be a bad idea. So next time someone tells you the “MAC OS is secured from virus” myth, you know that’s not exactly true, it’s just that there are fewer in number than those for windows.