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Posted: 1:12 p.m. Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mac users face virus attack

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By Clark Howard


If you're a Mac user, you may think your computer is impervious to viruses. But that's no longer the case.

For a long time, it was accepted as gospel that if you wanted to avoid viruses on your computer, you got a Mac instead of a PC. Now estimates suggest that nearly 1 million Mac computers in the United States have been infected in what's certainly been the largest attack there has ever been in the Apple world.

The virus that's infecting all these Macs is so well designed that criminals have been able to exploit a loophole in underlying code to automatically download bad software onto your Mac. You don't even need to click on a suspicious link to invite this harm into your life!

Apple has written new code to counteract the attack, and there's a real sense of urgency about this. Take this seriously if you do any banking or other sensitive financial transactions on your Mac.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of accusations going around that Apple sat on its hands for five weeks when they learned of the attack because they considered themselves so immune from the viruses that plague the PC world. I don't know if that's true or not.

But I do know that the era of feeling like you were immune simply because you bought a more expensive Mac vs. a cheaper PC is over.

On a positive note, I read a briefing from the TSA saying that if you travel with an 11-inch Mac Book Air (or an 11-inch PC) you will no longer have to remove it from your luggage at security. Now, there may be some TSA screeners who are not up to date on this, but apparently this is the new rule and hopefully it will be a timesaver as you travel.

Just don't get into an argument with a TSA worker if you're still asked to remove your 11-inch laptop. You'll never win the argument anyway!

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