IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding the kinds of malware that could affect your Mac
Learning how Macs can transmit malware without being infected themselves
Determining the malware risks you face
Protecting your Mac from malware by changing your habits
Using software to prevent or recover from malware infections
Using outbound firewalls to watch for programs that "phone home"
Understanding the limitations of anti-malware software
Taking extra anti-malware precautions when you run Windows on your Mac
Every Mac comes with a fine collection of useful software for browsing the web, exchanging email, viewing and editing documents, managing media, and other essential tasks. Tens of thousands of other vendors — from huge corporations, such as Microsoft and Adobe, to individual shareware authors — offer a wealth of other tools for accomplishing nearly any conceivable computing task. But among this vast range of software choices are a few bad apples — programs whose purpose isn't to accomplish something useful for you but rather to steal your private information, take over your computer's resources, or simply cause trouble for its own sake. Much of it circulates covertly, so you may have it running on your Mac without even knowing it. This malware, or malicious software, can appear in many forms and come from many sources, but it's all bad news, and smart Mac users take steps to avoid it.
Fortunately, the number of malware programs that can run on your Mac is quite ...